If Yogi Berra, the New York Yankee’s often quoted catcher, could see how American interference is affecting the world today, he might just say, “It’s dejavu all over again.”
With the Ukraine and Venezuela making international headlines, everyone is aware that at least some of the blame for unrest is being directed towards Washington and the United States. If the conversations in the streets of South American cities are any indication, about half of the people feel that Washington is behind the latest unrest and the other half puts the responsibility for violent protests at the feet of corrupt and inefficient leaders.
Regardless of how much, or how little, a part Washington is eventually determined to have played, history shows four clear instances of times that America interfered with the internal government of other countries.
Researchers have also discovered a pattern to Washington’s interference. The US government has never, knowingly, interfered in a country where a US military base was located. Some of the most blatant examples of this are four countries in South America.
Declassified documents from 2003 reveal conversations between Henry Kissinger and Argentine Admiral Guzzetti. The conversations between the two country’s officials started in the fall of 1976, just after the coup in Argentina. In the discussions, Kissinger pointedly approved the “dirty war,” in which 30,000 people were eventually killed and 400 children taken from murdered parents. According to the documents, Kissinger informed Guzzetti that America’s attitude was one in which American leaders wanted the Argentine military to succeed, quickly. Guzzetti reported back to his superiors that there would be no interference from the US over the kidnappings, torturing and killing of the opposition.
Brazilian General Branco orchestrated a takeover in 1964 that set off two decades of military dictatorship. A US diplomat in Brazil, Vernon Walters, knew Branco from the time they served together from the Second World War. A CIA officer, Walters made sure that the agency provided plenty of support to help guarantee the coup’s success. To help support Branco, a US Marine regiment was standing by to land north of Rio. They were never called ashore and were sent home. The coup was aimed at removing elected President Goulart. Goulart, a well-to-do landowner, was not an anti-capitalist. What he was, was neutral. Washington found Goulart’s attempts to remain impartial very upsetting. The displeasure of the American government led directly to the coup which installed Branco.
When US special forces teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to track down, and kill, Pablo Escobar, they didn’t just play with the “good guys.” Forming a partnership with a vigilante group named “Los Pepes,” the US government helped form the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia). The AUC would go on to be responsible for 75 percent of civilian deaths in the country over the following 10 years.
The number of victims in the American backed “drug war” has exceeded 100,000. American officials call the Mexican based cartel, “Los Zetas,” the most advanced and sophisticated cartel in Mexico. The Los Zetas cartel was began when members of Mexico’s military and law enforcement agencies started defecting. Seduced by the money, the men, who were trained by American special forces at the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia, found the big bucks offered by drug smuggling more appealing than the pesos earned by enforcing the law.
As American interference continues to be noticed around the world, more people will feel it’s “dejavu all over again.”
By Jerry Nelson