United Fruit Company

  United Fruit Company (now known as Chiquita) has long exerted enormous influence throughout Central America and within the United States Government. It had grown to be the most important corporation in Guatemala. United Fruit controlled roughly 40% of the most fertile land, owned a railroad, held a monopoly on electricity production and ran the port facilities in Puerto Barrios, Atlantic Coast.

Though United Fruit owned huge tracts of land, it paid little in the way of property tax in Guatemala in part because they claimed their land was only worth a fraction of it's real value on tax receipts. When Arbenz expropriated 400,000 of their 500,000 acres, he offered them the $1.2 million they had claimed it was worth. United Fruit demanded $16 million.

When Arbenz refused, they turned to their friends in the United States Government to assist. Some, like Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs John Moors Cabot had family ties to the company. Others, such as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, were major stockholders. The Dulles Brothers had both worked as lawyers for United Fruit's legal firm. With connections such as these, it was not difficult for UFCo. to convince the U.S. Government of the need for action against Arbenz.