The Guatemalan reforms of the 1950s and the Bolivian revolution of almost the same time are landmark paradigms in the history of Latin America (Arnade, 1970). Both of these movements revolutionized and metamorphosed the feelings and the rationale of millions.
The Guatemalan reform was basically the brainchild of the political leader Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. When he came to power in the 1950s, the country was basically living a paradoxical reality. It had one of the best GDPs (Gross Domestic Products) in the entire Latin American region and was relatively prosperous when compared to the other relatively impoverished counterparts but, the greatest travesty was the fact that the land was improperly distributed among the populace (Kolata and Tiwankau, 1993). Approximately, eighty-eight percent of the land was controlled by two percent of the population. Most of the cultivable land was not utilized properly. Therefore, under the reform, a lot of the land was equitably redistributed among the population.
On the other hand, if we draw comparisons to the Bolivian revolution, it could be observed that the realities were very different (Handy, 1984). While in Guatemala, the revolution was the offshoot of the popular thought, in Bolivia, it was the result of the impoverished conditions that led to the revolution. The principal incendiaries of the revolution here were denied power a number of times (Thomas, 1987). It was inoperative that they would resort to the use of power. Secondly, the economic situations prevailing in the country were extremely poor with the farm prices falling, reduced growth rates and high amount of poverty. The equitable distribution of wealth was the last reason. Therefore, the fundamental premise at which these two movements were formulated is fundamentally different.
Arnade, C. W. (1970). The Emergence of the Republic of Bolivia. Gainsville: University of Florida Press.
Handy, J. (1984). Gift of the Devil: A History of Guatemala. Boston: South End Press.
Kolata, A. L. (1993). The Tiwankau: Portrait of an Andean Civilization. NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Thomas, V.B. (1987). The Political Economy of Central America since 1920. NY: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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