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Ignoring imperial dictatorships

In a mall in London, Ontario, Canada




The phrase "Banana Republic" isn't just the name of a retail chain.


Johann Hari (in this article) -


"The term 'banana republic' was invented to describe the servile dictatorships that were created to please the banana companies. In the early 1950s, the Guatemalan people elected a science teacher named Jacobo Arbenz, because he promised to redistribute some of the banana companies' land among the millions of landless peasants.

President Eisenhower and the CIA (headed by a former United Fruit employee) issued instructions that these 'communists' should be killed, and noted that good methods were 'a hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker or kitchen knife'. The tyranny they replaced it with went on to kill more than 200,000 people. "


Here's a Wikipedia entry about the phrase "Banana Republic" -


The name of this clothing chain mocks victims of colonial dictatorships in Latin America.


Yet, I haven't ever heard anyone object to the name of the clothing chain -- which I consider to be an indication of ignorance, more so than other faults.

People around here rarely talk about present-day sweatshops either; I think that people are nearly as ignorant about those more contemporary international ties between consumers and oppressed workers.


Apparently the "Banana Republic" chain is owned by The Gap right now.




Here are some web links about Latin America -

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Taken on May 12, 2009