Coup in Iraq (Assassination of Abdul Karim Kassem)
The leader of Iraq, Abdul Karim Kassem, is overthrown in a coup and summarily executed. The USA CIA gives the new regime (the Ba’ath Party) the names of around 5,000 communists who are then killed. Saddam Hussein, who would eventually take charge of the Ba’ath Party, is involved in torture of opponents. Forty years later his regime would be removed by the USA (with the UK).
UK government papers later declassified would indicate that the coup was backed by the USA and UK. One UK Foreign Office official writes the “such harshness may well be necessary as a short term expedient” and that the new regime “have shown courage and steadfastness in hatching and executing their plot” and should be “somewhat friendlier to the West”. According to Roger Allen, the UK ambassador reported that the new regime “suits our interests pretty well”.
Kassem had helped found the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in an attempt to curtail Western control of Arab oil. He had been planning to nationalise the Iraq Petroleum Company in which the USA had an interest. Iraq had also disapproved when Kuwait had been given independence by the UK with a pro-west emir (king) and oil concessions to Western companies.
A few days before the coup, the French newspaper La Monde had reported that Kassem had been warned by the USA government to change his country’s economic policies or face sanctions.
The new government promises not to nationalise American oil interests and renounces its claim to Kuwait. A brutal offensive is launched against the minority Kurdish population who were seeking autonomy. The UK supplies 18,000 rockets to the Iraqi air force and large amounts of ammunition, mortar bombs, machine guns and helicopters. Kurdish villages are demolished with equipment supplied by the UK and bombed by UK supplied Hawker Hunter aircraft. Poison gas is also used while the West turns a blind eye. The USA recognises and praises the new government.
Coup in Dominican Republic
The democratically elected government of the Dominican Republic is removed by a military coup.
Juan Bosch had become the first democratically elected president of the country since 1924. His program included land reform, affordable housing, the avoidance of exploitative foreign investment, civil liberties, and nationalisation.
After the coup, USA marines are sent in to look after American business interests and support the new regime.
USA Race Riots, Assassination of Kennedy
Riots and the killing of black people continue in the Deep South of the USA. Martin Luther King makes his “I have a dream…” speech.
President Kennedy is assassinated in suspicious circumstances.
A Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc sets himself on fire in Saigon in protest against the USA backed authoritarian government of South Vietnam. This government had discriminated against Buddhism, the dominant religion in the country.
The USA, shaken because the immolation had been televised around the world, gives approval for a military coup that topples Ngo Dinh Diem (whom they had put into power in 1955). The ousted leaders are killed in cold blood. The South Vietnamese do not get a chance to vote for their leader.
Seven more monks commit suicide in the ancient Vietnamese capital, Hue.
Coup in Honduras
A military coup takes place in Honduras. The president eventually resigns after accepting bribes from an American company. The USA controls the country and gains access to its raw materials by giving huge amounts of aid to the military.
The government of the USA sends 10 Special Forces personnel to El Salvador to help General Jose Alberto Medrano set up the Organizacion Democratica Nacionalista (ORDEN). This is the first paramilitary death squad in that country.
For the next 30 years, members of the USA military and the CIA will help organize, train, and fund death squad activity in El Salvador.
Coup in Guatemala
The USA CIA overthrows the dictatorship of General Miguel Ydigoras in Guatemala. Ydigoras had been planning to step down in 1964 and hold elections. The USA feared that the previously elected president Juan José Arévalo (overthrown by the CIA in 1954) would regain power.
The new regime does not hold elections.
The USA CIA back a military coup that overthrows President Arosemana of Ecuador, because of his independent policies. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.
© 2014, KryssTal