UK planned over 40 coup bids, including bid to overthrow Abdel Nasser
These 'third-world' nationalist forces were identified by the UK as an extension of the 'Soviet threat', as well as an occurrence of Cold War dynamics that needed to be reverted.
A recent report published by Declassified UK details a somewhat exhaustive timeline of the UK's involvement in plotting coups across the world, both overt and covert, and in most cases conducted with the collaboration of the CIA to depose or assassinate democratically elected leaders.
The report counts a total of 47 coups put into action in 27 different countries since 1945, but the numbers could be higher.
The point in doing so is obvious: as a former colonial empire, the UK is structurally and historically pre-disposed to impede all signs of democratic and socioeconomic developments across the Global South.
After WWII, the Soviet Union supported the massive wave of anti-colonial wars to gain national independance.
These 'third-world' nationalist forces were identified by the UK as an extension of the Soviet threat, as well as an occurrence of Cold War dynamics that needed to be reverted.
Some of the most prominent coups orchestrated against leaders include the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953.
They also include the assassination of the former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Patrice Lumumba who was killed in the most tragic way one could possibly think of.
But the UK did not always succeed in effecting a regime change, as it did in Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, and so many African countries.
As if this weren't enough, once Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in a 1952 nationalist revolution, UK clandestine operatives were also busy plotting the ouster and killing of Egypt's president.
Nasser's rise to power posed a threat to both Britain's standing in the Middle East and the stability of the repressive, conservative monarchies that Whitehall, both then and now, was supporting, particularly in the Gulf region. Many of these kingdoms had characteristics of near-medieval times.
For instance, in the 1950s, the British regime tried to draw two consecutive uprisings against the government in Syria - the first in 1956 and the second in 1957 - which were both unsuccessful.
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Another covert operation that foiled was one conducted in 1957 against Indonesia's Sukarno, the leader of the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Dutch colonialists who propelled Indonesia out of morbid poverty.
Sukarno was ousted a decade later in what appeared to "one of the 20th century’s worst bloodbaths" with the purge of communists and socialists by the Indonesian military under Suharto - an event which was later revealed to have been backed by the UK in 1965-1966.
Other countries which have been targeted during the 1950s and 1960s include Brazil, British Guiana, Egypt, and several countries in the Gulf region.
One leader took about four decades for the UK to take down, namely Muammar Gaddafi, who nationalized British oil operators as soon as he seized power in 1969.
After several failed attempts to kill the strongman leader, the UK finally managed to rid of him in 2011 with the assistance of NATO.
Other leaders that were targeted for assassination include Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic in 1992, Ugandan President Milton Obote in 1969, and his successor Idi Amin in the late 1970s.
The list also includes countries of the former Soviet Union, namely Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
It further includes Italy because the Communist Party "looked as if it might win or influence the next government," the report states.
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The most recent coup attempts include failed attempts to depose Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the early 2010s, as well as several attempts to depose leaders in Latin American countries, namely lithium-rich Bolivia and oil-rich Venezuela.
Venezuela recently joined the ranks of failed coups after Juan Guaido was ousted and his government dissolved.
The report is relevant to the modern context because the West has recently tried to push for regime change in Iran and Peru.
In the case of Peru, former President Pedro Castillo had charges fabricated against him to justify his impeachment and imprisonment.
All-in-all, the UK's habits of conducting coups across the Global South is always motivated by strategic interests. These include a wide range of interests but almost always concern the privatization of oil resources.
In the case where no oil is involved, the UK intervenes to simply ward off the presence of progressive ideologies that strengthen the people against the will of the West.
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