Neato Burrito: The US overthrew a government because bananas!

There is a dark, secret organization at the uppermost echelons of American government that is tasked with the job of protecting America’s most important values while the rest of us live our lives in blissful ignorance. They are the CIA. The CIA’s deepest, darkest secret is not the Bay of Pigs or the identities of countless agents in the field, but what, in fact, America’s most important values actually are. Sure, you’re familiar with the standard ones: Freedom, equality, justice for all. What you are not familiar with is the most important American value. The one that takes precedence over all others. The one that we will do literally anything for:

Poop regularity.

You may laugh, but a simple examination of American language shows that it has seeped into our everyday speech.

Bumper stickers shout, “These colors don’t run.

One who is considered to be upstanding has “moral fiber.”

During the Cold War, Soviet citizens who escaped to the United States were casually referred to as “defectors,” which was a shortening of the word “defecator,” which had been a secret title used for identifying other Revolutionaries in 18th Century America. “United States of America,” of course, is an anagram of “It defecates to a anus rim.”1

All of this is important context for understanding what would otherwise be one of the United States’ most absurd, morally bankrupt interventions in history: the 1954 overthrow of the Democratically elected Guatemalan government by the CIA and the United Fruit Company, now known as Chiquita.


You know, mostly guilt-free. Photo: Dawn Huczek

In the 1930’s, the United States let it’s second most important value (“freedom”) take a back seat when it supported the installation of brutal Guatemalan dictator, General Jorge Ubico. In return, Ubico gave significant tracts of land to the United Fruit Company, and allowed abusive labor practices that gave UFC significant profit margins. But the Guatemalan people — who presumably also value poop regularity — overthrew Ubico in 1944 to prevent the mass export of all of their high-in-fiber bananas to the United States, and less importantly, to end his fascist and kleptocratic policies of forced labor, police state violence against dissidents, and institutionalized racism against the indigenous peoples.

For the next ten years, Guatemala was run by democratically elected leftists, who instituted labor laws, land reforms, literacy programs, and granted voting rights to nearly everyone. But the land reforms involved the seizure of land that hadn’t been cultivated by the UFC (by which I mean the United Fruit Company, not the Ultimate Fighting Champ, though that would also make an interesting story), so the UFC asked the United State government to orchestrate a coup against the second elected leader, Jacobo Arbenz.

Normally the United States would say, “No, that’s ridiculous. Countries can do what they like with their land and grow the fuck up,” but United Fruit had two advantages: the first was that Americans would stop pooping properly if deprived of cheap, moral-fiber-rich bananas, which the US government could not allow, and the second, much less important point was that John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State, and his brother Allen Dulles, the head of the CIA, had been receiving money from the United Fruit Company for decades after doing legal work for them prior to their government positions. Normally, this would have been a horrifying conflict of interest, but a country that poops together stays together, so any moral dilemmas were superseded in the interest of America’s bowel well-being.

The overthrow of Arbenz was followed by 42 years of brutal right-wing dictatorships and civil war, including a massive genocide of indigenous peoples by the military and a total of nearly 200,000 dead. The overthrow of Arbenz was also what radicalized Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, who is credited with pushing Fidel Castro from being a simple Cuban nationalist to being a full-blown Marxist.

All of this would have been a stain on the history and integrity of the United States if the prevention of a nationwide constipatory crisis wasn’t of the utmost importance. I mean, without poop, this entirely story would be absurd.

1. I swear to god, everything after “it defecates a anus rim” in this article is true. I mean, “it defecates a anus rim,” is actually an anagram of “United States of America,” but I don’t have any conclusive proof which one followed the other.