The United States’ interference in foreign governments is nothing new! Today, the United States of America, which presents itself as the defender of democracy in order to legitimize its international actions, has been intervening in sovereign countries in various ways since the 1890s! The interventions of the USA to realize its own ambitions and to dominate its own interests sometimes result in a military operation or occupation. The USA sometimes achieves its goal by changing the regime or government of the target country. Especially II. It is known by many that the USA supported some governments in different parts of the world after World War II and overthrew others! II. During World War II and the Cold War that followed, the US’s basis for its expansionist policy was the “threat of communism.” The imperialist policy of the USA continues in the 21st century. But this time the legitimate reasons are different! The United States continues to intervene in overseas geographies to fight terrorism and defend democracy. Here are the countries whose administration was changed with the intervention of the USA in history…
In the early 1890s, American sugar producers in Hawaii wanted a self-interested government for more concessions. American manufacturers found the remedy in the overthrow of the government in Hawaii! In 1893, a coup d’etat took place in Hawaii at the initiative of American sugar makers. Of course, the United States also knew about the coup. In particular, the US ambassador to Hawaii played an active role in the realization of the coup. In a coup on January 17, 1893, Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani was removed from power. Later, Queen Lili’uokalani was placed under house arrest. Although there were those who wanted to resist the American coup in the country, the American soldiers managed to take the administration under control in a short time. Hawaii, which was under the direct or indirect administration of the United States for many years, finally became a state of the USA in 1959.
After the United States was victorious in the Spanish-American War of 1898, it rose to a much stronger position in the region. As a result of the war, many Spanish colonies in Latin America fell under US control. Consolidating its power in the region, the USA seized a magnificent opportunity to continue its expansionist policy… In 1904, the President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt, declared that the USA had the right to intervene in the countries in the region to defend its own interests! Thereupon, the USA carried out various military operations to many countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Honduras and Cuba. Cuba, in particular, was a country that the US wanted to keep under its control. For this reason, the USA has intervened in Cuba, directly or indirectly, for many years.
The clearest US intervention against Cuba took place in 1933. The coup carried out by a Cuban soldier, Fulgencio Batista, against the Cuban government was seriously supported by the United States! Thus, a pro-US dictatorship was established in Cuba. In this way, the United States could use Cuba as its “backyard”. However, Batista’s dictatorship was overthrown by Fidel Castro in the late 1950s. A communist regime was established in Cuba. Of course, the USA was not at all happy with this new administration and system in Cuba. For this reason, the United States spent many years trying to change the administration in Cuba. In 1961, US President John F. Kennedy intended to assassinate Castro and change the administration in Cuba with the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. Especially after this event, a new actor emerged that would direct the US’s interventions in different geographies: the CIA.
The CIA, the intelligence agency of the United States, has begun to use more secret methods than before to realize the US’s ambitions in different geographies! The CIA’s new policy did not involve invading a country or conducting military operations. Instead, governments and regimes were changed by methods such as supporting different political groups in the target country and creating chaos in that country! Concealing such interventions in secret became much more important with the Cold War.
In 1953, the new country targeted by the USA was Iran. With a coup that the CIA secretly organized and directed, Iran’s elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, was removed from the administration. As a result, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, supported by the United States, became the new ruler of Iran. CIA documents that emerged years later suggest that the US intervened in Iran against the Soviet threat. However, according to many historians, the main goal of the USA was to have a say over the oil resources in Iran.
In the 1950s, the imperialist policy of the USA continued at full speed. The CIA also removed another elected leader from power in 1954. Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz was forced to leave his post as a result of a covert operation by the CIA. Thereupon, Guatemala began to be ruled by military dictator Carlos Castillo Armas! Moreover, this operation of the CIA was based on extremely “personal” reasons.
The reason for this coup in Guatemala was to protect the interests of an American company operating in the country. The American company United Fruit Company used almost half of the land in Guatemala. Yet it was a highly privileged company that paid no taxes! Concerns that Jacobo Árbenz would strip the company of its privileges resulted in the CIA’s coup. Because the US Secretary of State at the time was working in the legal department of the company. Another name, the minister’s brother and also the CIA Director, was on the company’s board of directors.
The Republic of the Congo broke away from Belgium in 1960 and declared its independence. Later, as a result of the elections held in the country, Patrice Lumumba became the country’s first democratically elected prime minister. Shortly after Patrice Lumumba took office, President Joseph Kasavubu dismissed Patrice Lumumba. On top of that, an atmosphere of reciprocity and distrust was created in Congo. Thus, the United States had the opportunity to intervene in a new country.
The USA started to work to shape the administration in Congo, arguing that the turmoil in Congo entailed the danger of Soviet intervention. The target was Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of Congo! The CIA applied the same method it thought for Castro to Lumumba. With the encouragement and support of the CIA, Patrice Lumumba was arrested in 1960 and killed in 1961! After that, Mobutu Sese Seko was brought to the management with the support of the USA. The dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, which would cause many crises in the country, continued until 1997.
6. South Vietnam
The United States has committed many illegal and bloody acts in Vietnam. Moreover, many of these actions are also included in official documents. Here is one of those documents, which includes how the US coup d’etat and killed the President of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem.
In 1963, a bloody war was taking place between North Vietnam and the United States. South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem was supported by the United States for fighting the North Vietnamese communists. However, although Ngo Dinh Diem was an ally of the USA, he was a bloodthirsty leader… The protests organized by Vietnamese Buddhists for peace and tolerance were ignored by Ngo Dinh Diem and even looked down upon. So much so that Ngo Dinh Diem suggested “supplying matches” for Buddhists who burned themselves during the protests! As a result of these developments, Ngo Dinh Diem’s power weakened. Ngo Dinh Diem had become a disreputable leader in the world public opinion. This situation that Diem fell into caused great concern on the part of the USA. Because Diem and the government he headed were no longer strong enough to fight the communists. For this reason, Diem had to go and the management had to change. For this reason, a US-organized coup was organized in South Vietnam in 1963 and Ngo Dinh Diem was killed.
In 1970, as a result of the elections in Chile, the socialist Salvador Allende was elected president. The election results in Chile and Allende’s rule were unacceptable to the United States! For this reason, US President Richard Nixon ordered Allende’s overthrow from the very first moment. Thus, the CIA began supporting anti-Allende groups in Chile. Thanks to the support of the United States, Chilean soldier Augusto Pinochet staged a coup against Allende in 1973. Augusto Pinochet became the President of Chile in 1974 and continued in this position until 1990.
Nicaragua is one of the countries that has been subject to US intervention for many years. The country was occupied by the US military from 1912 to 1933. But the US plans on Nicaragua were much longer…
After many years of turmoil and conflict in Nicaragua, a socialist government was formed under the leadership of Daniel Ortega. However, the turmoil in the country continued due to the actions of far-right groups opposing the Ortega government. Here, the USA, under Ronald Reagan, was trying to take advantage of the turmoil in Nicaragua once again. Between 1981 and 1986, extreme right-wing groups called Conta were given great support by the USA. Even at that time, the USA illegally sold weapons to Iran in order to provide financial aid to this organization! Thousands of people lost their lives in Nicaragua due to the turmoil between 1981 and 1986. But the USA achieved its goal in 1990. 1990 Daniel Ortega lost the election due to the country’s unrest and black propaganda by the United States.
Afghanistan was invaded by the United States in 2001. Thanks to this occupation, an interim government was formed under the leadership of Hamid Karzai, who fought against the Taliban. In 2004, Hamid Karzai was declared the official president of US-backed Afghanistan. In 2017, Ashraf Ghani was appointed to this position. Ghani remained in office until 2021, when the United States left Afghanistan.
When Iraq was invaded by the US in 2003, the reason for the invasion was Iraq’s nuclear weapons… After the US invasion in 2003, the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq was overthrown. Although the USA tried to build a new administration in Iraq after overthrowing Saddam’s regime, it was unsuccessful. The US-Iraq War officially ended in 2011. However, efforts to establish a stable government in Iraq still continue.