Pakistan’s elected Prime Minister Imran Khan was overthrown in a US-backed regime-change operation due to his independent foreign policy. Now the coup regime has charged him with “terrorism.” Pakistani scholar Junaid S. Ahmad discusses the desperate attempt to crush the mass movement and protests that Khan has led.
When Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, was overthrown in a British-backed coup in November 2019, many believed his life was in danger. Latin America’s history is littered with liberation leaders cut down by vengeful imperial powers. Legendary resistance leader Túpac Katari, like Morales from the Aymara indigenous group, had his limbs tied to four horses by the Spanish before they bolted and he was ripped apart in 1781. Some 238 years later, Bolivia’s self-declared “interim president,” Jeanine Áñez, appeared in Congress days after the coup against Morales brandishing a huge leatherbound Bible. “The Bible has returned to the government palace,” she announced. Her new regime immediately forced through Decree 4078 which gave immunity to the military for any actions taken in “the defence of society and maintenance of public order.” It was a green-light.
"I know who the US is going to coup next and noone is talking about it." "Hello, my name is the United States and I am a coup-aholic. I just can't stop couping. I thought I could quit whenever I wanted but I have to admit, coups have a hold on me. And I just keep couping morning, noon, nights. Sometimes I mix in a little orange juice or cough syrup, or if I don't have either of those, even toothpaste. I'll take a coup any way I can get it." "So you know the US has created a ridiculously long list of coups around the world over the past 50 years. Hell, we even couped ourselves once. JFK. What? Who said that? I know who we'll try to coup next, which I will get to in a couple of minutes."
In a chilling column in Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, quietly published at 11:15pm on 7th May 2022, José Henrique Mariante, a veteran journalist, editor and currently Folha ombudsman, urged fellow journalists, and his own newspaper, to acknowledge the dark moment Brazil faces. The piece was headlined in stark terms: “There will be a Coup. Pass the information. Folha and the press should once and for all change presumption for certainty of the fact.” Mariante compared the current situation to early 2020, when appeals for calm dovetailed with outright denial of the Coronavirus pandemic, and helped drastically worsen the public health crisis. The journalist recalls that on March 2020, Folha ran a column urging for an immediate response Coronavirus pandemic: “The time to act against the coronavirus is now.”
The recent increased frequency of coups in West Africa or what some have called ‘coup contagion ’ are mere symptoms of deeper problems that are rooted in a combination of factors. Together they have dialectically combined to produce a general climate of increased instability, insecurity, violence and suffering of the masses of people just trying to make a living. Several of the coups have been regarded as ‘popular’ by some because they represent (at least so far) a welcomed change from incompetent corrupt governments. Some populations in Mali and Burkina Faso are desperate for a government and force that can mitigate terrorist criminal violence perpetrated by non-state actors which at the same time can be trusted to provide for their needs, even if those coup leaders may not necessarily be altruistic, but to some extent self-interested.
“No negotiation, No compromise, No Partnership with the military” remains the main slogan in the unrelenting mass-protests, rallies, and barricades organized in cities across Sudan since the military coup on October 25, 2021. Now in the fifth month, the civil resistance continues to draw hundreds of thousands week after week to the streets. On March 14, the nation-wide demonstrations, like in other weeks, were met with repression from the army and the militia of the military junta. Since the coup, at least 87 young protesters, including minors, have been killed in the crackdown while over 3,300 have been injured, and over 500 are still undergoing treatment, according to data compiled by Hadhreen Organization. 28 have lost limbs or other organs and at least eight have been paralyzed as on Friday, March 11.
A few hours after the military coup in Sudan on 25 October 2021, its leader, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, appeared on television to announce the dissolution of the Sovereign Council, the governmental body composed of military and civilian representatives, which had been formed in the wake of the 2018 revolution. In a typical justification for coups in the country, Al-Burhan declared a state of emergency, describing the takeover as a “corrective step”. The 2018 revolution was the third in Sudan’s modern history. They have all followed a pattern of ousting a dictator, followed by a transitional period, elections, and then a new military coup that once again interrupts the path towards democratic rule.
Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters near the presidential palace in the capital, Khartoum, as tens of thousands marched against military rule following last month’s coup. The rally on Tuesday was the latest show of opposition to military rule since last month’s coup that ended a partnership between civilian political groups and the military. Heavily armed police forces took to central Khartoum, fired tear gas, and began chasing protesters as they gathered about a kilometre from the palace, blocking a main road and chanting “Soldiers, go back to the barracks”. Other protests took place in cities including Port Sudan, Kassala, Nyala and Atbara.
U.S. imperialism is intensely involved behind the scenes in an effort to sabotage the revolutionary struggle arising in this strategic African country. The U.S. can draw on its vast financial leverage, global military reach, intelligence agencies, capitalist media and a web of NGOs and other well-funded organizations. Sudan is a country rich in oil, natural gas, gold and other resources. It is also located on the Red Sea, on global shipping lanes. Historically it has been targeted by various destabilizing strategies, including attempts to break the unified country into smaller, competing regions. Coup leader Burhan has declared himself head of the Sovereign Council, a power-sharing body of military officers and civilians, which has been ruling Sudan since late 2019.
October 20 Bolivia will mark two years since what became the preamble to a violent and bloody coup d’état against former president Evo Morales (2006-2019). On that day, as the people went to the polls to re-elect the indigenous leader, the most extremist fringes of the country’s right-wing began maneuvering from behind the scenes to overthrow the government. The story of what happened after Election Day is well known. The Organization of American States (OAS) insisted that Morales’ new victory was the result of widespread electoral fraud -although it had no evidence-, thus paving the way for the opposition to take over the Palacio Quemado, the government headquarters.
On Sunday morning, Guinean special forces with links to US and French imperialism led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya launched a coup in the capital, Conakry, ousting President Alpha Condé and imposing martial law in the former French West African colony. The coup came amid mounting popular anger at fuel and food price hikes, bread shortages and tax increases as Guinea’s economy reels under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Condé’s attempt in 2019 to rewrite Guinea’s constitution to allow himself to hold on to power until 2032 had provoked mass protests. At around 8 a.m. Sunday, troops of the Groupement des forces spéciales (GFS) sealed off the Kaloum neighborhood of Conakry, where the Sekhoutoureah Presidential Palace is located.
On Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the military coup against Guinea-Conakry's President Alpha Conde and called for his release. "I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any seizure of the government by force," Guterres warned. The coup leader, the Army Special Forces chief Mamady Doumbouya informed over the detention of Conde at the presidential palace on Sunday morning. He also announced the dissolution of the Constitution and State's institutions. Speaking on national TV, Doumbouya reported the creation of the "National Committee of Grouping and Development" to initiate a national consultation process towards a peaceful transition.
We spoke to Bolivia’s Foreign Minister, Rogelio Mayta, who is leading the charge for a more democratic process of regional integration. The country is raising its voice against Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States, both for his role in the 2019 coup, and his wider political actions, on behalf of the United States, in the domestic affairs of member states.
People are afraid. People have a very reverent attitude toward the Armed Forces, which are understood as guardian institutions of the nation. But a nation does not have tutelage; a democracy does not accept tutelage [rule by the state apparatus]. People do not know, and besides, nobody dares to say that the tanks, the rifles and the ships are ours. They do not belong to the marines or the military: they are ours; they have been bought with our money. The military are public servants, so we have no reason to serve them. But in Peru there is an inverse criterion sponsored by the Armed Forces themselves. Throughout history we have been taught that they are institutions of protection against which you cannot say anything. You can say anything you want against the Bar Association, against the Medical Association, against the Judiciary, but nothing against the Navy, nor against the Army, nor against the Air Force. And I, modestly, as a common citizen, ask myself: Why?