Framing and the Poliheuristic Theory of Decision: The United Fruit Company and the 1954 U.S.-Led Coup in Guatemala

  • Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson
  • Steven B. Redd
Part of the Advances in Foreign Policy Analysis book series (AFPA)


On June 27, 1954, President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán of Guatemala resigned. His government was threatened with an invasion by a group of exiles led by Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas who were part of a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-sponsored covert operation to overthrow Arbenz. Militarily, Castillo Armas’s small band of exiles had not been very successful; however, the intensive psychological battle being waged by the CIA was very intimidating to the people of Guatemala City, the Guatemalan military, and even to President Arbenz. Arbenz felt certain the Guatemalan military could defeat Castillo Armas, but his concern was that the United States would send its own military to invade if he did not back down (Gleijeses 1991, 317–322). Thus, the United States brought an end to the Guatemalan revolution of 1944 and the democratic government it established.The United Fruit Company also got rid of a government that seriously threatened its interests in Guatemala and throughout the region of Central America.This brief period of reform and progress in Guatemala was replaced by a succession of military-led authoritarian regimes and more than three decades of instability and guerrilla warfare.


Decision Maker Foreign Policy Land Reform Central Intelligence Agency Panama Canal 
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© Alex Mintz 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson
  • Steven B. Redd

There are no affiliations available

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