End of Vietnam-France War; Beginning of Vietnam-USA War
The French are defeated by Vietnam forces and forced to withdraw. The USA helps France militarily then takes over the French role in Vietnam. The big powers (USA, France, USSR, China) officially agree to partition Vietnam into two separate states regardless of the wishes of the people.
An agreement is proposed to allow for a referendum in 1956 to decide the future of the country. The USA refuses to agree to this knowing that over 80% of the population want reunification with the north.
Between 1945 and 1954, French forces killed over 300,000 Vietnamese.
Coup in Guatemala (The Fall of Arévalo)
The USA organises a military coup in Guatemala to remove the president, Jacobo Arbenz. Arbenz was the successor to the popular and reforming president, Juan José Arévalo.
The country had been democratic since 1944; Arévalo had permitted free expression, legalized unions and diverse political parties. The USA Embassy had described the government as having “an unusual reputation for incorruptibility”; the Guatemalans had described the previous ten years as “Ten Years of Spring”.
After the coup, and for the next 31 years, repressive governments would rule with USA support. The CIA gives the new government lists of people to be eliminated, identifying political and intellectual leaders as military targets. Arévalo is driven out of Guatemala and dies in exile. Peasant cooperatives are destroyed, unions and political parties crushed, and dissidents hunted down. Many indigenous villages are cleared leading to urban sprawl and poverty. Thousands are killed by government death squads and many more flee the country.
One of those fleeing is a young physician, Che Guevarra. His face would adorn posters for a generation in the 1960s.
Within a few years over 100,000 people, mostly the Maya, would be killed.
The USA declares that the reason for the coup was to stop a takeover by the USSR. In actual fact, the USSR had little interest in the country, not even maintaining an embassy. The real reason is economic – American companies (especially the United Fruit Comany in which CIA director, Allen Dulles, had an interest) would benefit from cheap labour, lax safety laws and a helpful government. The American company, Coca Cola, benefits when striking workers are killed by the military.
A USA document (US Policy Towards Latin America) admits that the major threat to USA interests is “nationalistic regimes [that implement] immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses”.
Alfredo Stroessner assumes dictatorial control over Paraguay. An admirer of Nazism, he offers refuge to many Nazi war criminals, such as Joseph Mengele.
Stroessner rules the country using murder and torture for 35 years. Genocide is committed against the indigenous population.
The Ache people occupy the country’s forests, mines, and grazing lands. These are coveted by European and USA companies. The Ache are hunted down, parents are killed; children are sold into slavery. Survivors are herded into reservations headed by American fundamentalist missionaries, some of whom had participated in the hunts.
USA and Pacific Ocean (Nuclear Tests)
The USA continues testing Hydrogen bombs on Pacific atolls. Again, there is no consultation with people living there.
In the USA racial segregation in schools is declared illegal by the Supreme Court. It will be many years before schools are de-segregated.
USA (Doolittle Report)
The Doolittle Report, a secret study produced by the government in the USA states that:
“[The USA] must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us.”
Elections in Iran
In regional elections in Iran, agents of the Shah (Reza Pahlavi) raid a religious school and hurl hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof. The regime receives 100% of the vote in an election which registers more votes than there are voters.
© 2014, KryssTal