By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era, but it has been in the post-World War II-time period that it has perfected regime change operations.US military presence around the world Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.
Gustavo Petro’s victory in Sunday’s Colombian Presidential election, marking the first time Bogotá has elected a left-wing head of state, was not the only far-reaching geopolitical event to recently take place involving Latin America. A week prior to the former guerrilla fighter’s electoral success, President Nicolás Maduro of neighbouring Venezuela paid an official two day visit to Iran where he signed an official 20-year cooperation agreement with Iranian head of state Ayatollah Khameini – a deal intended to counter the wide-ranging US sanctions targeting both Caracas and Tehran. With one of Petro’s Presidential aims being to develop further relations with Venezuela however, his incoming Presidency has undoubtedly already been placed in the sights of the regime change lobby, wary that friendly relations between Bogota, Caracas and Tehran, will undermine US-NATO hegemony from South America all the way to the Middle East.
When Serbia’s government was overthrown in 2000, it was the first example of a successful US-backed neoliberal color revolution. The tactics used in this regime-change operation were subsequently repeated in countries around the world. Journalist Brian Mier spoke with Serbian activist Ivan Zlatić, a member of the presidency of the Party of the Radical Left, about this foundational experience. Zlatić explained how regime-change operatives intentionally “provoke violence” and then capitalize on the response of the government to discredit it and demand that it be toppled. “Serbia was the color revolution zero,” Zlatić said.
Manuel Pérez-Rocha at Inequality.org just wrote a piece "Ousted Pakistani Leader Was Challenging Investment Treaties That Give Corporations Excessive Power: Mexico and many other countries are facing anti-democratic corporate lawsuits like the case that pushed Khan to withdraw from international investment agreements." He notes: The parliament of Pakistan recently ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote. The reasons for the former cricket star’s political downfall are not entirely clear. His economic policies were a mixed bag at best, but he deserves credit for one thing: he’d taken a bold stand against international investment agreements that give transnational corporations excessive power over national governments. This piece led noted author and activist Maude Barlow to tweet: "Wonder if this is why he was thrown over…"
After a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan and loss of credibility over Ukraine, the era of US unipolarity seems to be entering its terminal phase, marked by lashing out ferociously in all directions. The most recent of these offensives occurred last week when the government of Pakistan alleged that Washington was trying to engineer regime change in Islamabad. This time the US was caught red handed. The claim was not made via a leak or a fringe observer, but by the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, himself. While the US State Department has denied any involvement, the political drama has only just begun. Emerging from a crucial meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors, China’s top diplomat took a public whack at Washington’s behavior. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China will not allow the US to drag smaller nations into conflict and sharply rebuked the ‘US Cold War mentality.’
Feeling his oats after effusive adulation from leaders of NATO – and Japan at the G-7 summit – Biden gave us the Mother of All Faux Pax this afternoon in Poland. Echoing imperious King Henry II of England, Biden uttered the equivalent of "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest" … or troublesome president? The priest, of course, was Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. The president is Vladimir Putin, who had already warned a complete break in Russia-U.S. relations. Referring in all but name to President Putin, Biden said, "This man cannot remain in power." Reminder that should not be necessary: Prudent presidents have been reluctant to say that of the leader of other countries – sometimes even when the two are at war.
During the 21st century, the US, working with corporate elites, traditional oligarchies, military, and corporate media, has continually attempted coups against Latin American governments which place the needs of their people over US corporate interests. US organized coups in Latin American countries is hardly a 20th century phenomenon. However, this century the US rulers have turned to a new coup strategy, relying on soft coups, a significant change from the notoriously brutal military hard coups in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and other countries in the 1970s. One central US concern in these new coups has been to maintain a legal and democratic facade as much as possible. The US superpower recognizes successful soft coups depend on mobilizing popular forces in anti-government marches and protests.
Minsk, Belarus — Quietly, the U.S. national security state is turning up the heat on Belarus, hoping that the ex-Soviet country of 9 million will be the next casualty of its regime-change agenda. This sentiment was made clear in President Joe Biden’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Biden announced that the U.S. would pursue “relentless diplomacy” finding “new ways of lifting people up around the world, of renewing and defending democracy.” The 46th president was explicit in whom he meant by this: “The democratic world is everywhere. It lives in the anti-corruption activists, the human rights defenders, the journalists, the peace protestors on the frontlines of this struggle in Belarus, Burma, Syria, Cuba [and] Venezuela,” he said, putting Belarus first on the list of states in desperate need of a change in government.
'Western' media, as well as other regime change activist claim that Protasevich must have been tortured to say what he says. However, aside from light handcuff marks at his wrists there is no evidence of that. Protasevich had previously been wounded when he fought in the fascist Ukrainian Azov battalion against the Donbas secessionists. He is a tough guy who will not be impressed by handcuffs which, by the way, police everywhere use for good reasons. During the Korea war U.S. pilots, captured by China, admitted to dropping biological weapons on China. The U.S. long denied the use of biological weapons and claimed that the pilots had been tortured and made false confessions. Decades later secret files were released which proved that the claims the pilots had made had been correct.
In Ecuador’s presidential election held on February 7, 2021, Andrés Arauz won the largest number of votes but could not prevail in the first round against 15 other candidates; he won 32.71 percent of the vote, short of the 40 percent needed to win the election outright (a winner also requires a 10 percent lead over the second-place candidate, which Arauz did achieve). More than a week after that first round, it remains unclear which of the two candidates who most closely trailed Arauz will go head-to-head against him in the second round on April 11. Both of these candidates—Guillermo Lasso and Yaku Pérez—each won around 19 percent of the vote and await a recount to verify who will face Arauz.
In Latin America, widespread abuses under right wing regimes in, for example, Colombia, Honduras, Haiti or Brazil get mentioned in low key terms, if at all, while false claims by US funded opposition groups in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are amplified and broadcast with minimal or zero effort at responsible corroboration. Neither the human rights industry itself, nor the communications media and academic industries which are its main consumers, make any serious effort at investigation because they too are funded by the same or similar corporate and government investors as their human rights industry brand name suppliers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched another attack on Nicaragua’s Sandinista government last month, accusing President Daniel Ortega of being a “dictator” who is “doubling down on repression and refusing to honor the democratic aspirations of the Nicaraguan people.” The State Department openly supports what it calls “a return to democracy in Nicaragua”, saying that “the people of Nicaragua rose up peacefully to call for change.” Pompeo’s accusations came in a month in which Nicaragua’s National Assembly made three new legislative proposals
A recently leaked USAID document highlights “the breadth and complexity of the US government’s plan to interfere in Nicaragua’s internal affairs up to and after its presidential election in 2021.” The stated aim is to replace president Daniel Ortega with “a government committed to the rule of law, civil liberties, and a free civil society.” HighlightingWashington’s aim, Ben Norton notes, “the 14-page USAID document employed the word ‘transition’ 102 times, including nine times on the first page alone.”
We are witnessing the systematic destruction of democracy at the hands of the de facto government of Jeanine Añez and its allied forces of repression in the streets, on the highways, and the communities across Bolivia. Through this letter, the members of the Progressive International demand that you take urgent action within your mandate to restore the fundamental rights of the Bolivian people to peace, protest, and democratic self-determination. In our message to you, we emphasize the urgency of your action to protect the integrity of the electoral process in the Plurinational State, to prevent the violent persecution of the indigenous population, and to ensure that similar coup d’états do not spread throughout Latin America and the world. We are outraged that the de facto government has been permitted to continue its assault on the democratic institutions of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
A “color revolution” is a media term for a movement based on legitimate grievances only to be co-opted into a regime-change operation backed by the US and confederates. There have been so many – Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004, Kyrgyzstan in 2005 – that they have run out of colors. Belarus is amidst the “slipper” color revolution. Belarus shows that any small state with a mildly socialist system and independent foreign policy invites subversion by the Yankee hegemon and its collaborators. Even if Belarus had met the highest standards of democracy and efficiency, a western-backed color revolution might not have been avoided. The US involvement in Belarus is not nearly as overt as it was in the Ukraine coup and, given the circumstances, may not need to be to achieve desired outcomes. Obama's former deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, tweeted on August 11: “Americans have to recognize that the fight against Lukashenko in Belarus is our fight.”