How has the United Fruit Company played a role in the economy of developing countries ?
The United Fruit Company has kept the developing world poor and undermind the development of countries in Latin Amercia such as Colombia and Guatemala.
"Although bananas may only look like a fruit, they represent a wide variety of environmental, economic, social, and political problems. The banana trade symbolizes economic imperialism, injustices in the global trade market, and the globalization of the agricultural economy. Bananas are also number four on the list of staple crops in the world and one of the biggest profit makers in supermarkets, making them critical for economic and global food security. As one of the first tropical fruits to be exported, bananas were a cheap way to bring “the tropics” to North America and Europe. Bananas have become such a common, inexpensive grocery item that we often forget where they come from and how they got here."-Rebecca Cohen
Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
. . . I was elected by a majority of the people of Guatemala, but i have had to fight under difficult conditions. The truth is that the sovereignty of a people cannot be maintained without the material elements to defend it . . . I took over the presidency with great faith in the democratic system, in liberty and the possibility of achieving economic independence for Guatemala. I continue to believe that this program is just. I have not violated my faith in democratic liberties, in the independence of Guatemala and in all good which is the future of humanity - Jacobo Arbenz July 1954
The strike of 50,000 workers : Hondurans exploited for more than 50 years by the monopoly of the United Fruit Company. A cause for justice.
Chiquita, formerly known as the United Fruit Company, is the world s largest banana producer. Among the illegal Chiquita practices uncovered by the Enquirer s investigation:
- Chiquita secretly controls dozens of supposedly independent banana companies. It also suppresses union activity on the farms it controls.
- Despite its pact with environmental groups to abide by pesticide safety standards, Chiquita subsidiaries have used pesticides in Central America that are banned in the U.S., Canada, and the European Union. Chiquita also released harmful toxic chemicals into farms, killing at least one worker in Costa Rica according to a coroner’s report.
- Chiquita’s fruit transport ships have been used to smuggle cocaine into Europe. More than a ton of cocaine was seized from 7 Chiquita ships in 1997. (The Enquirer story says the illegal shipment was traced to lax Colombian security rather than to Chiquita)
- Chiquita executives bribed Colombian officials
- Chiquita called in the Honduran military to evict residents of a farm village; the soldiers forced the farmers out at gunpoint, and the village was bulldozed.
- An employee of a competitor filed a federal lawsuit charging that armed men hired by Chiquita tried to kidnap him in Honduras.