24 December 2007

Horrid Little Girl Who Kills For Bananas

For being so malignant, this Little Girl (Chiquita) despite completing 80 years has not grown either in dignity or in nobility. Infamy dwarfs her. This is her fate because of the suffering and misfortunes brought to the people like that of Guatemala, Cuba and Colombia. She and her sisters form a shadowy empire, that 80 years ago turned many towns into ‘banana republics’ and that today tries ot maintain Colombia as a ‘cocaine republic’.

Eighty years ago, the anxiety of the inhabitants of the empire was drowned with banana split ice creams and now she is calmed inhaling cocaine. On November 19, during the EMI awards in the United States, the presenter mocked Colombia for its production of cocaine… he should have weighed up which deserves more criticism, to be a country producing narcotics or an empire addicted to it.

Eighty years ago, the United Fruit Company arrived and now the name has been changed to that of Chiquita Brands, though its aggressive and plundering essence has not altered; on the contrary, it has worsened. On December 6, 1928, it massacred 3,000 striking workers in Ciénaga. Our national writer Gabriel Garcia Márquez has told us of this massacre in his works while another great Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, denounced this crime against humanity in his time and demanded justice for the assassins: the oligarchy and imperialism.

This same dwarf, through the CIA, defeated President Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954 as the law of democratic agrarian reform that he approved affected its large estates (latifundios) in that Central American country. In Cuba, after the triumph of the revolution in 1959, it was expelled at once and its sugarcane estates and factories were expropriated. That is how United Fruit paid for its alliance with the dictator Batista – expelled by the revolutionaries.

In Colombia, she expanded her possessions till the frontier with Panama and established herself as Chiquita Brands in the banana plantations of Urabá, where she spent decades enriching herself with Colombian resources and labour without much being known of her. The dwarf became a public issue when it was reported that when its containers, which arrived at the port of Turbo to load up bananas, did not come empty but with rifles and ammunition for the paramilitary mafias of the Castaño Gil clan. It was admitted that this way the not neglible quantity of 3,400 rifles and 4 million bullets entered the country.

The mafia bands also admitted that Chiquita and other land-owning banana companies paid them 3 cents in the dollar for each box they exported. Between 1997 and 2004, more than 472 million boxes of bananas were exported through the port of Turbo, of which 17% were the dwarf’s property.

Chiquita Brands admitted before tribunals in the United States that it had financed paramilitary brands but did not accept the charge of arms trafficking. For this it had to pay to the North American exchequer the measly sum of $25 million. The shadowy empire and its businesses do not stop fattening themselves while the people put up with deaths and riches like the fumes of its imperial machinery. This unjust order shall soon come to an end.

Published in Argenpress, Dec 10, 2007 Link: http://www.argenpress.info/nota.asp?num=050037&Parte=0

Related Article: Chiquita in the dock for murder
Related Book: Walter Lafeber (Author) Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America

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