The Guatemalan Revolution

The Details of a Power Shift in Latin America

There were five major groups of the people involved in the Guatemalan Revolution. There was the people of Guatemala, or the peasants, the Guatemalan puppet-government, the anti-government guerillas, the wealthy who controlled the army, and the United States.

Three months before the scheduled election, the Wealthy began negotiating with the United States, in an effort to keep themselves in power. They signed a treaty which gave an American general control of nearly half of the Guatemalan army. Further treaties were signed, and the Wealthy gave up control of the army, instead it's command went to the American general, who may have gone slightly power-mad and attempted to take over the country. The reasons for this action are currently unknown.

During this time, the government attempted to loosen the control the Wealthy had on them, making new land reforms. The guerillas remained quiet, waiting with the rest of the country to see what developed with the United States.

Suddenly, the combined American ambassadors and officials and the Wealthy of Guatemala ousted the general, and shortly after, that general's replacement. Then, they gave the control of the military to a council of the peasants, who did not use it, but rather opened negotiations with all groups to see if they would sign a treaty uniting all of the groups.

The Guerillas actively attempted to stop this from happening, as their leader, going by the name of "Warhol", and even attempted to directly stop the peasant council by force. The United States eventually used their strength to takeover the government, installing a new president. The new president, the same general from earlier, who was imprisoned in the U.S., issued an execution order for four people. One was the presidential candidate from the government, one the leader of the peasant council, who tried to engineer the uniting treaty, one was the leader of the wealthy, and the other was the anti-Warhol leader. They were all executed. Eventually, they held the election, which elected the original vice-president from the government.

This power sift will be better for the future of Guatemala, because it paved the way to a better and less corrupt democracy. In this case the effect of this power shift was positive, because the U.S. helped to keep it safe for the common people. But power shifts aren't always safe, for example, Egypt continued to be filled with riots and trouble, and it's president was not favored by everyone. In the end the military, much like the U.S., took over.

Generally, my life has more cooperation than conflict. I try not to argue with my parents and friends. For example, I have worked with my friends to finish a science project online. An example of my parents arguing with my brother, which happens often, could be when he misses the bus has bad grades.

Article by Ben Strakalaitis

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