1. In 1903, the US needed to build the Panama Canal for strategic military and commercial reasons. This necessitated a regime change. Panama had been a northern province of Columbia.
2. The US established military bases in Nicaragua from 1912 to 1925. In 1909, the US had engineered a regime change by helping to depose the Liberal General Jose Zelaya. In 1925, the US created the National Guard in Nicaragua. Augusto Cesare Sandino waged a guerrilla war from 1926 to 1932 to expel the US military forces. In 1934, Sandino was assassinated by the National Guard forces under Anastasio Somoza. Somoza would rule the country as a dictator with US backing until his own assassination in 1956.
3. In 1951, Jacobo Arbenz was democratically elected president of Guatemala in a landslide victory. The election was free and fair. Arbenz sought to transform the feudal economy to a modern capitalist economy. He began with a fair redistribution of land. He passed the Agrarian Reform Act. The United Fruit Company, however, opposed these land seizures and wanted to maintain the feudal nature of the economy to maximize profits. United Fruit lobbied the US government for a regime change. US Public Relations/propaganda pioneer Edward Bernays was hired to concoct a propaganda war that would make regime change palatable.
4. In 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh was democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. He nationalized Iranian oil production. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), however, had a monopoly on Iranian oil production. The UK oil company made 170 million pounds in profit per year. But Iranian workers were economically exploited and saw littler of these profits. The British government then decided to orchestrate a regime change in Iran. British intelligence, M16, coordinated its efforts with the CIA, Operation TPAJAX. The CIA and M16 organized a staged mass demonstration in Teheran. In August, 1953, Mossadegh was overthrown and the Shah was installed in power for 26 years.
5. In 1960, the Congo obtained its independence. Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the MNC, became the first Prime Minister of the Congo. Lumumba, however, obtained aid from the USSR. The Belgian government and corporations, and the CIA saw this as a Soviet takeover bid. The CIA then engineered a regime change in the Congo. ANC leader Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko was put in power, imprisoning Lumumba. On January 17, 1961, Lumumba was assassinated.
6. On April 15, 1961, 1,500 Cuban exiles armed, trained, and supplied by the US in Florida, began the CIA-orchestrated attempt to engineer a regime change in Cuba, the military overthrow of Fidel Castro. The regime change in Cuba had been organized initially during the President Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, known as Operation Pluto. There have reportedly been over 600 regime change attempts against Castro by the US.
7. In Ecuador, democratically elected President Jose Velasco was forced to resign in a regime change orchestrated by the US in 1961.
8. Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in South Vietnam in 1963 in a coup that the US was aware of and allowed to happen, in effect, dumping Diem because he was not a pliant enough proxy.
9. In 1965, the Dominican Republic was invaded to support the regime of Donald Reid Cabral in opposition to the Constitutionalist candidate Juan Bosch, who threatened to unseat Cabral. Bosch complained: "This country is not pro-American, it is United States property."
10. In 1970, Salvador Allende, described as a "Marxist", became the democratically elected leader of Chile. Immediately following the 1970 elections in Chile, the US planned a regime change. US Ambassador Edward Korry recommended a "pre-emptive military coup." The CIA began organizing Operation Fubelt, the overthrow of the Marxist/Communist regime of Allende.
Is this how democracy is defined? Kissinger gets to decide who rules the Chilean people? The CIA destabilization policy was not working. From the moment of Allende's election, the CIA decided on a coup d'etat, a regime change or overthrow of the Allende regime. The US government, however, wanted to cover-up the US role in the regime change. A CIA cable from October 16, 1970 disclosed that the CIA had decided on a coup or regime change in Chile but sought to cover-up/conceal CIA involvement:
It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden.
On September 11, 1973, the CIA engineered a regime change in Chile with the overthrow of Salvador Allende. Allende was assassinated. The US installed the dictator Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet would murder 3,000-50,000 Chilean citizens. In the 1990s, Spain sought to extradite him to stand trial for these murders. The US media blithely reported on the Pinochet murder charges, but censored the fact that the US had installed him in power illegally in 1973. Isn't the US complicit in his mass murders?
11. On October 13, 1983, Bernard Coard, overthrew the Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop. Coard was described as a "Marxist" and pro-Soviet. On October 25, in Operation Urgent Fury, 1,200 US troops from the 75th Rangers invaded Grenada and deposed the Coard regime.
12. In December, 1989, US President George Bush ordered a regime change in Panama. In Operation Just Cause, the US invaded Panama, captured the Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, and brought him back for trial in the US as a POW. Manuel Noriega had been in the pay of the US Army and CIA for over 30 years. George Bush had even worked with Noriega. The United Nations declared the invasion "a flagrant violation of international law."
13. On September 30, 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a military coup led by Lieutenant General Raoul Cedras. In September, 1994, 20,000 US troops invaded Haiti to re-install Aristide. Before the US invasion, then US Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell met with Cedras and presented him with a US ultimatum: Cedras could leave Haiti and there would be no US military assault or he could remain in power and be overthrown by military force.14. Regime change has been the norm in US foreign policy, not the exception, as the Bush administration wants to make us believe. The regime change in Iraq in 2003 is part of this long-standing policy of overthrowing regimes that are hostile to US interests. What is perhaps new and novel about the Iraqi regime change is that it is no longer covert or shrouded in propaganda and justified or rationalized by invoking the UN or humanitarianism, i.e., "humanitarian intervention" to prevent a genocide. Regime change is being advocated openly and overtly. This is what is new. But everything else is exactly the same.
-- Edward Abbey
-- Douglas Adams
-- Thorstein Veblen
-- Mary Wilson Little
-- Russell Baker