The Dulles Brothers: “Glorious Victory”

The great Mexican mural artist Diego Rivera poured his heart into “Glorious Victory” which is what the Dulles Brothers, Allen and John Foster, called the 1954 American overthrow of the democratically-elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz. Rivera’s wife was very sick at the time of the overthrow, but insisted Diego push her in a wheelchair so she could join the protests against U.S. interference in Latin America. She died eleven days later.

Allen Dulles was director of the CIA and John Foster was Secretary of State at the time. They had previously worked for the law firm that represented the United Fruit Company, which was offended by Arbenz’ plan for land reform in the original Banana Republic. The Dulles Brothers also held stock in United Fruit.

Stephen Kinzer, who wrote a double biography of the Dulles Brothers, wanted to see the Rivera mural, which depicts the brothers shaking hands with the dictator they installed over the dead bodies of peasants. He tracked the painting to Russia, where it sits in a basement, now just an unstretched canvas rolled up in a corner.

He suggests that the mural be purchased from Russia and hung in the Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., because how will we ever learn from history if it ends up buried down in the corner of a basement?

Glorious Victory mural by Diego Rivera
Glorious Victory
mural by Diego Rivera












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