GETÚLIO NO DONT DO IT
Not gonna lie, part of the reason why I wasn't so sure about writing a TL with the POD I chose (I contemplated writing one starting in 1918 or 1944) was because the circumstances that led to Getúlio's suicide couldn't be plausibly butterflied away. At least he saw Eletrobras become a reality ITTL.
 
Not gonna lie, part of the reason why I wasn't so sure about writing a TL with the POD I chose (I contemplated writing one starting in 1918 or 1944) was because the circumstances that led to Getúlio's suicide couldn't be plausibly butterflied away. At least he saw Eletrobras become a reality ITTL.

Why? Assuming there is no life attempt against Lacerda there is no strong enought casus belli for a coup
 
Why? Assuming there is no life attempt against Lacerda there is no strong enought casus belli for a coup
The economic crisis, the strikes, Jango's way of dealing with the workers (probably the only one available), the opposition of the press, the break with Ademar de Barros and so on would all remain. Getúlio would either be overthrown (and commit suicide before that happens) following another scandal or finish his term as a very unpopular president, which would destroy PTB (at least in the short term) and completely derail my plans.
 
The economic crisis, the strikes, Jango's way of dealing with the workers (probably the only one available), the opposition of the press, the break with Ademar de Barros and so on would all remain. Getúlio would either be overthrown (and commit suicide before that happens) following another scandal or finish his term as a very unpopular president, which would destroy PTB (at least in the short term) and completely derail my plans.
This was not enought to cause the coup, by 1954 it seemed that he would finish his therm and a miracle was needed to remove him

The strikes had greatly decreased since him and Jango doubled the minimun wage, the crisis remained, but the situation was improving overral

Well, I agree that the end of his therm won't be legendary, and yes to keep the status he had OTL we need to have him to die to save democracy, you are right
 
Part 3: 1954 Elections
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Part 3: 1954 Elections


As the wealthiest state in Brazil, São Paulo was unsurprisingly an extremely juicy target in this year's gubernatorial elections, and the person who resided in the Palace of the Elysian Fields (the governor's residence) wielded enormous political power. Since the days of the Estado Novo, one man in particular was very, very powerful indeed: Ademar Pereira de Barros. Having already served as governor twice (1938-41 and 1947-51), he wanted a third term, not only to maintain his power, fame and prestige among the paulistas, but also to use the state as a launchpad from which he could run for the presidency. Having presided over the construction of many, many infrastructure works during both of his administrations (especially highways), Ademar was a fondly remembered man as well as the frontrunner of the race by a fair margin (1).

However, although powerful, he was not invincible, and he had made a formidable enemy: the incumbent governor, Lucas Nogueira Garcez, who had been elected in 1950 with his help but broke off with him soon after his inauguration, desiring to be more than just a pawn. Hoping to keep his former patron from returning, Garcez endorsed Francisco Prestes Maia, former mayor of São Paulo (having run the affairs of the city from 1938 to 1945, practically the entire length of the Estado Novo) and a member of UDN. Having already run for the gubernatorial seat in 1950 and won only 24,55% of the vote (the smallest percentage out of three candidates), Prestes Maia was now in a much stronger position than before since he could count on the state apparatus to support his campaign.


But that wasn't all, for a third candidate showed up: the bombastic mayor of the city of São Paulo, Jânio Quadros. Having been elected mayor of said city in an immense upset, Jânio now desired the governorship for himself. Adopting the broom as his personal symbol, and armed with an aggressive and demagogic rhetoric, he promised to sweep the state's problems and corrupt politicians away, and soon enough gathered a sizable following.

By election day he stood toe to toe with Ademar, and Prestes Maia was once again relegated to the third place.
Jânio Adhemar Nássara 1954.jpg

While Ademar had an enormous financial advantage, Jânio could count on a legion of supporters, portrayed here as flying brooms.

São Paulo 1954.PNG

Ademar prevailed - barely. The divided opposition (who, combined, had a whooping 60,52% of all ballots cast) allowed him to squeak past Jânio by less than twenty thousand votes. Nevertheless, the veteran politician could not afford to rest on his laurels, for the political machine he so carefully created and grew from 1938 onward was clearly in grave danger. His presidential ambitions would have to wait (2).

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Another state run by a long lasting political machine was Rio de Janeiro - which should not be confused with the city of Rio de Janeiro, which is the Federal District, a separate administrative unit - which was dominated by Ernâni do Amaral Peixoto, who governed the state directly from 1937 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. He was a member of PSD, Brazil's main centrist-to-conservative political party of the time, as well as Getúlio Vargas' son-in-law, having married his daughter Alzira in 1939.

But just like Ademar in São Paulo, Amaral was far from unbeatable, and unlike his grander counterpart to the west he wouldn't be able to maintain control by the skin of his teeth.

The opposition candidate was a radical udenista named Tenório Cavalcanti. Born in 1906 to an extremely poor family from the interior of Alagoas, Cavalcanti moved to Rio and from there to Duque de Caxias in 1926 and 1927, respectively, where he became a farm administrator and was involved in numerous shootouts and murders, becoming known as an expert gunslinger. He first got into politics by being elected to the local City Council in 1935, but lost his seat two years later when the Estado Novo abolished all legislatures throughout the country. He returned to elected office in 1947, becoming a member of the State Assembly, and three years later he won a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, quickly joining the ranks of UDN's Banda de Música.

By 1954 he was a living legend, directly involved in all sorts of spectacular incidents, the most famous of which was the assassination of Albino Imparato, a police chief and agent of the state government he so despised, in August 1953. Highly charismatic, wearing a long black cape that hid a submachine gun he named "Lurdinha", always surrounded by allies and goons, and living in a fortified house, Tenório was feared and admired by the people of the Baixada Fluminense, his political stronghold.

46b85d659c040fe68e905d83cef094e9.jpg

Tenório Cavalcanti at the height of his power.

His opponent, Miguel Couto Filho (PSD), was a nonentity compared to him, even though he too had a long political career, having been elected to the State Assembly in 1935 and then to the Chamber of Deputies in 1945, taking part in the many negotiations of the Constituent Assembly after the end of the Estado Novo.

He never stood a chance.
Rio de Janeiro 1954.PNG

But while UDN's victory was decisive, it was not a complete one, since Couto's running mate, Roberto Silveira (PTB) won his race by a very wide margin. The stage was set for four very tumultuous years right on the national capital's doorstep.

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As the birthplace of Getúlio Vargas and de fact nerve center of PTB, it would be easy to assume that the outcome of said state's gubernatorial race was certain. However, the petebistas were not going to repeat the same mistake of the 1947 state election, where their candidate, Alberto Pasqualini, was the frontrunner right until he was unexpectedly defeated by PSD's Walter Jobim by a margin of 20.000 votes. The result of their convention, however, was in fact set in stone the moment Leonel Brizola declared his candidacy, for he won said convention unanimously and was selected as PTB's gubernatorial candidate (3).

The conservatives, meanwhile, first approached Ildo Meneghetti, who was still a respected figure despite his narrow defeat three years before, but he declined to face Brizola a second time and retired from politics entirely (4). Thus, they rallied behind Euclides Triches, mayor of Caxias do Sul who, because of his position, would likely have very strong results in the rural parts of RS, which were quite conservative compared to the larger cities such as Canoas, Pelotas and, obviously, Porto Alegre.

Beacause of that, people expected a very close race (both Walter Jobim and Ernesto Dornelles were elected by margins that weren't exactly decisive), but then Brizola made a move that was and still is very controversial to this day.

He made a deal with the devil.
plinio salgado.png

Plínio Salgado.
Whenever Plínio Salgado, the infamous fascist leader, is talked about, most people assume that he disappeared from the political scene after the rise of the Estado Novo and its dismantling of the AIB (Brazilian Integralist Action), the first and most famous party to be led by him. That isn't well known is that, after the end of Getúlio's dictatorship, he returned from exile and founded a new party, the PRP (People's Representation Party), which, although small nationally speaking, had a disproportionally large number of supporters in the south, especially among people of German and Italian descent. Desiring to get the vote of these communities, Brizola approached Plínio and made an alliance with him, earning extremely harsh criticism from other members and sections of PTB in the process (5).

Nevertheless, the alliance served its purpose.

rio grande do sul 1954.PNG


PTB's victory was complete: not only did Brizola win his race by an overwhelming margin, but the party's candidates for the Senate, João Goulart and Rui Ramos, won their elections as well (6). They also secured an absolute majority of the seats in the RS State Assembly, giving the young new governor plenty of room to turn his multiple and very ambitious projects into reality.

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Overview


Before Getúlio Vargas' untimely death, UDN was preparing itself for a truly magnificent victory. With the economy in crisis and an extremely unpopular federal government, they seemed set to perhaps even win a plurality of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, displacing PSD from its position as Brazil's dominant party.

The president's suicide changed everything. He left a letter - which was read by a very emotional João Goulart in his burial - in which he basically said that the press' constant smear campaigns, the udenistas and the US government were the reason why he chose to sacrifice his own life. With one bullet, he turned himself from a hated man into a national hero, while simultaneously framing the opposition as his murderers.

Riots happened. A furious crowd attempted to attack the US embassy in Rio de Janeiro, only being prevented from doing so because of the army's presence there, while local UDN committees and opposition newspapers (only Última Hora, thanks to Samuel Wainer's staunch support of Getúlio, was spared) throughout the country were ransacked. Carlos Lacerda, whose attempt on his life sparked the crisis that led to the death of the Father of the Poor (while the dictator was forgotten), briefly went into exile in order to escape the people's warth.


o globo.jpg

Rioters destroying two vans belonging to O Globo, an important conservative newspaper.

In the end, while UDN did score some important gubernatorial victories (capturing places such as Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and Goiás (7)), the real victor of the 1954 elections, by far, was PTB. The number of seats they held in the Chamber of Deputies jumped from 51 to 63 deputies, while they also added and or reelected 9 senators to their ranks in the upper house. Regarding the governorships, they went from having just one governor (Ernesto Dornelles in Rio Grande do Sul) to four (8). While still remaining Brazil's third largest party, it was clearly growing rapidly.
Governorships:
1954.png


Chamber of Deputies:

PSD: 115 seats (+3)
UDN: 76 seats (-5)
PTB: 66 seats (+15)
PSP: 29 seats (+5)
Minor Parties (PSB, PR, PRP, PDC and so on): 40 seats (+4)

Senate (two thirds):

PSD: 21 seats
UDN: 10 seats
PTB: 9 seats
PSP: 2 seats
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Notes:

(1) Ademar was also quite corrupt, and his supporters, rather than claim he was innocent, instead defended him with the infamous slogan of "rouba, mas faz" ("he steals, but gets things done").

(2) IOTL, Ademar lost to Jânio and then ran for president in 1955. That won't happen here.

(3) IOTL PTB selected Alberto Pasqualini a second time (first being in 1947) while Brizola, still a much less prominent figure (since he was defeated in the 1951 mayoral race in Porto Alegre), ran for the Chamber of Deputies.

(4) As mayor of Porto Alegre, Meneghetti ran for governor and narrowly defeated Pasqualini by a margin of around 30.000 votes IOTL.

(5) When Brizola ran for governor in 1958 he made this exact same alliance IOTL.

(6) IOTL, PTB lost ALL statewide races: Pasqualini was defeated by Meneghetti, while Jango and Rui Ramos failed to win a seat in the Senate.

(7) Races that UDN lost to PSD IOTL.

(8) PTB elected three governors IOTL since they lost control of Rio Grande do Sul to PSD.
 
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Foreign Snapshot: An Island of Freedom
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Foreign Snapshot: An Island of Freedom


For decades, the history of Central America, one of the poorest and most unequal regions of the entire continent and the world, was linked in an inseparable manner to the needs and desires of the mighty United Fruit Company, an US corporation which controlled the lucrative banana exports of many countries, not only in Central America but also in Colombia and Ecuador. To ensure its dominance, United Fruit regularly sponsored coups and military dictatorships in the nations it had a strong position in - which were given the unflattering nickname of "banana republics" - and was, in a particularly extreme example, directly responsible for the massacre of perhaps as many as 2.000 striking workers in Colombia in 1928.

Guatemala was one such banana republic. From 1898 onward, all of its dictators - Manuel Estrada Cabrera, José María Orellana, Lázaro Chacón González and finally Jorge Ubico Castañeda - were closely linked to the UFC, and thus, turned a blind eye to their atrocious labour practices (such as paying starvation wages to their workers and displacing peasants from their lands) and brutally repressed any opposition. But everything changed in 1944, when Ubico was overthrown by a general strike sparked by the murder of María Chinchilla Recinos, a schoolteacher, by the police. The dictator's immediate successor, general Juan Federico Ponce Vaides, was overthrown as well after only a few months in power, being succeeded by a junta led by the army major Francisco Javier Arana, the civilian Jorge Toriello Garrido and the then captain Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán.​

800px-Juntagobierno1944.jpg

Árbenz, Toriello and Arana.
Rather than attempt to hold on to power in an authoritarian manner, as someone would understandably expect, this particular junta instead allowed free and honest elections to be held - the first time in Guatemalan history that such a thing occurred - which were won by Juan José Arévalo, who scored a whooping 86% of the vote. With an overwhelming popular mandate and a majority in Congress, Arévalo set upon a groundbreaking program of social reforms that greatly improved the lives of the urban poor and middle classes, such as a new minimum wage and allowing labour unions to operate.

However, the president's tenure was not a tranquil one, for he, in his six year term, suffered 25 coup attempts, the most dangerous of which happened in 1949 and was led by none other than Arana himself, who was killed in a shootout with government troops, with his supporters being driven into exile. He also failed to extend the country's new labour rights to the rural areas, where the majority of the population resided, a task that would fall to his successor, Árbenz, who was inaugurated in 1951 after winning the previous year's presidential election with 65% of the vote, beating his closest opponent, Miguel Ydígoras, a close associate of Ubico who was linked to many of the failed coups against Arévalo, by a margin of almost 50 percentage points.
Toma_de_posesi%C3%B3n_de_Jacobo_%C3%81rbenz_con_ministros.jpg

President Árbenz surrounded by ministers of state.
Árbenz tackled the agrarian issue almost immediately after taking power, and, in June 1952, passed through Congress the succintly named Decree 900, which allowed the Guatemalan government to confiscate unused land greater than 224 acres and redistribute it to local peasants. By 1954, only two years later, land from as many 1.700 estates had been redistributed to 500.000 families (one sixth of the Guatemalan population), the majority of them indigenous people who had been methodically driven off their lands since the Spanish invasion centuries ago. Naturally, this was an earthquake, one whose effects were felt not only in Guatemala itself but also throughout all of Latin America.

Unfortunately, while the effects of Decree 900 were overwhelmingly positive, the law also incurred the wrath of a very powerful enemy: the United Fruit Company, which was until then the largest landholder in Guatemala. Already angered by Arévalo's reforms, the UFC actively lobbied the Eisenhower administration to overthrow Árbenz under the justification that he was a communist, a call which was promptly heeded by the US secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, whose brother, Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, just so happened to belong to the company's board of directors.

President_Eisenhower_and_John_Foster_Dulles_in_1956.jpg

President Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles.


From 1951 (thus, before Decree 900) onward, the US government blocked all arms purchases by the Guatemalan government and took steps to defame and isolate it internationally, a task which was supported by nearby dictators such as Venezuela's Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Nicaragua's Anastasio Somoza García and the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo, who feared that the continued survival of Guatemala's vibrant, reformist democracy would threaten their own power in their respective countries. At the same time, the CIA selected the exiled colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, a protégé of Arana who had a cartoonishly evil mustache, as the leader of a force of 480 men which, by collaborating with US planes flown by mercenaries sowing terror in the countryside, would demoralize the Guatemalan army and turn it against Árbenz.
Carlos_Castillo_Armas.jpg

A mustache worth a thousand words (1).

By 1954, the situation had become critical, and Guatemala at this point was, according to the words of the world famous Argentine physician, intellectual and traveler Ernesto Guevara, "a lonely island of freedom surrounded by a sea of blood" (2). Desperate to acquire new weapons for his army, Árbenz authorized the secret purchase of 2.000 tons of arms and munitions from Czechoslovakia, the first time an East Bloc country did such a transaction with a Latin American one, and despite the presence of American naval and air patrols, the trading vessel MS Alfhem arrived in Puerto Barrios unmolested and delivered its cargo. Despite this setback, however, the putschists finally gained the excuse they needed to start their operation, codenamed PBSUCCESS.

On June 18, 1954, the putschist forces, which had been split into four teams based in neighboring Honduras and El Salvador, crossed the border and invaded Guatemala, their targets being the important port of Puerto Barrios, which would be taken by the largest team, led by Castillo Armas himself, and the cities of Zacapa, Esquipulas and Jutiapa. Unfortunately for them, they immediately came upon many difficulties, with a team being intercepted and detained by Salvadoran policemen before they could invade, while the others didn't have enough adequate transportation and therefore took much longer to reach their targets than planned. Their troubles didn't end even after they did reach said targets, with many of the troops attacking Puerto Barrios fleeing back to Honduras while the 122 men tasked with taking Zacapa were crushingly defeated by a garrison of just 30 Guatemalan soldiers, with all of the attackers being either killed or captured (3).
qFw9qqEnc2LxiYr9BNPOFzmjPBgB6vL5cvePh9erlqYK3qa9Sqob49z5hQ

A Time magazine cover depicting president Árbenz. Soviet leader Georgy Malenkov is shown in the background as a Mayan god, an obvious attempt
to link him to the events in Guatemala.

However, while the land invasion was a huge fiasco, Castillo Armas still had a huge advantage in the air and, most importantly, in propaganda. Planes piloted by mercenaries flew from Managua and bombed several areas, and even if their payload, composed mostly of surplus WW2 bombs and dynamite (and sometimes leaflets attacking the government), didn't to much real damage, they still terrorized a considerable number of citizens into supporting the putschists, while saboteurs blew up bridges, telegraph and railway lines. The invaders' most powerful weapon was a radio station named Radio Liberación, which broadcast anti-government propaganda and greatly inflated the number of troops under Castillo Armas' leadership, which were supposedly made out of thousands of volunteers, rather than the mere hundreds of paid mercenaries and CIA trained operatives he actually had. Said radio station stated that it was broadcasting its information out of somewhere deep in the Guatemalan jungle, when it was actually operated by exiles in Miami.

Because of this, the Guatemalan army was demoralized and unwilling to fight despite outnumbering and outgunning the putschists massively, especially after the successful weapons purchase from Czechoslovakia. Many generals feared that, in the case Castillo Armas was defeated, the US military would intervene directly with its Marines (as they regularly did in the so called Banana Wars), a war they could never win. However, the Zacapa garrison's crushing victory over an enemy force that outnumbered it by four to one did wonders to raise their spirits, proving that the putschists' bite didn't match up to their bark, as did a similar triumph in Chiquimula, which was successfully defended on June 25 despite mercenary air attacks (4). These repeated setbacks eventually crippled the invaders' morale, for they were prepared for a quick and successful coup, not a prolonged civil war.

Finally, on July 2, three weeks after operation PBSUCCESS was launched, Carlos Castillo Armas was captured by Guatemalan soldiers outside Los Amates, a city located close to the border with Honduras. With their leader out of action, the last remaining putschists either fled or laid down their arms, and the air raids were finally called off. Árbenz had, at last, prevailed, and in the following days he received calls from multiple foreign governments, including that of Great Britain and France, two members of NATO, congratulating him for his victory (5).

With his position stronger than ever, president Jacobo Árbenz quickly became a legendary figure throughout all of Latin America, being one of the few leaders who successfully defied the will of the "Colossus of the North". In 1957, after the expiration of his six year term, he peacefully handed power to former president Juan José Arévalo, who easily won the previous year's presidential election. The Revolutionary Action Party, to which both Árbenz and Arévalo belonged, would continue to rule Guatemala for many years to come, protagonizing one of Latin America's most celebrated success stories (6).
Árbenz guatemala.jpg

President Árbenz (center, holding a hat) taking part in a state ceremony.
Back in Washington, the Eisenhower administration was so thoroughly embarrassed by the failure of its blatant attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government that John Foster Dulles resigned his position as Secretary of State on July 15, 1954, publicly for health reasons (he was close to age 70 and would suffer from colon cancer in the coming years) but really to leave the president's image largely intact from the whole fiasco, even though he was the one who greenlit PBSUCCESS in the first place. He was replaced by the incumbent Under Secretary of State, Herbert Hoover Jr. (7). Rather than install a government subservient to its interests in Guatemala, all Washington got was an explosion of anti-American sentiment all over Latin America, and one of the top priorities of Eisenhower's successor during his eight years in power would be to restore some kind of goodwill between his country and the dozens of nations south of it, which would be done by gradually cutting funds and arms sales to the military dictatorships of the region and steadily reigning in the CIA (8).

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Notes:

(1) I know Castillo Armas is wearing the presidential sash here, but this is one of the best photos of him available.

(2) As you can see, Guevara's life and career will be drastically different. IOTL, the success of the coup made him flee to Mexico, where he met the Castro brothers and then went to Cuba. Because of this and other butterflies, the Cuban Revolution will be unrecognizable.

(3) IOTL, 30 attackers made it out of Zacapa. Here, the government's victory is even bigger, strengthening their morale.

(4) IOTL, Castillo Armas captured Chiquimula, scoring his only military victory, and Árbenz resigned two days later.

(5) If the Wikipedia page for the 1954 coup d'état can be trusted, France and Britain supported a proposal to have the UN investigate the coup, which was vetoed by the US for obvious reasons. The CIA also bombed a British freighter carrying Guatemalan cotton and coffee. But don't forget, they were involved in some pretty shady stuff themselves in their remaining colonies and spheres of influence. The Suez Crisis is right around the corner.

(6) As opposed to OTL, where Castillo Armas took power, reversed Decree 900, ran Guatemala into the ground and caused a 36 year civil war that led to the death of 200.000 people, most of them Mayan civilians. The man himself was assassinated by one of his bodyguards in 1957.

(7) IOTL, Dulles, suffering from cancer, resigned in 1959 and was replaced by Christian Herter as Secretary of State.

(8) Butterflies, butterflies. IIRC this was the CIA's second successful coup overall, and the first in Latin America, so a failure here can bring about significant, if gradual, changes.
 
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How is Perón doing?
Argentina (and, inevitably, Perón) will get its own update later.

Arbenz, Brizola, Bargas and Guevara
All great men fighting the good fight. Keep it up!
I still get pissed whenever I read about the coup in Guatemala. Things were going so well there, I think it could've become a Central American Uruguay in the following decades had the Ten Years of Spring been twenty or thirty years.
 
Now this was cathartic. The effect of this Washingtonian failure will be huge on the Developing World, esp. Africa.
 
Back in Washington, the Eisenhower administration was so thoroughly embarrassed by the failure of its blatant attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government that John Foster Dulles resigned his position as Secretary of State on July 15, 1954, claiming responsibility for the whole fiasco and leaving the president's image largely intact, even though he was the one who greenlit PBSUCCESS in the first place. He was replaced by the incumbent Under Secretary of State, Herbert Hoover Jr. (7). Rather than install a government subservient to its interests in Guatemala, all Washington got was an explosion of anti-American sentiment all over Latin America, and one of Richard Nixon's top priorities during his eight years in power would be restoring some kind of goodwill between his country and the dozens of nations south of it, which would be done by cutting funds and arms sales to the military dictatorships of the region and generally reigning in the CIA (8)
Interesting scenario but I'm sceptic about it... First, cause this were the early '50 US and that the Cold War logic and political rhetoric were dominant both in the policies as in the public speech... So, while indeed the Guatemala failure 'd be correctly perceived an public embarrassment for the Admin... But, I think that mostly 'd be for the failure itself rather than for the interventionism and/or for the CIA role on it... So, while it 'd be possible I think that more than a public resignation directly linked to the failed operation 'd be more probable that, ITTL, his resignation 'd be happening a bit earlier than OTL and, at least publicly, due to the same health causes...
I still get pissed whenever I read about the coup in Guatemala. Things were going so well there, I think it could've become a Central American Uruguay in the following decades had the Ten Years of Spring been twenty or thirty years.
It indeed that might be a possible and a rather interesting scenario, but given the factors above mentioned plus the still active UF company 'lobby' efforts and particularly the 'rather hostile 'Guatemalan neighbourhood'... Given that, at least I,
I don't think that Arbenz Guatemala neither would have had the so necessary 'breathing room' nor that 'd have the chance to continue his reforms peacefully.
Without more attempts by the 'bloody dictators brotherhood' (an ad hoc, 'informal' association/meetings from the then dictators of Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic), to try to overthrowing him again or even an (US greenlighted and/or backed/supplied) outright military invasion of Guatemala from her neighbours...
 
Interesting scenario but I'm sceptic about it... First, cause this were the early '50 US and that the Cold War logic and political rhetoric were dominant both in the policies as in the public speech... So, while indeed the Guatemala failure 'd be correctly perceived an public embarrassment for the Admin... But, I think that mostly 'd be for the failure itself rather than for the interventionism and/or for the CIA role on it... So, while it 'd be possible I think that more than a public resignation directly linked to the failed operation 'd be more probable that, ITTL, his resignation 'd be happening a bit earlier than OTL and, at least publicly, due to the same health causes...
Hm, I'll edit in so that Dulles publicly resigns over his advanced age and health problems. Also, Eisenhower's policies won't change much, but I think Nixon (who, again, would be a very different man if elected in 1960) would realize that supporting failed coups would generate some very bad PR and unnecessary friction for little gain. There will still be plenty of CIA meddling, mostly by financing electoral campaigns, but it'll be more subtle than OTL. Doesn't mean the US wouldn't turn a blind eye to an almost completely internal right-wing coup or attempt to do so somewhere, but still.

It indeed that might be a possible and a rather interesting scenario, but given the factors above mentioned plus the still active UF company 'lobby' efforts and particularly the 'rather hostile 'Guatemalan neighbourhood'... Given that, at least I,
I don't think that Arbenz Guatemala neither would have had the so necessary 'breathing room' nor that 'd have the chance to continue his reforms peacefully.
Without more attempts by the 'bloody dictators brotherhood' (an ad hoc, 'informal' association/meetings from the then dictators of Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic), to try to overthrowing him again or even an (US greenlighted and/or backed/supplied) outright military invasion of Guatemala from her neighbours...
Guatemala's neighboring dictators hate its government and revolution with a burning passion, but many of them have their own internal problems to deal with, and will collapse in the coming years.
 
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I still get pissed whenever I read about the coup in Guatemala. Things were going so well there, I think it could've become a Central American Uruguay in the following decades had the Ten Years of Spring been twenty or thirty years.
Indeed! As a Norteamericano, the entire Cold War (and continuing if we are frank) nature of our interventions is a terrible blotch on the real-world nature of US power. Even in the context of the Cold War we could and should have done better; the fact that no political check existed to stop leaders of either dominant US party from taking this low road is a bitter reproach of our notions of checks and balances and anything approximating a vigilant democracy. There is no excuse for it--unless one takes the view that actually democracy is a sham and power of elites pretty much runs all shows. Even then it is rather short sighted to favor open repression versus cultivating more appearance if not reality of democracy.

So your post gets a Love from me. Things went there as they morally should.

All that said...
Now this was cathartic. The effect of this Washingtonian failure will be huge on the Developing World, esp. Africa.
Yes, it would be, if it signaled a deep reform in Yankee ruler and First World ruling mentalities in general. One hopeful bit the author dredges up I was unaware of was the Anglo-French misgivings, and indeed US outrages against British flagged ships, and the inferred willingness of Britain and France to show up Yankee arrogance by giving Arbenz diplomatic cover.

But how sanely realistic is it, given the OTL overall behavior of not just US cowboys, but the entire historic and persisting neo-colonialist mentality of all First World powerful nations? OTL--the Guatemala intervention is bookended in my mind anyway with the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and restoration of the Shah there--this was done, in the narrative I am familiar with, largely at British request. I'd have to check the time line to see if this was done prior to the Guatemala "putsch" as it is in the TL. If so it is presumably a done deal already. If the timing of the Iran intervention (IIRC Operation Ajax) is after these ATL events, possibly it does not happen. But while the British and French come off as heros in this post, overall they were directly involved in much the same kind of thing, largely in their prior colonial spheres in Africa and Asia.

So generally it wasn't Uncle Sam messing with regimes in Africa, it was largely Britain and France. In this context, they come off as inconsistent, admonishing their superpower patron to take a high road in "our backyard" but presumably acting as OTL in Africa and Asia. Or do they? Bearing in mind, Winston Churchill (or his protege whose name is weirdly blanking out in my head right this minute--It came back when I thought of Suez, Anthony Eden) of the Conservative party is running Britain at the moment, and while France is run by the largely left wing Fourth Republic parties (with a rapid revolving door probably supplying a good deal of French domestic electric power generation) these leftists were complicit in quite a lot of neoimperialism--indeed it isn't very "neo" yet, France is still trying to hold on to ruling Indochina and of course Algeria. And the right wing opposition to the shifting leftist coalitions is pretty scary too; in the event Charles De Gaulle reined in their ultraconservatism by being only moderately so. But he's in retirement right now. They haven't suffered the major defeat at Dienbienphu they would shortly OTL.

So...
I don't think that Arbenz Guatemala neither would have had the so necessary 'breathing room' nor that 'd have the chance to continue his reforms peacefully.
Without more attempts by the 'bloody dictators brotherhood' (an ad hoc, 'informal' association/meetings from the then dictators of Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic), to try to overthrowing him again or even an (US greenlighted and/or backed/supplied) outright military invasion of Guatemala from her neighbours...
This criticism seems sadly on point. Why would El Norte be rebuffed this easily? How can Britain and France appear as champions of liberal fair play in the Western Hemisphere, given how they behaved in the Eastern Hemisphere, such as the coming Suez Crisis? This might be butterflied somehow--but if Ike acts as he did OTL and moralizes to Britain, France and Israel they should take their grievances to the UN and air them openly, not use unilateral force, the subtext would be somewhat less hypocritical than OTL, if these same European powers are the reason the USA backs off from our OTL deep and long established practice of interventions in favor of reliable "our sons of bitches."

But it is hard to believe that even sustained reproaches from Britain and France will deter Yankee policy in this respect. What is needed is a drastic transformation of American domestic politics, in which large publics pay attention to this kind of high handedness, and disapprove. The ugly fact is that the first line of defense of these sorts of foul acts in the Third World is that Americans at least were largely ignorant of them, simply not caring one way or the other. And the second line of defense--that when apprised of the facts, at least partially, a fair number of Americans will approve, assuming poor people in foreign nations can't or shouldn't govern themselves and that American power knows what it is doing and we are bringing them as much "freedom" as they deserve. The assumption is the alternative is Communist rule and nothing we do, no matter how terrible, can be worse than that. QED, we hold coups in Latin America because the ones we assassinate are Reds or useful idiots and only our firm guidance can save the people from Communist dictatorship. Or to be totally honest--there remain plenty of Americans who are just plain racist about it, who don't need the pious rationalizations, going right back to the spirit of William Walker and other 19th Century filibusters and annexationists. There has always been a mentality that equates American greatness with US "white" supremacy.

So--I have a good enough view of the positive potentials of my flawed Federal Republic that I think a constituency in favor of clean, legal, humane and fair foreign policy can develop, but such a faction would have its work cut out for it and can hardly count on popular support by default! Trying to envision a political movement that would hold US Presidents to a scrupulous standard in the middle of the 1950s seems to require a major social revolution in the USA. This is clearly not happening.

The realistic alternative--the US, and for that matter other First World nations like Britain and France, continues in its dirty approach to shortcuts to commanding power in the name of holding the line against Red aggression, but for reasons of vigilance and Latin American solidarity, they fail more often, as they did here. It is hard to believe though that this is the last throw of the Dulles Brothers. The elder John Foster might take a political fall and fall on his sword perhaps...but it was brother Allen who actually did the dirty deeds. Is he accountable or isn't he? He can resign too, but wouldn't it be a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss? With a new face commanding the CIA-should we expect them to behave any differently? There will be more coup attempts. Now I can hope and perhaps believe that each such attempt loses the Yankee extremists traction and that the dominos start falling, that the Somozas and Duvaliers and so on find the ground beneath their feet quaking and collapsing, and schizophrenic US policy pretending a high road all along (that's what plausible deniability is all about after all) proves to give reasonable US policy better traction, so we gradually pull the plug on the cloak and dagger stuff. But the struggle and drama involved would be a lot more drawn out.
-----------

For the author or anyone else who knows, what is the deal with Costa Rica OTL? Somehow this generally ignored single Central American nation has managed to retain ongoing elected democracy and relative domestic tranquility since the 1940s. What is the secret?

My impression is that late in the Depression or early in the US "Good Neighbor" initiative of the WWII years, they got a strongman who happened to believe in liberal democracy and was tolerant or supportive of moderate leftism--but also, this is my guess, was very savvy as to the foibles, quirks and hysterias of El Norte. So he presented himself rhetorically as Anti-Communist, and managed to deflect much attention in Washington. He kept things quiet, abolished the Army ("military aid" is a major channel whereby US covert action recruits, positions and funds coups), and cultivated a moderate social democracy that pleases most. And subsequently, Costa Rica was not unwilling to placate Uncle Sam by cooperating in deplorable ventures, such as basing some Contras against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua there.

This is the impression I picked up; CR is sort of like someone who knows how to mollify and placate the local bully and largely stay out of their way, and will be strongarmed into helping said bully if necessary to deflect his wrath. Mainly they achieve success by staying below everyone's radar.

A valid question would be--whatever Costa Rica's trick is, could everyone have done it, or by the nature of things is CR simply fortunate El Norte had shinier objects to fix its greedy attentions on?
 
Holy crap this is a big post for me to respond to, so I'll probably leave a thing or two unanswered. As for Britain and France, I modified the note regarding them so they don't look like shiny good heroes.

Regarding Costa Rica, IIRC the big man of that time period, José Figueres Ferrer, had a cozy relationship with the CIA, being a friend of Allen Dulles.

Once again about the CIA, I already wrote about this on the post above yours, but it will not change, not immediately. Operation Ajax still happened, so Allen Dulles is allowed to stay even if PBSUCCESS was a failure.
 
Part 4: 1955 Presidential Election
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Part 4: 1955 Presidential Election


Soon after Getúlio's suicide, his successor to the presidency of the republic, vice-president João Café Filho, a member of Ademar de Barros' PSP and a nonentity, quickly changed course from the late president's policies and formed a new cabined composed entirely of conservative politicians and people supported by them. Among the most important members of the new administration was the liberal economist Eugênio Gudin, who became Minister of Finance, as well as Juarez Távora, an old revolutionary from the 1920s and 1930 who had since long parted ways with the late president and become a supporter of UDN as well as a staunch opponent of nationalist members of the army, who was given control of the Military Office of the Presidency.

Thus, the Café Filho administration, desiring to regain the trust of foreign money lenders, adopted a liberal economic policy and cut state spending in several areas, earning it the support of UDN and much of PSD as well as the opposition of PTB. Regarding Petrobras, some people accused the federal government, and Távora in particular since he opposed the company's creation, of deliberately sabotaging its activites to the benefit of foreign oil corporations, something the minister in question denied. Another interesting episode that happened under his brief rule was a meeting with leaders and prominient members of multiple parties, such as the pessedistas Benedito Valadares and Nereu Ramos, UDN's Carlos Lacerda and incumbent SP governor Lucas Garcez, who, fearing that PTB quickly grow in size in the 1954 state elections thanks to the aftermath of Vargas' suicide and perhaps cause a military coup, tried to convince the president to delay them, an offer Café Filho refused since doing so would be a violation of the Constitution (1).
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President Café Filho in his office.
As 1954 gave way to 1955, the single concern that dominated the attention of the press, major political figures and Café Filho himself was that year's presidential election. The president wanted to forge a "national unity" ticket headed by Juarez Távora which would simultaneously decrease political tensions and marginalize the left, consolidated around PTB, but this plan was quickly scuttled when Távora decisively ruled out running for the presidency in an interview (2). The first party to officially announce its candidate was PSD, with Juscelino Kubitschek, governor of Minas Gerais who had before that served as mayor of Belo Horizonte during the days of the Estado Novo, easily winning the convention, which happened on February 10.

PTB promptly endorsed his candidacy and, for that, was given the vice-presidential spot in the ticket. Former Minister of Labour and current senator João Goulart was considered thanks to his enormous prestige among the working class, but he declined the offer because of the military's hostility to him and his unwillingness to let go of the Senate seat he won in the previous year so soon. Thus, the man chosen to be Juscelino's running mate was, instead, Alberto Pasqualini, another gaúcho senator who, among other things, basically created most of the party's core program, being the ideological mentor of people such as the already mentioned Jango as well as Fernando Ferrari and Leonel Brizola (3).

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Juscelino Kubitschek (left) and Getúlio Vargas.
The former's campaign wrapped itself around the latter's image to great effect.

However, as is to be expected from a big tent party, not everyone in PSD approved of Juscelino's candidacy. The state sections of Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, which were more conservative than the national average for a variety of reasons, as well as multiple delegates from the Federal District and Bahia, publicly disagreed with his nomination, causing a rift in the pessedista ranks. After days and days of furious debates, the dissidents chose Etelvino Lins, former governor of Pernambuco, as their presidential candidate. Other centrist to conservative parties, such as PR, PDC and, most importantly, UDN, endorsed him, creating a mighty centre-right coalition that had the support of most of the press, many governors and the majority of the coronéis (oligarchs) who dominated the Northeast. His running mate was Bento Munhoz da Rocha, the popular governor of Paraná (4).​

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Etelvino Lins addressing his supporters.
With both very strong campaigns now clearly defined and on opposite sides of the race, the last prominent politician left to clarify his position was the governor of São Paulo, Ademar de Barros, who, just like in 1950, sat on the position of kingmaker, with his endorsement of this or that candidate being capable of swinging several hundreds of thousands of votes to one side or another. Both Juscelino and Etelvino met with him multiple times during the campaign, each candidate promising comfortable and important ministries for PSP and to support the mighty governor when he inevitably ran for president in 1960. While Ademar broke with Getúlio Vargas and took a hard turn to the right nationally, in São Paulo itself he still depended on PTB and even the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), which despite being illegal was still a significant actor in state politics, to support his political machine (5).

After months of waiting, in May 11 Ademar finally announced his endorsement of... Etelvino Lins, completing his consolidation into a right-wing politician. Not only had he gradually distanced himself from Getúlio Vargas' legacy and its supporters, of which Juscelino was one, but the bulk of the opposition to him in São Paulo, composed of parties such as PDC and UDN, also backed Etelvino, which caused a lot of confusion. Perhaps this was what the governor was looking for: by endorsing the same candidate his adversaries did, he hoped to cause rifts in the opposition which would then allow a chosen candidate of his to win the 1958 gubernatorial election just like how he defeated Jânio Quadros. This kind of divided opposition already gave him a juicy victory in the São Paulo city mayoral elecion, where PSP candidate Juvenal Lino de Matos won with around 46% of the vote.
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The kingmaker in the interior of São Paulo.
Ademar's endorsement of Etelvino was, naturally, a horrible blow to Juscelino, and many, especially in the press (except Última Hora, of course), said that his defeat was certain, but even so all the optimistic and sunny governor of Minas Gerais did was campaign much harder than before, with him and vice-presidential candidate Alberto Pasqualini crisscrossing the country in the time they had left between May and October 3. He also doubled down on his connections with Getúlio Vargas, hoping to gain the massed support of the urban working classes, while local allies, such as governors Leonel Brizola of Rio Grande do Sul and Antônio Balbino of Bahia, made impassioned speeches in defense of him and his proposals.

But would that be enough?
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The Results:


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All things considered, Juscelino likely exceeded expectations, but it just wasn't enough for him to defeat Etelvino. The conservative candidate swept most of the Northeast with the exceptions of Bahia, Maranhão and Piauí, and scored decisive victories in São Paulo, as expected, and in the state of Rio de Janeiro (a PSD stronghold until 1954), which was possible due to governor Tenório Cavalcanti's very questionable campaign methods, namely intimidation, bribery and sometimes even assassinations. Juscelino's direct appeal to the working class allowed him to win Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul by crushing margins, as well as the Federal District, but they weren't great enough to offset Etelvino's own strong margins elsewhere.
1955.png

The vice-presidential race was even tighter, but its result was otherwise identical.

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Bento Munhoz da Rocha (PR) - 4.207.546 votes (51,84%)

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Alberto Pasqualini (PTB) - 3.908.862 (48,16%)

Carlos Lacerda and other prominent conservatives could afford to rest easy for now. Brazil wasn't getting a progressive administration anytime soon.
etelvino campanha.jpg

The Etelvino campaign celebrates its victory.
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Notes:

(1)
This is OTL, and it frankly surprised me. I read it in Café Filho's CPDOC article.

(2) IOTL, Juarez Távora flip-flopped constantly before finally entering the race in May, months after Juscelino, something that cost him many potential supporters. Here, that doesn't happen, and as a result the right is more consolidated ITTL.

(3) Since Jango lost his 1954 Senate race IOTL, he was basically out of office until he became vice-president. That's not the case here.

(4) Etelvino Lins briefly ran for president IOTL and won the support of UDN, but eventually dropped out in support of Távora. Bento Munhoz da Rocha was seen as a potential running mate to the "Viceroy of the North", but the latter's indecision killed that.

(5) Ademar, at this point IOTL (but not ITTL) out of elected office since he lost the 1954 SP gubernatorial race to Jânio Quadros, ran for president and won a respectable 25% of the vote. Quadros endorsed Távora.​
 
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