After World War II, the Soviets consolidated its hegemony over Eastern Europe. At the same time, the United States scrambled to carve out an empire in Central America, the Middle East, and Eastern Asia. In the Western Hemisphere, right wing dictators consolidated their power in "our banana republics," most notably in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.


On the other side of the globe, the United States coined Iran and Saudi Arabia, two authoritarian regimes, as its "twin pillars"in the Middle East. Fifty percent of the oil consumed in the United States flowed out of the Persian Gulf. And in return American military weapons were shipped to them.


Washington supported a revolution that brought the authoritarian regime of General Sukarto to power in Indonesia. The United States hailed Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos as a democrat. Finally, he was brought down by Corazon Aquino and the People Power movement. Beginning with the Eisenhower administration, puppet governments were established in South Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The United States supported the Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo regimes in Taiwan. It was not until the 1980s that Taipei made some concrete steps towards democratization.


At the height of the Cold War, the United States built a chain of military bases stretching from South Korea and Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia to Saudi Arabia, Greece, Turkey Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Great Britain, and Iceland. In effect, the United States had thousands of overseas military installations which circled the Soviet Union and China.


ITALY - 1947 - This was the first covert operation overseas by the CIA. The agency disseminated disinformation against the communist party in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Italian elections.


ALBANIA - 1949 - The CIA trained Albanian exiles on the island of Malta and in Rome and Athens. The rebels entered Albania in an unsuccessful effort to overthrow President Enver Hoxha.


CHINA - 1950 - A year after Mao's revolution, the CIA trained rebels in Taiwan to infiltrate into China, Manchuria, and Tibet in an attempt to destabilize the region.


THE PHILIPPINES - 1950 - The CIA helped to break the power of the leftist Huks and was successful in helping elect Magasaysay president.


KOREA - 1951-53 - The CIA sent agents into North Korea during the war. Forty-four guerrilla units comprising of 3,000 agents secretly entered North Korea between April and December 1951. However, they apparently were unable to receive information concerning the movement of Chinese troops in North Korea.


IRAN - 1953 - Mossadegh was democratically elected prime minister, and he nationalized the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company. The CIA overthrew Mossadegh and restore the Shah to the throne.


GUATEMALA - 1954 - Arbenz was democratically elected president, and he nationalized the United Fruit Company as well as instituting other reforms for the peasants. The CIA led a coup and Arbenz fled the country. Colonel Armas was named president and American businesses were restored.


CONGO - 1960-64 - Leftist leaning Lumumba was president. The United States terminated aid him. The CIA aided the military in overthrowing Lumumba and placing Mobuto in power. Lumumba who was subsequently killed.


INDONESIA - 1958-65 - After the Dutch departed in 1949, the left leaning Sukarno was democratically elected president. After initiating social reforms, he was overthrown by the CIA in 1949 and Suharto was placed in power. Sukarno was the first democrat who was not aligned in the United States-Soviet power struggle.


EAST TIMOR - 1974 - After the Dutch departed East Timor, Sukarno invaded the island country. The CIA supported Indonesia's invasion, supplying weapons. Approximately 200,000 were killed.


BRAZIL - 1961-64 - After Goulart was popularly elected president, he nationalized the country’s copper mines and instituted social reforms. A CIA coup overthrew Goulart, and the mines were returned to corporate control.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 1962-66 - After the assassination of Trujillo, Juan Bosch was elected president and he began to initiate social reforms. The United States branded Bosch a communist. President Johnson sent in 23,000 American marines, and Bosch was overthrown. Joaquin Belaquer was placed in power.


TURKEY - Early 1960s - Turkey invaded Cyprus. The invasion was supported by the United States, Approximately 2,000 people were killed, and 200,000 were driven out of the country.


VIETNAM - 1940s-75 - The United States provided military aid to French Indo-China and then promised free elections at the Geneva Convention in 1954. Instead, the United States placed Diem, a right wing dictator, in power. In 1964 the Tonkin incident was fabricated by President Johnson, and the first of 550,000 combat troops were sent to Vietnam. By the end of the war in 1975, between three million and four million people had been killed.


BOLIVIA - 1964 and 1984 - After President Paz was elected in 1964, he nationalized several foreign interests which included American mining companies. The CIA orchestrated a coup and placed General Barrientos in power.


In 1980 a nationalist was democratically elected president. A CIA-led coup ousted him, and General

Garcia-Meza was placed in power.


CHILE - 1970-73 - Salvador Allende was popularly elected president. He nationalized American copper mines and ATT Corporation. A CIA-supported coup resulted in the assassination of Allende.

Chile returned to military rule under the repressive rule of General Pinochet.


ZIMBABWE (Rhodesia) - 1970s-80s- After the fall of British colonial rule under Ian Smith, the leftist Robert Mugabe was popularly elected president. The United States ignored United Nations

economic sanctions because of the importance of minerals to American corporations in Zimbabwe.


NAMIBIA - 1960s-90s - The United Nations and the World Court declared South Africa’s occupation of Namibia illegal. South Africa used Namibia as a staging area for attacks into neighboring countries. The United States ignored the resolutions and continued its normal relations with South Africa.


AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN - 1979-89 - In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The United States countered by funding the Mujahaddin rebels in Pakistan.


NICARAGUA - 1981-90 - The Sandinistas overthrew the right wing Somoza regime in 1979. Reagan immediately formed the Contras which were supported and trained by the CIA. The Contras failed to occupy any villages or to win any key encounters. In 1984 free elections were monitored by human rights groups. The Sandinistas were reelected, and 75 percent of the economy remained within the private sector and peasants were provided with health care and a public education for the first time. The United States vetoed the Security Council resolutions which condemned the war. The United States also ignored the World Court's decision which ruled against the mining of harbors. The Bush administration orchestrated the 1990s elections in order to assure the presidency for Violetta Chamorro and the 15 party UNO coalition.


EL SALVADOR - 1980s-90s - The FMLN waged civil war against the repressive government of the 14 Families, the death squads of Roberto D'Aubuisson, and Napoleon Duarte. The right assassinated Archbishop Romero as well as murdering American Roman Catholic nuns, and students at the Jesuit University. In the 1980s, 80,000 were killed. The Reagan-Bush administrations poured in $1.5 million a day to stabilize the military regime.


GUATEMALA - 1980-90s - Peasants carried out a civil war against the military dictatorship. The Reagan administration provided military and economic aid to bolster the country’s dictator. In the 1980s, 70,000 peasants were killed by government forces.

GRENADA - 1983 - The Maurice Bishop government initiated social and economic reforms which benefited the islands poor. President Reagan invaded Grenada just two days after 241 marines were killed in Beirut. He charged that Grenada was building a runway for Soviet bombers and that American medical students lives were endangered. Bishop stated that the airport was being enlarged to allow large tourist planes to land. After American forced defeated the Bishop government, the medical students later said that their lives were never in danger. The United States staged mock elections and completed the runway for tourist planes.


PANAMA - 1989 - Castro was on the CIA payroll for about 10 years. In the early 1980s, he refused to allow Contras to be trained in Panama. President Bush immediately claimed that Noriega conducted fraudulent elections and that he was involved in drug trafficking. American planes bombed homes, killing about 5,000 people in the El Chorillo residential area of Panama City. Noriega was kidnapped and tried" in the United States, while "free elections" were conducted in Panama. Another repressive leader, Endara, was placed in power.


IRAQ AND KUWAIT - 1990-91 - In the 1980s, the United States helped build Saddam Hussein’s war machine -- a scandal known as Iraqgate. Tensions between Iraq and Kuwait was continuing: a border dispute, slant drilling by Kuwait into Iraqi oil fields, ownership over two small islands in the Persian Gulf, and sovereignty over the Shatt al-Arab which empties into the Gulf of Hormuz. After Iraq invaded Kuwait, negotiations between the United States and Hussein failed. President Bush bought the support of several countries in the Arab, and 100,000 people were killed. The United States restored the emir to the throne, and Kuwait continued with its repressive regime.

SOMALIA - 1990s - Warlords controlled most of Somalia. When leading warlord Aidid did not acknowledge the oil rights of four American oil corporations, President Bush sent in American troops for "humanitarian reasons," even though the neighboring countries of Chad and Sudan had worse human rights abuses than did Somalia.