- Regime change in Latin America.
Submitted by Steve Brown…
In 1976 the democratically elected president of Argentina Isabel Perón was ousted by a military coup d’état, beginning the military dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla, known as the National Reorganization Process. The coup resulted in 30k+ people dead or missing. Both the coup and subsequent authoritarian regime were actively endorsed and supported by the United States government, with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger frequently visiting Argentina during the Videla dictatorship.
In El Salvador, repressive governments under control of US interests like the United Fruit Company were opposed by peasant and worker’s revolts for many years. When Farabundo Martí’s social revolts were violently crushed in 1979, efforts to take power democratically were thwarted by US intervention. The United States provided $1–2 million per day in military aid to the government of El Salvador during the Reagan and Carter regimes, with human rights abuses extant, and mainly attributed to the US-supported government. Civil war spread in El Salvador when US-endorsed far-right governments brutally oppressed/suppressed the population.
Mexico, Francisco I. Madero:
Madero was an advocate for social justice and democracy and Mexico’s youngest president. Madero sparked the Mexican revolution and challenged Mexican President Porfirio Díaz in 1910. Henry Lane Wilson the US ambassador to Mexico was deeply involved in ousting Madero. In February 1913, a military coup led by General Victoriano Huerta, the military commander of the city, and supported by the United States, resulted in Madero’s arrest and execution, along with his Vice-President, José María Pino Suárez, on 22 February 1913, following the series of events known as the Ten Tragic Days.
Nicaragua, Augusto Sandino:
Sandino was a Nicaraguan anti-colonialist leader, revolutionary, and leader of the rebellion to end the U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua, between 1927 and 1933. Sandino disarmed his troops when US Marines withdrew from the country. Sandino was subsequently assassinated in 1934 by Anastasio Somoza, a Philadelphia-educated Nicaraguan run by the US and CIA, who seized power in a coup d’état two years later. Somoza maintained Falange/fascist rule in Nicaragua for many years, while amassing a huge personal fortune.
Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman:
An elected president of Guatemala, Guzman continued the social reform policies of his predecessor, which included an expanded right to vote, the ability of workers to organize, legitimizing political parties, and allowing public debate. He authored agrarian reform law under which uncultivated land-holdings were expropriated in return for compensation, and redistributed to poverty-stricken agricultural laborers. Approximately one-half million people benefited from the decree, the majority of them indigenous. Árbenz was ousted in 1954 by a coup d’état engineered by the US Department of State and Central Intelligence Agency. Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, a lackey of the US, replaced Arbenz as president. Árbenz went into exile via several countries; his daughter committed suicide and Guzman descended into alcoholism and insanity, eventually dying in Mexico. In October 2011, the Guatemalan government issued an apology for Árbenz’s overthrow.
Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic):
Rafael Trujillo was murdered In May 1961 with weapons supplied by the CIA. An investigation by the Office of Inspector General into the murder disclosed “quite extensive [CIA] Agency involvement with the plotters”. The CIA described its role in Dominican Republic regime change as a ‘success’ by transforming the Dominican Republic into a ‘Western-style democracy’ from a dictatorship. Eisenhower approved the coup when Castro deposed Batista in Cuba; Eisenhower believed that a communist regime might succeed in deposing Trujillo’s corrupt rule. Trujillo’s son hurried home to replace his murdered father, however US State didn’t like the son either. Young Trujillo was deposed and replaced by Joaquin Balaguer, who was replaced by the elected Juan Bosch. But Bosch was deemed too leftist and was deposed, again by U.S. clandestine intervention.
Chile, Salvador Allende:
The president of Chile was killed in a military coup engineered by the United States CIA, and carried out by Augusto Pinochet, on September 11, 1973. At the time, Henry Kissinger informed President Nixon that the US was not involved in the coup, however the CIA had been plotting against Allende ever since Allende came to power. Pinochet’s subsequent military rule was particularly brutal.