Arbenz Guzmán, Jacobo

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Arbenz Guzmán, Jacobo

 

Born Sept. 14, 1913; died Jan. 27, 1971. Guatemalan statesman and political leader.

In 1944, Arbenz Guzmán took part in an uprising, as a result of which the dictatorship of Ubico was overthrown. That same year he joined the government junta. From 1945 to 1950 he was minister of defense, and in 1951 he was elected president. Arbenz Guzmán’s administration followed a policy of defending the country’s national interests. It came out against the dominance of American monopolies, especially that of the United Fruit Company. His administration also put into practice a number of progressive social and economic measures. This striving on the part of Arbenz Guzmán’s administration to carry on an independent domestic and foreign policy caused dissatisfaction among the ruling circles of the USA. In June 1954 they organized an armed intervention in Guatemala, as a result of which the government of Arbenz Guzmán was overthrown. Arbenz Guzmán went into exile.