Misunderstood Caudillo: Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes and the Failure of Democracy in Guatemala

Misunderstood Caudillo: Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes and the Failure of Democracy in Guatemala

This book deals with the period of Guatemalan history between the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Arbenz regime in 1954 and the establishment of the civil-military national-security state in 1970. Specifically, it treats the regime of General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, the one-time functionary of the dictator, Jorge Ubico (1931-1944), who sought to install a more open, democratic political system in Guatemala during the period from 1957 to 1963. His experiment in democratic pluralism, which came to an end when he was overthrown by the military in 1963, opened the door to the military-dominated regimes which followed. Misunderstood Caudillo outlines the variety of reasons why this flawed experiment in democracy ultimately failed. This is explained by the over-politicization of a wide spectrum of political power contenders which Ydigoras allowed to operate within the restricted, but highly charged environment of the Central American city-state.


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