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CIA Operation PBSUCCESS - Essay Example

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The CIA Operation "PBSUCCESS" in Guatemala damaged the credibility of the US Government when dealing with other foreign nations during the Cold War. This was proved by the strong criticism it received from both its allies and foes over its actions in Guatemala…
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Download file to see previous pages... "PB" here stands for "Presidential Board" while SUCCESS is used to express the general optimism and confidence that this operation would achieve its objectives.
Its main objective was overthrowing the popularly-elected Guatemalan President, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. This was because his government had presented various new policies that the US was of the opinion that they were Communist. The US suspected the influence of the Soviet Union in this. The US clearly hated Communism and all its principles. They could therefore do anything to stop it.
Moreover, Communism threatened to oust the US as the world's super power. They had to fight this at all costs to continue with this domination. For Guatemala, Communism posed a threat to the US interests in that country and even neighboring ones. They had to intervene to secure these interests. The US was therefore killing two birds with one stone in Guatemala.
The US feared that Guatemala becoming a "Soviet beachhead." Guzman introduced land reform acts were seen as antagonizing United Fruit Company, a US-based multinational. This company had great stakes in the earlier Guatemala administration and urged the US to intervene.
The operation took place between 1953 and 1954. ...
Later there was another operation known as "Operation PBHISTORY". Its aim was gathering and analyzing Guatemalan government documents. The US would later use these documents to portray Guzman as puppet of the Soviet Communists.

During the administration of two of Guzman's predecessors, Jorge Ubico and Manuel Cabrera, Guatemala was open to foreign investment, with Ubico specially favoring the United Fruit Company. The UFC then invested heavily in the country. It bought controlling stocks of the rail, electricity and telegraph utilities. It won control over most of Guatemala's best land. Ubico administration greatly protected the interests of the United Fruit Company.

Soon after the inauguration of Dwight Eisenhower as the US President in 1953, scrutiny of CIA covert action operations started. Eisenhower set up an evaluation known as Solarium that comprised three committees that did an analysis to find out which action plans should go on. Later, CIA's covert activities were kept under close check. Questions arose as to whether CIA covert operations were proper and if they served national interests (Cullather, 2006).

According to David Bruce, a presidential advisor on foreign intelligence activities, these covert actions were responsible for sparking turmoil and raising doubts about the US in numerous countries worldwide.

The US faced political condemnation worldwide because of the role it played in having President Guzman overthrown. The US damaged its reputation in Latin America and also angered its allies. It was heavily criticized even by the United Nations (Kinzer and Schlesinger, 1999).

There was strong resentment in the Caribbeans and Latin America. This played a part in damaging the stability of Guatemala and Latin ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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