Talk:United Fruit Company

Active discussions

"According to some sources"Edit

According to some sources, the Guatemalan government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was toppled by covert action by the United States government in 1954 at the behest of United Fruit. What's with the "According to some sources"? I have never read any recount of the overthrow of Guzman that does not mention United Fruit's involvement. Is there any source that actually claims they were not involved? Mprudhom 20:16, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

"Some" sources - some historians, especially Guatemalan radical historians and conservative American historians believe that the overthrow of the Arbenz government would have happened anyways because of growing discontent with his economic policies, the divisions that agrarian reform created amongst his base, and the large economic downturn (because of the U.S. embargo, which was a non-covert action). Remember, the coup was nearly bloodless. User: 03:52, 8 November 2005
Well their saying "[it] would have happened anyways..." is not saying United Fruit "were not involved" - in fact it obliquely acknowledges their involvement and attempts to justify it, you can judge for yourself the morality of such a defence. And as for the coup being "nearly bloodless", well spare a thought for the subsequent civil-war. - LamontCranston 17:54, 07 Dec 2005 (UTC)
This is true, the CIA did cause the revolt in guatamala. I just learned it in my ENVS80A class See: Breaksfast of Biodiversity (The Political Ecology of Rain Forest Destruction) ISBN 0-935028-96-X Add it ;) Captain Barrett 07:03, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
True. It should be changed. Otherwise the article is biased in favor of the company. najonajo, 14:27, 9 March 2010 (GMT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Najonajo (talkcontribs)

Honduras in 1910Edit

The revolution in Honduras in 1910 wasn't United's doing, it was the handiwork of Sam Zemurray, who would not sell his company to United until 1927. See Thomas P. McCann's On the Inside (1990) p. 18. PedanticallySpeaking 17:14, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, was that Cuyamel Fruit Company at the time? The article is not as clear as it should be in differentiating various companies that would later become United Fruit from the entity actually known as that. Ideas on the best way to restructure this? I'm not sure that seperate articles would be better, as one article discussing the subject of the U.S. Fruit Companies in Central America can be discussed as a general topic, but calling everything United Fruit may not be the best way to organize it. Pondering, -- Infrogmation 17:24, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Right, Zemurray was Cuyamel. I think we ought to keep all the material together because United Fruit is where people are going to go first, just as I consolidated the material on various dictionaries at Webster's Dictionary because that's what people would probably look for despite the official title of the book. PedanticallySpeaking 17:29, Mar 17, 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup on Aisle 5Edit

Somehow, several sections of the article have been duplicated. Before making any further edits, the article should be cleaned up. Willmcw 00:02, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Arbenz governmentEdit

I would like to change the phrase "The Guatemalan government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was toppled..." to "The Guatemalan, democratically elected, goverment of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was toppled...". It reminds us that although the U.S. pays alot of lip-service to supporting democracy in practice it has not done so. Quite the contrary actually, a right-wing dictatorship seems to have been the most favoured type of government by the U.S. I understand that my motivation for wanting to include this change might be suspect according to Wiki-rules but that doesn't mean it's less true. I would also like to add something about the fact that Arbenz in his attempt at expropriation of United Fruits unused land offered the same amount of money that United Fuit itself valued the land at when paying it's taxes. Thus further showing United Fruit, CIA and Dulles for the scum they truly were. Finally some more information about United Fruits business practices, it's labour practices and the use of dangerous pesticides that left alot of their workers sterile should be included. Their corporate history should also include info about their chnge from United Fruit to United Brands and finally Chiquita Brands. Maybe tie in, at the end of the article, the dispute Chiquita Brands has with the Europan Union. I'm new to wikipedia so thats why I haven't changed anything, I thought I'd aske first to see what people think. If the respons is favourable I take it upon myself to right more on this article as outlined above. I will try to keep it balanced and not let too much of my emotions get in the way. / Guillermo 03:14, 26 October 2005 User:

"...dangerous pesticides that left alot of their workers sterile..." Would you be refering to Nemagon with that line, or was there more than one pesticide in use that had that 'side-effect'? - LamontCranston 17:57, 07 Dec 2005


This entire article seems rather heavy-handed, favoring a particular political point of view. As such, it's difficult to take any of it seriously. A more balanced presentation would help. User: 03:31, 19 November 2005

That would be a rather difficult task because United Fruit really did do all this - and more. But hey, feel free to look for and include in an "alternative viewpoint" section the fiction dreamed up by various people, groups & think-tanks that clears United Fruit of any and all wrong doing - LamontCranston 18:00, 07 Dec 2005
The Shadow knows and I agree. PedanticallySpeaking 17:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Uh...thanks, I guess. LamontCranston 19:04, 07 January 2005 (UTC)

I've done some editing on the article. For instance, I removed the following paragraph:

If a particular government or a particular leader disagreed with UFCO tactics and refused to give them what they wanted, UFCO usually took steps to have the government undermined, discredited, or removed altogether. As a result, the UFCO became a political force opposing democratic social and political reform whenever and wherever it developed in order to preserve its dominant place in the banana trade

This extremely broad statement used to be supported by the story of the coup that returned Manuel Bonilla to power in Honduras in 1910. The trouble was that, as discussed at the top of this talk page by others, that coup was sponsored by Sam Zemurray, who then owned Cuyamel, a rival of United Fruit. It was only 20 years later that United Fruit bought Zemurray's company, and 22 years later that Zemurray staged a hostile takeover of United Fruit.

The other example of UFCO's purported government-changing policy was Operation PBSUCCESS. I've also done a little editing on that part of the article. The CIA intervened in Guatemala because they feared Arbenz, an avowed leftist, was also secretly a Communist (one of his hangers-on, for example, was the then obscure young Argentinian doctor Ernesto Guevara). UFCO might have lobbied to convince the US government that Arbenz was a Communist because they feared land reform, but the classified documents recently released by the CIA suggest that UFCO's role was minor, and that the CIA needed little convincing the Arbenz was secretly pro-Soviet (in the same way that, shortly afterwards, Fidel Castro, unbeknowst to the US government, turned out to have been secretly pro-Soviet). -- Eb.hoop 19:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

True. The CIA's declassified Freedom of Information Act files on Guatemala, found at, indicate that UFC's role must have been quite small. The only documents which I could find of much substance upon searching for "United Fruit Company" indicate that the CIA believed that the Arbenz government was attempting to plant weapons on UFC grounds in order to justify expropriating UFC's property. Appropriate changes should be made in order to highlight the fact that this is not fact, and a more balanced profile of references should be provided. User:Jackson744 07:01, 6 February 2006
  • my 2 cents: Worth of note, re: the CIA and United Fruit. During the Guatamalia period the principle legal agent for the United fruit Company was John Foster Dulles of the Sullivan and Cromwell Law firm His brother was Allen Dulles the head of the CIA (ref Breaksfast of Biodiversity). So though I'm sure FOIA indicates minimal involvement of the UTF with CIA, this personal relationship is telling. Captain Barrett 07:09, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Concerning balance, the United Fruit Historical Society (external link), in their chronology, actually seems to tell both good things and bad things the UFC and other banana companies have done, although the impact of the misbehaviour would appear to be be greatest on life & politics in Central America - whereas the "good things" are of the kind that would inevitably have happened anyway and should not be attributed to the companies without context, as it appears to me. 05:52, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

No such thing as dominance or not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lyhendq (talkcontribs) 07:46, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

The bias could be turned down. A lot. For instance, in the "Reputation" section, this paragraph:

The integrity of John Foster Dulles' "anti-Communist" motives has been discredited, since Dulles and his law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell negotiated the land giveaways to the United Fruit Company in Guatemala and Honduras. John Foster Dulles' brother, Allen Dulles, also did legal work for United Fruit and sat on its board of directors. Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA under Eisenhower. In a flagrant conflict of interest, the Dulles brothers and Sullivan & Cromwell were on the United Fruit payroll for thirty-eight years.

Why the scare quotes around "anti-Communist." Saying someone's integrity has been discredited is not unbiased fact, so needs to be rephrased or sourced. "Since Dulles and his law firm" introduces a non-sequitur; develop your argument of how land giveaways show someone is not an anti-Communist (or, better yet, don't, because this is supposed to be objective truth, not persuasive argument). There is no pretense of objectivity in the phrase "flagrant conflict of interest"; make it clear that the characterization comes from the source or else remove the opinion. -- (talk) 19:51, 13 November 2019 (UTC)


Chomsky, Neruda, Schlesinger, Che... now all we need is Fidel Castro to make this article complete. User: 01:22, 23 February 2006

The right really doesn't like to talk about a murdurous company they supported. Blue Leopard 04:51, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
There is a problem, however, in that denunciation of UFCo. was at one point a central component of Communist propaganda in Latin America, and some of these references are therefore probably biased. I am sure someone can find a few mainstream academic studies to include here, by people who were not promoting a particular political cause. (BTW, the first unsigned comment is not by me). -- Eb.hoop 12:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Merge Keith article into this?Edit

Oppose. Keith was dealing with the Costa Rica government for almost thirty years before founding UFC.--Wehwalt 20:23, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Remarks by

According to some sources, Ask or read the history of Costa Rica! The United Fruit Company and the USA invaded Costa Rica and were turned back! Your artical makes it sound like a little walk in the park. The following, copied from - 21:25, 18 November 2006 (UTC)Erase it if you will, but it makes the point. . . .

Consider these examples. Guatemalans lived under the thumb of the American-owned United Fruit Company for decades. The company owned 40 percent of the fertile land, a portion of railroads and port facilities, maintained a monopoly on electricity production and had a powerful influence on political matters. The U.S. government instructed troops of several countries in counter-insurgency tactics, which included the use of napalm and death squads. The death toll in Guatemala alone reached nearly 30,000, mostly civilians. In Nicaragua, the United States prolonged the civil war by funding guerrilla rebel attacks against the communist government. This manipulative intervention did not only occur in Central American countries. The U.S. School of the Americas trained thousands of soldiers from 22 Latin American countries who were later found responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in the region. The controversial school allegedly advocated tactics such as torture, false imprisonment and execution. Consider one example which is reflective of many U.S. policies toward Latin America. In 1865, American William Walker and his filibusteros attempted to take over the region. Filibusteros are soldiers of fortune who attempt to enrich themselves by conducting unauthorized warfare against countries that are at peace with the United States. Convinced of his superiority by Anglo-Saxon ancestry, Walker felt justified in exterminating cultures and enslaving people for the economic gain of the United States. Walker was determined to annex the region to the United States. First, he and his filibusteros sailed to Nicaragua, and he later declared himself commander-in-chief and legalized slavery. Shortly after, Walker and his 250 men entered Costa Rica in an attempt to seize the land. Costa Rican President Juan Rafael Mora gathered nearly 9,000 men from around the country to come to Costa Rica's defense. During a battle at Santa Rosa Ranch, Walker was forced to retreat to Nicaragua and partake in another bloody battle in the town on Rivas, which resulted in the death of about 1,000 Costa Rican defenders. During the last battle, a peasant boy named Juan Santamaría courageously attempted to set fire to Walker's fortress. Immediately after torching the stronghold, Santamaría collapsed and died, being attacked by gunfire from Walker's men. Walker and his filibusteros took shelter and fled during the night. Faced with militant opposition in Central America, Walker returned to the United States in 1857. Shortly after, he returned to Nicaragua and was captured by the British, who also had interest in Central America. William Walker was turned in to Honduran authorities and quickly executed. 21:25, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Sure, this article needs to be greatly expanded in this regard, as the story of Chiquita/United Fruit Company is a story of colonial invasion and economic warfare, and the virtual enslavement of people in numerous countries in 'Bananaland' User:Pedant 17:16, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Neocolonialism on Wikipedia?Edit

Is there any particular reason why seven paragraphs of real estate on this page are taken up with a verbatim quote from a book written by a UFCO apologist? Diane K. Stanley was, in fact, born in a UFCO hospital, not as the child of an actual agricultural worker, but as the daughter of a Welsh UFCO employee and his American wife. So her personal perspective on UFCO is that of an Anglo child of a UFCO executive. She then went on to work for the US Department of State during at least part of the time that both UFCO and the CIA were monkeying around in the region. Is anyone surprised that she sees UFCO as the great white light in the native darkness? Does anyone believe that she's anywhere near objective on the subject? So why does she get the huge coverage, while the contributions of others (including well-respected writers Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez)get lumped together in a single paragraph? Is there an agenda here? Or is it just that Ms. Stanley's perspective is unique among the almost universal criticism of the company? OhSusanne 07:23, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

OhSusanne, I completely agree with your perspective. This is a flagrant violation of wikipedia ethics. Stanley's all-too-lengthy quotation should be severely, if not totally, stricken from the record.
Sstolper 20:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)Sam
I have gone ahead and pared down significantly the extent of the quotation from Stanley's book. -- Eb.hoop 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Bay of PigsEdit

what i seem to miss in this article is more information of their connection to the bay of pigs invasion becaus i don't see the fact that they borrowed their fleet to the cia for the invasion written here these are just not accusations this actually happened —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:46, 6 May 2007

Merge with Chiquita Brands InternationalEdit

No consensus to merge --ThaddeusB (talk) 14:35, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


  • discussion before the newest proposal
    • The article (Chiquita Brands International) lacks a clear history/time line of name changes from United Fruit to present. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:33, 19 January 2010 (UTC) (This comment was copied from Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2014#Merge.)
    • I support the merge proposal to Chiquita Brands International because Chiquita is the same company, with the same equipment and practices etc., it was merely renamed. User:Pedant 17:06, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Merge. It is Wikipedia's usual practice to follow a company through its name changes, rather than attempt to set up a separate entry for each name. See for example Altria Group. Bigturtle 00:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC) (This comment was copied from Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2014#Merge.)
    • Merge per Bigturtle. Tazmaniacs 21:26, 15 August 2007 (UTC) (This comment was copied from Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2014#Merge.)
    • I vote for a merge. When a user searches, or types the United Fruit Company they should redirected to Chiquita. The several names used by the company should be at the top of the article so that users aren't confused by the redirection. My reason to support it besides the Wikipedia practice, it is to give readers a full account of the story of the company. The company renamed in order to give a better image, but readers shouldn't be limited to know only that that the company wants to be known. /Lear 16 August 2007 (This comment was copied from Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2014#Merge.)
    • I totally support the merge. We can still have another independent article on the company's atrocities, but if it's the same company - anyone who searches information on Chiquita should find out that it was known as UFC before 1970.
It's like searching information on Thailand you would have its history as Siam, even though it was two different regimes and times.
najonajo, 14:32, 7 March 2010 (GMT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Najonajo (talkcontribs)
  • Merge. The key issue here is: are UFC and Chiquita substantially the same company, or two separate entities? The only case for arguing that they are separate is that "Chiquita is the result of a merge of UFC and AMK". However, the question is whether AMK is significant. As the sole information on AMK on Wikipedia is a single short paragraph on another page, I do not believe it significant. It's obvious to anyone reading the two articles that they are the same. It's even explicitly said several times, e.g.:
  • "Chiquita is the successor to the United Fruit Company and is the leading distributor of bananas in the United States." (Chiquita Brands International)
  • "Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is the final name in a long list of companies whose ultimate origin was the United Fruit Company" (Chiquita Brands International)
  • "Several authors have denounced human rights violations committed by the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita)." (Chiquita Brands International)
Most convincingly, Chiquita itself considers UFC to be the same company! See its heavily edited history of itself. It repeatedly talks about UFC as the same thing as Chiquita, e.g. "1970: The Company merged with AMK Corporation, which operated the John Morrell meat business; name changed to United Brands Company." In this context "The Company" refers to UFC; in other contexts "The Company" refers to Chiquita (e.g. "The Company introduced the first refrigerated container ships").
The suggested reasons to not merge the articles, and why they're not valid:
  • "Too long". Nope. The UFC page is 38,769 bytes. The Chiquita page is 26,517 bytes. The merged page would then be < 65286 bytes. It's trivial to find articles longer than this; e.g., the USA page is 280,068 bytes.
  • "the UFCo. historically played a role in Central America and Colombia which Chiquita no longer plays". This is false: just see e.g. Payments to paramilitary groups. But more importantly, this is irrelevant. If an entity declines in influence, we do not start a new article about its period of lesser significance. Historical centrality is a changing property of a single entity.
As it stands, the separation of these pages serves some undesirable purposes:
  • Duplication. For one example, Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2013#Deleting information documents people's efforts to make sense of Chiquita by putting the history of UFC on that page. Much more sensible would be to have a contiguous history on one page.
  • Sweeping crimes under the rug. The UFC period is associated with more famous abuse than the later Chiquita period. People should be aware that the same company still operates today.
  • Confusion. IMO, the Chiquita article just doesn't make much sense out of context. I'd be thinking, "WTF? Did this company, deeply tied to Latin American paramilitaries, just pop into existence?" It's just *wrong* that a company with such a long, important and shady history should have a crappy two paragraphs in its "history" section.
Jameshfisher (talk) 12:25, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support:We can clarify that this company has been doing similar action on politics and workers before and after renaming.デイナイスホテル東京 (talk) 07:13, 7 December 2013 (UTC)


  • discussion before the newest proposal
    • I don't support the merger. The UFC was an important actor in the history of Central America. Most readers searching for information regarding this history would expect to see a unique page. Many differences in how the two companies operate. Notmyrealname 17:42, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
    • A joint article would be too long. Also, the UFCo. historically played a role in Central America and Colombia which Chiquita no longer plays. -- Eb.hoop 22:59, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't support the idea either, and I'm going to remove the tag. Postlebury 13:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
    • Oppose per above, and per unanimous opposition on the UFC page. Postlebury 13:09, 26 September 2007 (UTC) (This comment was copied from Talk:Chiquita Brands International/Archives/2014#Merge.)
    • Don't merge them. Many people know United Fruit as such and the bibliography on the company doesn't necessarilly mention Chiquita. Users can be re-directed to this page from the United Fruit page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by [[[User:|]] 03:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[User:|]] (talkcontribs) 14 August 2007.
    • OPPOSE -- The United Fruit company played an extremely significant role in politics, diplomacy, and war up through the 1950's, and the importance of this would probably not be as clear if it were reduced to a capsulized subsection of the article "Chiquita Brands International" (which is not what the company was known as when it had near-monopoly economic power over the export earnings of several countries). AnonMoos 16:56, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Don't merge, When people search for United Fruit compagnie it give them the period when the company was playing it's wery important role in the country they were in. That make it a lot more clear. Also most book use United fruit company and almost never talk about the new Chaquita. The two name of the company represent two distinc period so they should not be together.
    • Strong oppose merge - The extremely notable and historic United Fruit Company has a long and varied, often controversial, history dating back to the 1870s that is unique and independent from Chiquita Brands which is an evolved entity that didn't come into being until at least 1970. It's not a "name change" situation as Chequita Brands is the result of a merger between United Fruit and AMK to form United Brands Company and it was only later that Chiquita evolved from that. Almost everything in the United Fruit article would be off topic in the Chiquita one. For example, the "Banana massacre" of 1928 was United Fruit related, not Chiquita. Readers come to Wikipedia to learn about historic companies as well as current ones. The removal of the United Fruit article would make this encyclopedia a notch weaker. --Oakshade 03:56, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per Notmyrealname. There are other stand alone articles on companies that had notable history under one name before being renamed, for example Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (which was responsible for convincing the British and later the Americans to overthrow the leader of Iran) is a stand alone article rather than a subsection of the article on BP. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:27, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - The UFC was a very distinct entity in Cold War history quite apart from its normal commercial conventions. Ithinkicahn (talk) 08:07, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - The United Fruit Company name is of great historical significance. Merging the companiess would obfuscate the significance of UFC in US History. -jackdmenendez 10:14 PM PST 11/20/2013 —Preceding undated comment added 06:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Communist affiliation of criticsEdit

Notmyrealname has removed my statement that the Latin American authors cited as critics of UFCo., Fallas, Amaya Amador, Asturias, García Márquez, and Neruda, were communists. Fallas was a prominent activist in Vanguardia Popular, the Costa Rican communist party. Neruda served as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. Amaya Amador emigrated to Czechoslovakia. Asturias was a member of the communist Partido Guatemalteco del Trabajo [1], accepted the Lenin Peace Prize in 1966, and his son became the head of the Guatemalan Marxist insurgency. García Márquez joined the Colombian Communist Party in 1954 [2] and has long been a prominent supporter and close friend of Fidel Castro. Their work reflects a Leninist understanding of imperialism. I think that their identification as communist is relevant and objective.

It's true, of course, that communists were not the only critics of UFCo., and the article cites several of them elsewhere. But I think it should be made clear that part of the reason why UFCo. is so much more notorious than other powerful transnational companies is that it was a leitmotif of Latin American communist discourse for many years. -- Eb.hoop 19:06, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I have issues with some of the individuals affiliations (is Marquez still a member of the Colombian Communist Party?), but a larger concern I have is that the whole leitmotif assertion (and the general act of singling them out from other critics) is original research. Schlesinger and Kinzer's book Bitter Fruit probably brought the issue to more English-speaking-readers' attention than the others you mention put together. Piero Gleijeses does an even better job in "Shattered Hope." In fact, just about any solid historical book on Guatemala takes a pretty harsh view of the company. I'm sure many communists agreed, but the current (unsourced) argument gives the reader the false impression that the communists made the whole thing up. Notmyrealname 18:52, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, I as an uninitiated reader do recognise the communists without that being explicitly mentioned. More so, I even get the impression that if it weren't for the joint actions of banana companies and the U.S.A., some of them wouldn't even have become (that fierce) communists. So it could be a sort of "chicken and egg" question: which came first? If it is above any doubt they were pronounced communists from the beginning, it could therefore be worth mentioning IMHO, but I think this still would require strong arguments. /sv:Beryllium-9 05:43, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I must also add that there is assumption that critics of United Fruit have an agenda, while defenders such as Diane Stanley do not have their political agenda questioned. I think a more legitimate point is that the majority of defenders of the company are Americans, not Hispanics, and that is just as relevant if not more so than political orientation. The fact that this article gives so much room to United Fruit apologists, who are a minority among those who have written about the effects of United Fruit on the region, is unacceptable. ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
It gives undue weight (two whoppping big quotes) to UF/American apologism while mentioning the large hatred of UF and the U.S. in South America virtually in passing. Paul Melville Austin (talk) 16:17, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't this story be inserted, too #Overthrow of government of Guatemala?

Austerlitz -- (talk) 23:36, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Wholesale blankingEdit

A pretty big chunk of text has been deleted, and I can't find an explanation for it here or in the edit history. Here it is:


The United Fruit Company was frequently accused of bribing government officials in exchange for preferential treatment, exploiting its workers, contributing little by way of taxes to the countries in which it operated, and working ruthlessly to consolidate monopolies. Latin American journalists sometimes referred to the company as el pulpo ("the octopus"), and leftist parties in Central and South America encouraged the Company's workers to strike. Criticism of the United Fruit Company became a staple of the discourse of the communist parties in several Latin American countries, where its activities were often interpreted as illustrating Lenin's theory of capitalist imperialism. Major Latin American writers sympathetic to more independence from foreign governments and corporations, such as Carlos Luis Fallas of Costa Rica, Ramón Amaya Amador of Honduras, Miguel Ángel Asturias of Guatemala, Gabriel García Márquez of Colombia, and Pablo Neruda of Chile, denounced the Company in their literature.

The business practices of United Fruit were also frequently criticized by journalists, politicians, and artists in the United States. Little Steven released a song called "Bitter Fruit" about the company's misdeeds. In 1950, Gore Vidal published a novel (Dark Green, Bright Red), in which a thinly fictionalized version of United Fruit supports a military coup in a thinly fictionalized Guatemala. This reputation for malfeasance, however, was somewhat offset among those who worked for it or in the regions it controlled by the Company's later efforts to provide its employees with reasonable salaries, adequate medical care, and free private schooling. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Company and its successor, United Brands, created an Associated Producers Program that sought to transfer some of its land holdings to private growers whose produce it commercialized. As the Company gradually lost its land and transportation monopolies, its status as a capitalist bête noire declined.[citation needed]

Diane K. Stanley, a former U.S. diplomat and the daughter of a Welsh-born employee of the United Fruit Co. in Guatemala, argues in the book For the Record: The United Fruit Company's Sixty-six Years in Guatemala, published in 1994, that the negative perception of the company's influence in Guatemala is largely undeserved, and could be due in part to the unwillingness of left-wing journalists and writers to critically examine the legacy of the administrations of Presidents Arévalo and Arbenz. According to her:

Stanley also argues that while the company did orchestrate "an effective media campaign against the Arbenz government, it is clear that the Eisenhower administration was intent on ousting what it considered to be a Communist beachhead that threatened U.S. national security. Spurred on by John Foster Dulles, his vehemently anti-Communist secretary of state, President Eisenhower would have moved to depose Arbenz even if the United Fruit Company had never operated in Guatemala."[2]

  1. ^ See Preface to Stanley, Diane K., For the Record
  2. ^ See Preface to Stanley, Op. cit.

Is there a reason for this deletion?

Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 20:58, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

The above section has since been reinstated in the article. Jameshfisher (talk) 12:47, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

View Truck Systems —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:54, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


Shouldn't this article be added to the Totalarianism/Oligarchy project? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Agree. This should be added to the Totalarianism/Oligarchy project. najonajo, 14:36, 7 March 2010 GMT —Preceding unsigned comment added by Najonajo (talkcontribs)

History in Central AmericaEdit

The latter half of this section gives enormous weight to just one book, and provides no citations. Might it be removed or reduced in size? (talk) 18:54, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Diane K. Stanley's article too long?Edit

The quote on "Diane K. Stanley" is too long. It is an one person's view on the subject on United Fruit's reputation. It should be generalized in 2 to 3 sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Overly extensive (and uncritical) quotingEdit

The 7-paragraph quotation regarding the Stanley book is 1. too long for fair use, 2. uncited (is it from the book, or an abstract, or what? it is unclear), and 3. one-sided. Is the Stanley argument regarded as canonical? Surely if the book is important there will be scholarly reviews of it. Discussing reception of the Stanley book and its arguments through the use of a variety of scholarly and serious reviews would be a good way of applying better NPOV to this article as a whole. In any case though the status quo cannot stand, largely for the first two reasons. It is also unencyclopedic to have extensive quotations from a single book (with the exception of when the article is about said book), on top of everything else. --Mr.98 (talk) 17:57, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The problem was that, without a proper explanation, the full "Reputation" section, which included a briefer quote from Stanley's book, was deleted some time ago. Then someone added the very long quote again, in a different place in the article. I've tried to fix this. - Eb.hoop (talk) 15:14, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

External linksEdit

Several of the external links seem to be shut down or broken - I'm sure others have noticed, but should something be done about this? Dgainty (talk) 21:40, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Great White FleetEdit

I just did some research regarding delivery of bananas to Seattle's "Banana Terminal" during 1953-57. Specifically I was interested in dates immediately preceding the days where it's documented that the Northern Pacific Railway ran a "banana train" north to Sumas, Washington, and thence (via the British Columbia Electric Railway) to Vancouver, British Columbia. My source is archives of the Seattle Times newspaper for those days. The paper had a "Puget Sound Ship Movements" feature with this and other commercial ship information.

From my research, I found two ships named (multiple times) that are currently listed in this article as being sunk by Germany in WW II: Esparta and San Jose. I assume that the source for this information is in error? The only other explanation I can think of is that the names were recycled. Also, two ships are mentioned (multiple times) that do not appear in the article: Heredia and Parismina. All of the pertinent entries list the destination as "Banana Terminal" and the owner as "United Fruit" so I am pretty confident the info is correct.

I am not a historian for United Fruit so I do not plan to update the article. I thought someone else might wish to act on this information. -- Kent Sullivan (talk) 05:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Financial declineEdit

Regarding this:

"After a period of financial decline, United Fruit was merged with Eli M. Black's AMK in 1970..."

As far as I can tell, most of the financial decline happened after the merger/acquisition. McCann certainly thought so, although he's probably biased. Kendall-K1 (talk) 19:12, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Search issue with "Great White Fleet"Edit

The "Great White Fleet" of steamships actually seems to justify its own page. It's easily confused with the U.S. Navy's "Great White Fleet" which appears on the Wikipedia without any disambiguation page. UFC's "Great White Fleet" is quite historically important. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Leaders ousted by UFCEdit

Category:Latin American leaders ousted by the United Fruit Company was removed. It contained Jacobo Árbenz, Carlos Herrera. Might be worth adding info to this article if sourced in the bios. – Fayenatic London 17:56, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Diane StanleyEdit

Diane Stanley's book has no scholarly standing whatsoever; searches through academic databases show that it has only a tiny number of citations, the publisher is not an academic one, and she is barely a secondary source, being as she is both an employee of the US government and the daughter of an employee of the company. There are numerous academic sources covering the UFC's role in Guatemala; Greg Grandin, Cindy Forster, Piero Gleijeses, Richard Immerman, Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer, the list goes on. Using Stanley's book is unnecessary, and rather undue. Vanamonde93 (talk) 16:33, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

"I have the honor to report..."Edit

The cables from US Embassy in Bogota to the Secretary of State have broken links. It would be great if someone could find another website with the cited cables and add context to the cable. In its current state, the article suggests that the Embassy seems to have reveled in UFCO's report of protester deaths, which I doubt is the case. Was "I have the honor to report" simply their manner of politely addressing the Secretary of State? -- (talk) 12:49, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Added archived links. Turns out that the telegrams had been transcribed verbatim.--Nerdoguate (talk) 17:13, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for updating the links, but there's still a problem. In its current form, the article will cause Wikipedia readers to misunderstand what the Ambassador was saying. By saying "I have the honor to report," he was being respectful and formal when addressing the Secretary of State. Instead of reflecting that fact, the article seems to imply that Cafferey was supportive of the news that he was reporting. "I have the honor to report" must be read in context, or it will be misunderstood. If quoting the entire telegram isn't feasible, the "honor" part of the quote should be omitted. -- (talk) 12:11, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
If you read all of the telegrams, you'll see that Cafferey only used the phrase "I have the honor to report..." in the telegrams about hundreds of strikers being killed. There is no additional context to include. Readers are free to draw whatever conclusions they want from that. It isn't our job to whitewash Cafferey's telegrams. Kaldari (talk) 23:00, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

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