Re: Bitter Fruit (multiple posts)

Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:49:26 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/3/97 2:38:06 PM, you wrote:

>Years ago, while my husband and I traveled through the northern Guatemalan
>highlands, we noticed a half-rusted billboard clearly from the 50s which
>designated the site as one of Arbenz's farm "cooperatives." It was a
>poignant moment. Looking back at my experiences in Latin America, my
>naivet=E9 seems hardly believable even to myself. We were also in Nicaragua
>in 1978, exactly one year before Somoza was toppled by the Sandinistas. I
>kept wondering why we didn't see any young men or women in town, just small
>children and the very old. Little did I know that they were most likely in
>hiding, imprisoned or disappeared.

Hi, Maggie. You remind me of a poignant moment on my end. During the 1994
Tulane My Lai conference I had connived to get Tulane's president to throw us
a cocktail party at the president's mansion, a grand place on St. Charles
Avenue. It was after the first full day of the conference. in the midst of
the party I was informed that it was the former Zemurray (sp?) residence
which sent a chorus of bells ringing. To wit: The Zemurrays were major
stockholders in United Fruit, the American interest which triggered the 54
coup in Guatemala that many see as a dress rehearsal for Vietnam. (I believe
an american cabinet member was also on the board of UF and I've read it was
Arbenz's plan to buy back land UF was not using that triggered the coup. UF
thought they didn't offer enough compensation though it was several times the
purchase price).

There we were in the belly of the beast trying to deal with the beast's worst
moment (My Lai) but forced to acknowledge that the beast was Cerberus-like,
with many heads. Astonishing moment.