«The Puzzle of Central America Politics»: The Guatemalan Involvement in the Costa Rican Civil War (1948)

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15359/rh.87.2

Keywords:

Cold War, Central America, Caribbean Legion, Guatemala, civil war, Costa Rica, history

Abstract

This article examines the role of Guatemalan president Juan José Arévalo (1945-1951) in the Costa Rican civil war in 1948. It does so by delving into his geopolitical interests and conceptions, his multinational associates, the military support to the rebels, and the regional origins and repercussions of the victory of Costa Rican rebel José Figueres. A focus on Arevalo’s actions helps understand the complex regional and global implications of the conflict, intertwining them with the long-term roots of what has been called the Central American Cold War. The article proposes that the war was a combination of the documented presence of fragments of the U.S. global Cold War agenda and the culmination of a series of regional tensions characteristic of the Central American Cold War. Using mainly new personal letters from Arévalo, complemented by Mexican and British diplomatic documents, along with other minor archives, this article is framed within a historiographical methodology that favors the interactions between Latin American countries and the long-term regional trajectories to understand the Latin American Cold War.

Author Biography

Rodrigo Véliz Estrada, Universidad de Leeds, West Yorkshire, Inglaterra

Doctor en Historia por el Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), Ciudad de México, México. Teaching Fellow en Historia de América Latina en la Universidad de Leeds, West Yorkshire, Inglaterra. Titular de la Cátedra J. Joaquín Pardo en investigación histórica del Centro de Investigaciones Antropológicas y Arqueológicas, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala. Correo electrónico: rjveliz@uvg.edu.gt ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6140-1436

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Published

2023-01-01

How to Cite

Véliz Estrada, Rodrigo. 2023. “«The Puzzle of Central America Politics»: The Guatemalan Involvement in the Costa Rican Civil War (1948)”. Revista De Historia, no. 87 (January): 1-25. https://doi.org/10.15359/rh.87.2.

Issue

Section

Latin America (peer reviewed section)

How to Cite

Véliz Estrada, Rodrigo. 2023. “«The Puzzle of Central America Politics»: The Guatemalan Involvement in the Costa Rican Civil War (1948)”. Revista De Historia, no. 87 (January): 1-25. https://doi.org/10.15359/rh.87.2.

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