The latest addition to my website is Mario Vargas Llosa‘s Tiempos recios [Hard Times]. The novel deals with the overthrow of the democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz in 1954, by Guatemalan forces, supported by the CIA and the US Ambassador to Guatemala. He was primarily overthrown because he had wanted to tax the United Fruit Company, which orchestrated a successful campaign in the US, “proving” he was communist (he was not). We follow various key characters, some real, some fictitious, some good, some definitely not. Vargas Llosa makes no bones about his views, which are that the United States illegally subverted a democratic country and that its actions have had profoundly negative effects on Guatemala and on other Latin American countries as a result.