The 1954 Guatemalan Coup D'état

As Cold War tensions escalated in the early 1950s, the White House became obsessed with one core goal: Containing Communism. Nowhere was this more true than in Guatemala. The United States viewed the Central American country as one which was firmly within its own backyard, and thus fair game for external interference. It was for this reason that in 1954 - before the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis - the CIA carried out one of its most damaging, and notorious, military coups - aiding the overthrow of Guatemala's first democratically elected President.

In this episode, James is joined by Dr Rachel Nolan from Boston University, to take a deep dive into the CIA's infamous 1954 military coup that sparked a wave of violence in Guatemala and beyond for decades. With the effects of this geopolitical scandal still felt today, what can we learn from this shocking moment in history, and how come not one, but two, US Presidents signed off on it?

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