22 March 2014, 20:55

Ukrainian coup not the first to be sponsored by US

Ukrainian coup not the first to be sponsored by US

Despite its claims to respect any nation's right to self-determination, the US, in reality, has quite often stood behind coups in many countries, backing one political force and not recognizing the legitimacy of another. Now, it seems a similar story is being repeated. 

Not recognizing the legitimacy of the recent referendum in the Crimea, where the majority of respondents voted for the peninsula's separation from Ukraine and unification with Russia, the US, at the same time, practically openly supports the political forces that overthrew President Yanukovoch and seized power in Ukraine's capital Kiev.

Professor James Petras from Binghamton University, New York, a political observer, finds much in common between the recent coup in Ukraine and the one in Colombia in 1953. The US obviously supported the coup instigators in both cases, Professor Petras believes.

"The two paths to 21st century empire-building-via-proxies are illustrated through the violent seizure of power in the Ukraine by a US-backed junta and the electoral gains of the US-backed Colombian war-lord, Alvaro Uribe," James Petras writes in his recent article on the website of the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization. "By rendering democratic processes and peaceful popular reforms impossible and by overthrowing independent, democratically elected governments, Washington is making wars and violent upheavals inevitable".

There is evidence that the US has been interfering in affairs in Colombia since the early 20th century, when it encouraged the breakaway of Panama and negotiated favorable conditions for building the Panama Canal.

Now, the US is scolding Russia for alleged interference in the affairs in Crimea and, at the same time, supports the Ukrainian nationalists who usurped power in Kiev, supports them with much more than friendly words and gestures.

Victoria Nuland, Assistant US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, confessed in December 2013 that, by that time, the US had invested over $ 5 bln "to assist Ukraine in […] goals that will ensure a secure, prosperous and democratic Ukraine". This revelation stirred criticism from quite a few Americans.

As was said, the US's support for Ukrainian usurpers is far from being the only case when the US has helped certain political forces come to power in one country or the other. In fact, if not the entire history of the US, then, at least, the second half of the 20th century is full of such cases. Here are just a few examples.

In the early 1950s, Iran's then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh challenged the authority of the Shah and wanted to turn Iran into a fully democratic country. One of Mossadegh's actions was to nationalize Iran's oil industry, which had previously been operated by US oil companies. In 1953, the Shah ordered Mossadegh to step down and in fact became an absolute monarch for the next 20 years.

If the fact that the Shah's order for the Prime Minister to retire came several days after an American general visited Iran may be considered a mere coincidence, there is undoubted evidence that after the Iranian army hesitated to arrest the former Prime Minister, the US funneled millions of dollars to Mossadegh's supporters to persuade them to take to the streets. The army, afraid of large-scale unrest in the country, hurried to seize Mohammed Mossadegh, and the former Prime Minister spend the rest of his life under house arrest.

Colonel Jacobo Arbenz used to be Guatemala's President from 1951. At first, the US's relations with him were quite good, but they soured when Arbenz attempted a series of land reforms that threatened the holdings of the US-owned United Fruit Company. In 1954, Jacobo Arbenz was ousted as a result of a coup. In 1999, information came to light that the US had armed Arbenz's opponents in Guatemala and helped them in other ways.

In 1960, the then President of Congo, Joseph Kasavubu, dismissed the country's Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. At that time, Congo was at war with Belgium, which had attacked it in a desperate attempt to keep hold of its colony. The US was on the Belgian side in that conflict. Lumumba continued to fight against the Belgians until he was captured in late 1960 and killed in January 1961. There is evidence that  the CIA helped Lumumba's enemies to track his location and capture him.

In 1961, Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic, was ambushed and killed by Dominican dissidents. Although the man who killed him swore that he was not acting under anybody's orders, there is evidence that Trujillo's opponents had been armed by the CIA.

There is also evidence that CIA was behind the assassination of South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and a military coup in Brazil in 1964.

In 1973, Chile's President Salvador Allende was killed as a result of a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. Although the US had never wanted Allende to be Chile's President, there is no direct evidence that the US had in any way helped Pinochet to seize power. However, the CIA's official account of the seizure of power in Chile on Sept. 11, 1973, notes that the agency "was aware of coup-plotting by the military, had ongoing intelligence collection relationships with some plotters, and – because CIA did not discourage the takeover and had sought to instigate a coup in 1970 – probably appeared to condone it".

Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez has said in one of his interviews: "We have examples of outside intrusion in the internal politics of states like Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, and Grenada. Repeated attempts of a coup in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia. There was no coup in the 150-year-old history of Latin America that the US government did not apply its hand to".

Voice of Russia, Foreign Policy, RT

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