As the strange saga of the 2016 US presidential election continues to unfold, some questions remain mysterious, while others are only too clear. In the latter category, the capacity of the US ruling class for hypocritical outrage seems endless. The howls from Congress grow louder all the time: how dare another country attempt to interfere in our sacred democratic process!
More facts about outside attempts to sway voters in the 2016 campaign may eventually become known, but regardless of this episode, even some U.S. politicians and pundits grudgingly admit that the “Russian hackers” are light-years behind Uncle Sam when it comes to blatant interference in foreign countries. Any student of world affairs can quickly recall some of the most obvious cases, including the 1970 attempt to block the election of Chile’s Popular Unity government, and the massive U.S. role in the Italian election of 1948, to help defeat that country’s very popular Communist Party. One recent study found that the U.S. had intervened, either covertly or openly, in 86 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg, when we consider the history of CIA-backed coups and interventions against progressive governments, ranging from Iran and Guatemala during the 1950s, to the Chilean coup of 1973, the more recent US-led bombing of Yugoslavia (1999) and the overthrow of the Gaddafi government of Libya (2012). In the more recent “colour revolution” scenario, Washington pours dollars and “advisors” into a country with the aim of taking advantage of domestic political disputes to install pro-US regimes. Venezuela is the most significant current target of this US imperialist strategy.
Yes, foreign interference to change the leaders and governments of other countries is an unacceptable violation of national sovereignty and international law. But the U.S. is almost always the guilty party.