By Zine Larbaoui
Guatemala, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Brazil, Chile, and Iran … These seven countries have in common seeing their government overthrown during the second half of the twentieth century by coups d’etat clandestinely supported by the United States … before being officially recognized. Foreign Policy has compiled a list – excluding natural overthrows in which the role of the CIA is only suspected.
1. Here is the case of Iran, in 1953: In August 2013, declassified documents have officially helped reveal what had become an open secret for years, namely the active role of the CIA in the removal of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh. The man, who had the bad idea of nationalizing his country’s oil resources, managed by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (the forerunner of BP), ended his life under house arrest. On the throne, the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi became a close ally of Washington, until his overthrow in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
To achieve its goals, the CIA bought supporters of Mossadegh, Iranian and American newspapers with a mandate to tarnish his reputation, and organized demonstrations in the streets of Tehran to justify the change of power. The CIA also paid $5 million to General Zahedi Fazlollah, then shortly appointed Prime Minister. In short, this American “foreign policy” operation, conducted under the code name “TPAJAX” was only one of the many coups designed by the United States to settle its interests anywhere in the world during the Cold War, thereby affecting dictators and democratically elected leaders, reports Foreign Policy.
2. Guatemala, 1954: One year after Iran, the United States decided to remove the President Jacobo Arbenz, with whom relations had deteriorated because of a land reform that threatened the interests of the United Fruit Company. To achieve this, the CIA armed notably right wing rebel groups and paramilitary troops. Arbenz’s departure has been followed by a succession of military juntas in power.
3. Congo, 1960: An intervention of the Belgian army, supported by the United States, overthrows Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Faced with his resistance, the CIA made contact and supported those planning Lumumba’s murder, according to The Church Committee, an organization that monitors the illegal actions of the U.S. agency. After a first failed attempt of poisoning the prime minister, the CIA informed Congolese troops of his location. He was captured and killed the following year.
4. Dominican Republic, 1961: The CIA helps dictator Rafael Trujillo’s assassins by providing them with weapons.
5. South Vietnam, 1963: The CIA used Vietnamese generals in planning to assassinate President Ngo Dinh Diem. According to a Pentagon document, “Beginning in August of 1963, we variously authorized, sanctioned and encouraged the coup efforts of the Vietnamese generals and offered full support for a successor government. In October we cut off aid to Diem in a direct rebuff, giving a green light to the generals. We maintained clandestine contact with them throughout the planning and execution of the coup and sought to review their operational plans and proposed new government.”
6. Brazil 1964: The United States supported a coup d’état by General Humberto Castello Branco, helped organize demonstrations against the government and provided gasoline and “not from the United States” weapons to the military junta, who then ruled the country until 1985.
7. Chile, 1973: Washington does not approve the coming to power of the socialist Salvador Allende who was elected president in 1970. President Nixon ordered the CIA to “make the economy scream” in Chile to prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him by working with several opposing groups including General Pinochet, which will then be supported by a propaganda campaign conducted by the CIA, including serious human rights violations, including the assassination of political opponents.
To those who would dismiss the voices of truth as crackpot conspiracy theorists, let it be known that their inconvenient revelations vindicates them in the face of a world of lies and deceptions as they have now earned a tribune of credibility.