KPFA has been offering new documentaries in its fund drives which (unfortunately, in my opinion) aren’t available from KPFK. Among them, When Bananas Ruled, which has been shown on French TV. Having read Eduardo Galeano’s book The Open Veins of Latin America, I nevertheless found a lot of the information here new.
In 1890 most Americans didn’t know what bananas were. By 1914 they were fairly common, and by about 100 years ago, many Americans couldn’t do without them. Immediately, indigenous Costa Ricans were forced off their lands so Americans could enjoy this great novelty. When United Fruit formed, labor experts from the South U.S. were sought because of their familiarity with slave culture. As the banana industry spread, initially in Costa Rica and then into other countries including Honduras and Guatemala (the latter two countries would, at different times, have their governments overthrown, either directly by or at the behest of United Fruit), jungles were cleared.
Edward Bernays, known for doing a lot of fucked up things like getting women to smoke via advertising, played a role in rekindling the “need” for bananas post WW2 and later found a way to get rid of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. Bernays, working with the Dulles brothers, depicted him as communist to generate sympathy in the U.S. Presumably, this documentary also encompasses United Fruit’s name change to Chiquita due to its very bad reputation.
Audio segments of the documentary can be heard here: https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20181004-Thu1200.mp3 It starts at about eight minutes into it, and there are a few pledge drive breaks, though they’re not long. The excerpts stop at the 42-minute point.
A trailer can be viewed at the official site: http://icarusfilms.com/if-banana.. The movie is also listed here among KPFA’s pledge gifts: https://secure.kpfa.org/support/.