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Intervening in revolution: The US exercise of power in Guatemala, 1954.

Valde-Ugalde, Jose Luis (1999) Intervening in revolution: The US exercise of power in Guatemala, 1954. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis attempts to develop an understanding of US policy in Latin America. This effort is carried out in light of the examination of the political and cultural roots that have shaped the character of the United States as a nation and thus US strength in world affairs. These characteristics have been reflected in the geopolitical approach adopted when the US has drawn up (and constructed) its foreign policy priorities. This is particularly the case when a response to revolution and socio-political change is required to guarantee US national security. Hence the importance of exploring both the need to impose US power in the region and the rationale for it. The thesis analyses US foreign policy towards Latin America in the context of the Guatemalan revolution of 1944-1954. It does so from the point of view of the revolution itself and the events of the early Cold War years. These are important years since it was at this time that President Eisenhower and Secretary of State, J.F. Dulles, under the rationale of the defence of US interests, developed a militant anticommunism. The result of this policy was the US-supported intervention in Guatemala which became the first of the US's cold war laboratories in Latin America. This intervention crystallised in 1954 in US support for a coup against President Jacobo Arbenz, which dissolved the democratic order in Guatemala. The subject is approached by taking the following into consideration: a) the immediate background of the domestic political culture - which is most clearly reflected in insularity - as an important element in understanding the US stand on revolution and foreign policy, that is the domestic dimension, b) the geopolitical axioms about supremacy that were behind the US formal position of a defense of national security, which brought about the need to carry out a construction of a continental reality meant to match strategic principles, c) an interpretation of socio-political change in Central America as the key to an understanding of the roots of US interventionist ardour and, d) the problematic association between socio-political change, intervention and authoritarianism, as well as the implications that such an association, especially in the context of US-Latin American relations, has had for democracy in general.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, History, Latin American
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

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