By Paul J. Dosal
The United Fruit corporation (UFCO) constructed an unheard of courting with Guatemala within the first half this century. by means of 1944, UFCO owned 566,000 acres, hired 20,000 humans, and operated ninety six% of Guatemala's 719 miles of railroad, making the multinational company Guatemala's greatest inner most landowner and largest corporation. In Doing enterprise with the Dictators, Paul J. Dosal exhibits how UFCO outfitted up a ecocnomic company in a rustic whose political approach was once recognized to be corrupt. His paintings relies principally on learn of corporation files lately obtained from the Justice division below the liberty of knowledge Act-no different historian learning this subject has checked out those resources. consequently, Dr. Dosal is ready to supply the 1st documentary proof of ways UFCO obtained, defended, and exploited its Guatemalan homes by means of participating with successive authoritarian regimes.
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Extra info for Doing Business with the Dictators: A Political History of United Fruit in Guatemala, 1899-1944 (Latin American Silhouettes)
Based on a review of company documents still unavailable to independent researchers, the Department of Justice concluded: "The purpose and effect of the unification of the businesses of the Boston Fruit Company and Minor C. Keith and their subsidiaries was to restrain actual or potential competition and to monopolize the banana industry. "12 Monopoly, as interpreted by the Department of Justice, may exist without the elimination of all competitors. United Fruit was never the only banana firm, but it was always in a position to determine the amount of competition it would tolerate.
As a result, the Liberals financed railroad construction using a combination of state, local, and foreign capital. American capital built the Central Railroad (Guatemala City to San José); Guatemalan finqueros owned the Occidental Railroad (Retalhuleu to Champerico); and the state financed and directed construction on the Northern Railway (Guatemala City to Puerto Barrios). The failure of the state to complete the Northern Railway created the conditions in which Minor Keith acquired it, the Central, and the Occidental, and placed them at the service of the United Fruit Company.
From 1933 to 1951 he was the driving force behind the largest banana company in the world. In that position, Zemurray had the time and luxury to contemplate his past, and his increasing contributions to numerous charities, including a $1-million donation to Tulane University's Middle American Research Institute, suggested an uneasiness about his own role in a sordid history. Just before he retired from the business, Zemurray expressed some remorse: "All we cared about were dividends. " 1 Zemurray repented too late for the Guatemalan revolutionaries.