Back in 1960, the Republic of Congo (which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo), declared its full independence from Belgium and had the first prime minister that was ever democratically elected: Patrice Lumumba.
Right after he started his attributions, President Joseph Kasavubu forced him out of office, because of a Belgian military invasion. Worried that the events would only provide fertile ground for a Soviet incursion, the CIA actually encouraged and assisted various attempts to kill Lumumba, as they thought Lumumba was a communist leader, just like Castro.
The CIA eventually facilitated Lumbumba’s capture in 1960 and assassination in 1961. The action did nothing but precipitate the Congo Crisis, which is known as a period in which military leader Mobutu Sese Seko consolidated his power in the country. Mobutu became a dictator who ruled until 1997.
1963: South Vietnam
The Pentagon Papers are LOADED with damning revelations about America’s war in Vietnam, which caused no less than a huge sensation when The New York Times published them back in 1971.
One revelation was based on the fact that the CIA had funded and even encouraged the 1963 coup against the president of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, and later his assassination, too.
In 1963, the United States had already sent thousands of American soldiers to Vietnam. They were there to fight the northern communist government, which was led by Ho Chi Minh.
At first, the U.S. was with Diem, because he was against the north. Even so, Diem strongly persecuted the Buddhists, which made him an extremely unpopular ruler, leading the Kennedy administration to doubt whether Diem was really capable or not to win the war.
The coup and later his assassination occurred in early November 1963, only a few weeks before Kennedy’s assassination.
When Chile chose the socialist leader Salvador Allende as president in 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon initially wanted to block him from taking office, or at least to plan a coup for him right after he took the office.
The CIA started, on Nixon’s orders, supporting all kinds of Chilean groups that were plotting to overthrow the new president. In 1973, military leader Augusto Pinochet decided to stage a coup that was meant to throw Allende from office.
Pinochet took the dictatorship the next year, ruling as Chile’s president until 1990. However, whether the CIA was directly involved in Pinochet’s actions is still debatable.