That innocuous tweet from Chiquita (a banana company) is referring to how it played a key role in 1954 Guatemalan coup leading to:

  • deposing the democratically elected government,
  • ending the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944–1954, and
  • installation of the military dictatorship backed by CIA

The United Fruit Company’s (now Chiquita) revenue was 2x the government of Guatemala and was concerned about the democratic government’s land reform policies that were affecting its land holdings.

To protect its interests, United Fruit lobbied the U.S. government to take action against the Guatemalan government, and provided logistical support and intelligence, while spending heavily on PR campaigns.

This is why these Central American countries were called “Banana Republic” – a term to describe countries in that were economically dependent on a single export, often bananas, and had weak political institutions. It’s used to criticize countries with unstable governments and economies heavily influenced by foreign interests.

Horror in 1950s, Comedy in 2020s


1954 Guatemalan coup –

– Neither of those tweets is real. @Chiquita is the official account for the produce company and @ChiquitaBrands has been inactive since 2013.


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Categories: Quick Reads