The National Safety

The assertion that the national safety of the United States has placed an inherent interest on itself to guard against foreign influence, has been construed as a rationale for the United States to impose itself as an international police power aimed at upholding and enforcing the country’s own definition of law and order. After World War II, the inter-American relationships were critical. The period of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was started. However, given the few Latin-American countries subscribed to the United States political ideologies and correctness, the United States opted to assert itself in Latin-American through interventions, ostensibly to avert the spread of communism.

The intervention of Guatemala critically affected the relationship between the United States and Latin-American governments. The reforms, implemented by Guatemala’s president Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, were perceived as a threat to American interests. These included a land reform resolution, referenced as Decree 900, and the passing of laws legalizing labor unions and enforcing labor laws. These reforms affected the United Fruit - an American company, which employed workers under poor terms of employment and owned a significant percentage of the land under reform. The company’s appeals to the state department were seen in its characterizing the reforms, implemented by the Guatemala government, as influenced by communist ideals, which negated the principles of the United States’ government. Despite the inaccuracy of the claims of communism in the Guatemalan society, the lack of sufficient evidence to support these claims did not deter the United States from executing its intervention actions against the administration of the Guatemalan president.

President Arbenz facilitated the implementation of the “offending” reforms aimed at elevating the lives of Guatemala citizens. However, despite the success of the intervention, these actions alienated the Latin-American governments and political leaders against the United States. The intervention, which was branded as a fight against communism, failed in deterring Latin-American societies from associating with communists, instead, the intervention provided a rationale for sympathizing with communist doctrines, hence, spreading it across Latin-America. The actions against Guatemala served as a lesson to Latin-American communities that the United States were opposed to fundamental change through constitutional processes, therefore, legitimizing revolutionary upheaval and violence as the sole means of political and social justice. The adaptation of this principle as demonstrated by the United States has led to significant military actions and civil strife in Latin-America.



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