Caribbean Legion

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Caribbean Legion is the name of the group of reformist Latin American politicians who plotted to overthrow dictatorships in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Many were communists or other leftist radicals. A 1949 Central Intelligence Agency analysis described the Caribbean Legion as a "destabilizing force".

In 1949 the Caribbean Legion helped Jose Figueres keep the power during Costa Rica's civil war by bringing troops from other Latin American countries such as Honduras.

In 1954 members of the Caribbean Legion tried without success to help Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, president of Guatemala, to resist a Coup organised by Carlos Castillo Armas with the help of the CIA. This group had been trained in Costa Rica and one of his members was Ernesto Guevara.

In 1955 members of the Caribbean Legion trained Costa Rican national troops to resist Rafael Calderón's attempt to overthrow Jose Figueres.

In 1959 the Caribbean Legion helped Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution by flying shipments of guns from Costa Rica.

Prominent Members[edit]

Members of the "Caribbean Legion" included Fidel Castro, Ernesto Guevara, Rolando Masferrer, Jose Figueres, Jorge Ribas Montes and Rosendo Argüello Ramirez.

As a structured, formal organization, the Caribbean Legion never existed. (The name was coined by U.S. journalist in 1948.) What did exist were the nuclei of exiled leaders from various countries who were, at times, able to coordinate their activities and mobilize foot-soldiers — exiles living throughout the region.[1]


  1. ^ Gleijeses, Piero (1992). Shattered hope: the Guatemalan revolution and the United States, 1944-1954. Editore Princeton University Press. 


  • Charles D. Ameringer: The Caribbean Legion. Patriots, Politicians, Soldiers of Fortune, 1946-1950, Pennsylvania State University Press (December, 1995) (Paperback) ISBN 0-271-01452-0.
  • Jean Contente: L´ Aigle des Caraibes, Paris 1978 (R. Laffont)
  • Abelardo Cuadra: Hombre del Caribe. Memorias presentadas y pasadas en limpio por Sergio Ramírez, 3. ed. San José/Costa Rica 1981.