Guatemala Case Study

In analysing the usefulness of these theories in explaining the case of Guatemala, history and socioeconomic contexts prior to and during the development process is worth observing. The United States’ political and economic interests on the Latin American region was officially expressed with the articulation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 (Gilderhus, 2008: 5). The doctrine mainly served as a declaration of political independence of the American Continent from European colonial powers, yet the US-Latin American relations did not experience any notable change as the US merely pursued “to defend its own basic interests.” (Gilderhus, 2008: 8) Significant to their relations was the subsequent US foreign policy agenda based on Pan-Americanism, and …show more content…
The successor, Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, brought more radical yet successful land reforms in an attempt to eradicate the exploitative feudalism and challenged the corruption diffused by the UFCO through bribery and monopoly (LaFeber, 1983: 116-118). Throughout their presidencies, the US constantly accused them of being, or associated with, communist, articulating that the Guatemalan government was dealing with private properties unjustly (LaFeber, 1983: 120). The US subsequently planned a counterrevolution to overthrow the Árbenz government, where it provided Guatemalans with military trainings, which was carried out in 1954 to successfully eliminating leftist government and reset the Guatemalan economy to its condition before the reforms (LaFeber, 1983: …show more content…
On the one hand, contexts prior to the democratic revolution and developments correspond to assumptions of modernisation theory. The Guatemalan economy and society exhibited general transitions which resembled what modernisation theory assumes to be natural. While the European colonisation of the region left behind traditional features such as social hierarchy among different ethnicities and feudal economic practices, Guatemala increasingly experienced capitalism with the commencement of the UFCO’s activities (Grosfoguel, 2000: 349-354). This can be seen as the shift from the traditional society to the next stage, in which the economy experienced foreign intrusions which the theory justifies as a means of enabling the society to prepare for preconditions to take-off by making adopt modern values and practices. The theory, however, does not account for the entirety of the process in that the societal adoption of modern values did not lead to fundamental changes in Guatemalan social structure, as autocracy and socioeconomic inequality persisted (Batres,

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