The Instigator
dollydo
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points

The Truth about Chiquita Banana!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,573 times Debate No: 10994
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (7)

 

dollydo

Con

I was on my lunch break the other day, enjoying a sandwich and slightly entertained with some small talk with one of the Mexican cooks. When the conversation became slightly intriguing. He was flipping through one of the work manuals and trying to make sense of the English language. I could hear him mumbling to himself and occasionally he would stumble across a word he either didn't understand or couldn't pronounce and ask for my assistance. Through my mouthfuls of half eaten sandwich, I was able to help him with the right pronunciation. He mentioned to me that although he was taught the Spanish language in school, he was never really any good at reading, writing, or correct grammar. This was kind of a shock to me considering that his English wasn't too bad and that he could read the work manual fairly well. Another co-worker popped into the conversation and we began talking about illegal immigrants and the problems facing Mexicans at the moment.

To be honest I am not very knowledgeable about Central or South American history. My assumptions are that the people are dissatisfied with their situation, and think that the U.S. will be able provide them with the means that they need in order to sustain themselves and their families. I have no idea what is going on in their country though, let alone the rest of Central or South America. And when I began to think about it they didn't really teach you much about the rest of the Americas in school...and you rarely hear about these countries on the news.

The other co-worker who had become part of the conversation began talking about Chiquita Banana and the railway, and how the U.S ripped the land from the people in order to grow bananas so that they could be exported back to the U.S and throughout other parts of the world. She told me stories of how U.S trained, Guatemalan soldiers, were ordered to kill any civilians that posed a threat to U.S assets in Guatemala. Bullets were to be saved for the men and women, children an babies were to thrown against rocks...to save bullets of course. She spoke with passion and rage, and I listened to every bit of it, trying to absorb it all. Her last words were, "They raped the earth! Would you like it if your mother was raped?" Her last words stuck in my mind, and I have made it a point to become familiar with these forgotten lands.

Through some of my studies this is what I have learned about Guatemala and our favourite banana brand.

Guatemala consists of mostly indigenous Mayan people, with about 70% of the population living in poverty. This statistic has a lot to do with its early history of governing, mainly by Spanish conquistadors who dictated over the land. Placing wealth amongst the elite groups and leaving the natives with nothing. This is still happening today, but now U.S corporations are taking from these indigenous people, and wealthy men are profiting.

The Boston Fruit Company teamed with (U.S based) Guatemalan railways in order to purchase a majority of Guatemalan land. After purchasing the land, the newly titled United Fruits Company began growing bananas to export to the U.S and other parts of the world. The banana business became a highly lucrative business in just a short amount of time and the demand for bananas skyrocketed. This started the beginning of the monopoly over Guatemalan land and its people.

Many of the farmers who made a living by tilling the earth couldn't compete with this ever growing banana business and soon found themselves in poverty. Families were forced to leave their homes so that their land could be run by the banana company.

A sadness swept over the country, one of hopelessness and despair. Until the government was overthrown and a new leader emerged, one who was encouraging reform and hope for the indigenous people. This new leader brought about several reforms, one which included giving some of the unused land owned by the United Fruits Company back to the natives. This period of reform is known to Guatemalans as the "10 Years of Springtime". A period of 10 years where the people lived in somewhat peace and happiness.

This reform didn't sit very well with some of the U.S shareholders who had financial interests in Guatemala at the time. These shareholders went to the U.S government and convinced President Reagan that Guatemala was becoming communist. President Reagan set up death squads which were aided by the CIA to eradicate any person or groups of people that were supporters of the reform. Students, teachers, leaders, civilians, and even children were murdered, tortured, and made to disappear. Most of these atrocities were carried out by the Guatemalan Army, who were supported, aided, and even trained by the U.S government. A large majority of the Guatemalan men were killed, leaving many widows and orphans behind.

Till this day, Guatemala still is in some ways monopolized by this corporate giant now known as Chiquita Brands.

A feeling of sadness consumes me as I think of Guatemala and its people.
Guatemala is not so far away, how could I close my eyes off to the rest of the world. This is just one example of how the self-interest of the U.S. uses greed, corruption, war, power, and control, to dominate over other nations. How can we trust our own nation when it is capable of doing such horrific things just for $$$? I will make a stand against Corporate U.S, and think twice next time I eat a Chiquita banana, that's for sure! Who is with me?
brian_eggleston

Pro

I thank dollydo using this debate as vehicle to expose such an outrageous example of corporate greed.

Chiquita's exploitation of Guatemalan people and their natural resources is truly appalling and, in my opinion, the behaviour of these unscrupulous fruit merchants is nothing short of scandalous.

I, for one, will certainly be boycotting all Chiquita's products from now on and I would urge all the voters to do the same.

However, my opponent is wrong to blame the United States because this whole caboodle is ultimately the fault of the Germans.

That's right. You see, there would be no United States at all if it wasn't for colonists from England settling in North America and there would be no English people to settle there if it wasn't for the Anglo-Saxons who came to England from Germany. (1)

So lets not give the poor old Americans a hard time and instead direct our vitriol and bile towards the Lederhosen-loving Germans' Teutonic ancestors.

Thank You.

(1) http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov...
(2) http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
dollydo

Con

Nationality (definition):

1. The status of belonging to a particular nation by origin, birth, or naturalization.
2. A people having common origins or traditions and often constituting a nation.
3. Existence as a politically autonomous entity; national independence.
4. National character.
5. Nationalism.

The U.S. has been far removed from Europe for centuries now. Although the majority of U.S. citizens are of European origin, it is still only a small factor that makes up someone's nationality. Nationality relates also to birth place, common traditions, unity, borders, political independence. Therefore, the blame for the atrocities in Guatemala is directly related to the U.S. I do agree, that our ancestral drive for independence and power can be related to our earlier conquests in the Americas. I am not blaming the U.S. in it's entirety. I am blaming corporate U.S. for unethically behaving towards other nations. And also the U.S. government for not monitoring and controlling foreign policy when it comes to trade. If both government and cooperate America had been both ethical in their dealings with Guatemala, the situation could have turned out better for these indigenous peoples.

I believe it is unethical for the U.S. to acquire any land in any other country or nation without moral consideration given to the well being of the people that occupy the land. The U.S. is not all to blame either...there are always two sides to a story. In my opinion, the Guatemalan government is just as much to blame for it's part in this lucrative banana trade. Guatemala, a country that was already faced with hardships, saw an opportunity for wealth and prosperity, and through easy manipulation and influence by powerful people, cost them their whole nation.

It is good to have a debate when we can agree on something. I am glad I was able to share a bit of Guatemala with you, and let you in on the truth about Chiquita Banana Brands. I hope you will in the future choose not to support Chiquita Banana Brands, there are other brands of bananas out there...if you can't live without your potassium. :) I know that every time I walk past the Chiquita bananas at the grocery store, my stomach rolls over, and I think baby killers. I am somewhat trying to appeal to the audience here...I hope it works. I also hope that you share this information with others. Understanding the world is key to being able to fix it...if it isn't already to late. Small steps in the right direction is a good start though. If you have any other interesting information you would like to share, I am all ears! Thanks for the response.
brian_eggleston

Pro

I think dollydo and I agree on pretty much everything in this debate, but it is a debate so there has to be an argument.

However, on reflection I agree with my opponent that to blame the Germans is a little unfair so I have decided to let them off the hook (aber nicht selbstgef´┐Żllig werden, meine Freunde, immer beobachte ich Sie!)

Instead, I will now argue that the Americans who vote for the Republican Party that are the ones that were ultimately responsible for the torture and deaths of the Guatemalan dissidents, intellectuals and their families.

You see, Republican governments support big businesses like Chiquita because big businesses support Republican politicians by funding their election campaigns.

Now most reasonable people would agree that Ronald Reagan introduced some morally suspect legislation but I don't believe that even he would have supported Chiquita's evil, viscous, inhuman and illegal operations in Guatemala unless he had to because Republican presidents cannot afford to bite the hands that feed them.

but the scandalous link between the Republican Party and Chiquita and their terrorist henchmen didn't end in the 1980's

Carl H. Lindner Jr., the billionaire Cincinnati businessman, was CEO of Chiquita Brands International from 1984 to 2001, and remained on the company's board of directors until May 2002. He was also the fundraiser for Republican Senator John McCain and oversaw the payment of $1.7m to South American terrorists groups.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Now, I'm British and even I know all about the stench of corruption that pervades the Republican Party so I must assume that Republican voters in America know about it also.

In view of this, the only conclusion I can reach is that because the Republican Party is traditionally known as the party that cuts wealthy people's tax bills, the rich and the financially aspirational have voted Republican in order to line their own pockets thus displaying a cynical disregard for the dire consequences that innocent men, women and children in countries like Guatemala face when Republican governments are elected.

Therefore, it is the people who vote for the Republican Party that have blood on their hands and that must accept the blame for the atrocities committed in Guatemala by Chiquita's henchmen and their Republican backers in the United States, because without their votes the Republicans would never have been elected in the first place.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
dollydo

Con

Debate (definition0:

9. to argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly: They debated the matter of free will.
10. to dispute or disagree about: The homeowners debated the value of a road on the island.
11. to engage in formal argumentation or disputation with (another person, group, etc.): Jones will debate Smith. Harvard will debate Princeton.
12. to deliberate upon; consider: He debated his decision in the matter.
13. Archaic. to contend for or over.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Debating doesn't necessarily have to be two individuals with opposing viewpoints. Debating can also be two individuals who can discuss an issue in depth and bring other angles of the issue to light. I am glad that we can agree on most of the issues in the debate. In my opinion, the main problem with this website is that too many members want to oppose each other all the time. There sometimes are good points made by the opposing side, but for some reason agreement can never be made on a topic. Why is it that two individuals want to fight each other with words, instead of trying to really solve the issue at hand? I believe that we can come to agree on some things, don't you? This debate was more or less to "deliberate" upon, not necessarily a debate to argue.

I would like to thank you for your response. And also, thank you for the information you supplied in regards to Carl H. Lindner Jr. and his support for John McCain and the Republican Party, also in his contribution in the aid of $1.7 million to South American terrorist groups, following 1984. This information brings to light the ways of politics, and also is a good example of how corporate America and the Republican Party work hand in hand towards their own self-interests, which is not in the interest of the American people, or any other groups of people around the world.

In my opinion, I believe that the media has a major hand in the control and manipulation of the American people. I agree with you that there are large groups of American people that have put their own self-interests above the interests of the world. If Americans had better understanding of world affairs, and progressed outside the setting of a U.S. classroom, the condition in Guatemala might have been different. I believe we as Americans need to be more open minded when dealing with the rest of the world, because there are always two sides to a story. I blame the American people for being so naive. I also blame the media for supporting President Ronald Reagan, and allowing him to convince the American people that Guatemala was turning Communist, and I also blame the media for allowing corporate America to deceive U.S. citizens.
brian_eggleston

Pro

I think dollydo has said it all, and very eloquently so. I will leave you to reflect on her wise and worthy contribution.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro sabotaged the debate topic. Bad conduct and irrelevant arguments.

The history of Guatemala as claimed is doubtful. It could have been a good debate.
Posted by dollydo 7 years ago
dollydo
Still happening today in Guatemala...
Posted by dollydo 7 years ago
dollydo
Everyone is entitled to their own choice. I will not support a brand that has been responsible for these atrocities. But, to each their own.
Posted by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
"I, for one, will certainly be boycotting all Chiquita's products from now on and I would urge all the voters to do the same."

He!! no, Chiquita's bananas are delicious!

@ 1 min!
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
'Saxsons from Germanic Celts,

Germanic Celts to Euro white people,

Euro Whites to Black homo sapiens

Homo sapiens to Primates

Primates, ect, ect,

GOD!'

I've always considered it fairly obvious that if God exists, we should blame everything on her. >.>
Posted by mattrodstrom 7 years ago
mattrodstrom
Dollydo, I must comment on the great sources you posted for that engaging history lesson on Guatemala you gave.

Without the sources it would have seemed like it could have been pulled straight off of a propaganda website, or just from someone with a biased opinion on the matter, but those sources really backed it all up pretty good.
Posted by Zetsubou 7 years ago
Zetsubou
Saxsons from Germanic Celts,

Germanic Celts to Euro white people,

Euro Whites to Black homo sapiens

Homo sapiens to Primates

Primates, ect, ect,

GOD!
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
'However, my opponent is wrong to blame the United States because this whole caboodle is ultimately the fault of the Germans.

That's right. You see, there would be no United States at all if it wasn't for colonists from England settling in North America and there would be no English people to settle there if it wasn't for the Anglo-Saxons who came to England from Germany'

So by this logic, we should blame the Germans for anything the US does wrong?
Posted by Zetsubou 7 years ago
Zetsubou
I swear it's about Mexican bananas or something.
Posted by dollydo 7 years ago
dollydo
My conclusion is that I am against the U.S using these types of tactics against other nations. It is unethical to go into another country and take the land away from the indigenous people, leaving them impoverished and destitute for the sake of acquiring wealth, which is then redirected back into the U.S.
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