Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Cover photo: A February 17, 2018, article, titled, "Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too," authored by Scott Shane – who covered the perestroika and glasnost for The Baltimore Sun in Moscow from 1988 to 1991 during the final few years of the Soviet Union – reported the US has interfered in foreign elections for decades. However, a couple of old US intelligence hands were quoted in the article as saying the US meddling was for altruistic purposes. The CIA veterans charged that Russia interferes in foreign elections for purely malevolent purposes. The belief that American interference in global elections was to promote liberal democracy could not be further from the truth.
In the 1950s, the CIA provided massive support to the West German Christian Democrats, which were led by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The CIA also did its best to suppress supprt for the West German Social Democrats and the far-right nationalist German Party in Berlin, Hesse, and Bavaria.
In 1967, Indian Foreign Minister M. C. Chagla charged that the CIA “meddled” in India’s election, mainly through financial donations to parties in opposition to the ruling Indian Congress party. The CIA particularly targeted Communist parties in West Bengal and Kerala states.
Former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker of the Conservative Party charged in 1967 that CIA funds were used to bolster the Liberal Party, which contributed to Diefenbaker’s electoral losses in two general elections held between May 1962 and June 1963. Diefenbaker’s successor, Prime Minister Lester Pearson of the Liberal Party, discovered that the CIA funneled cash to the pro-Liberal Canadian Union of Students in 1965 and 1966.
The CIA did everything possible to defeat for re-election the New Zealand Labor Party government of Prime Minister David Lange. The CIA provided propaganda support to the opposition National Party, which was opposed to Lange’s policy of denying entry to New Zealand waters of US nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered warships. The CIA ensured that pro-American media in New Zealand harped on about New Zealand record-high 6 percent unemployment, the nation’s foreign debt being half of its gross domestic product, and $1 billion budget deficit. The CIA also attempted to suppress traditional Maori support for Labor in the August 15, 1987 election, a cynical use of race-based politics to alter an election outcome.
Between 1965 and 1967, the CIA station in Brazil, working in conjunction with the AFL/CIO union in the United States and its international arm, the American Institute of Free Labor Development (AIFLD), were discovered to be interfering in union elections in Brazil. The Sao Paulo office of the AIFLD, which was nothing more than a CIA front, made cash payments to Brazilian officials to corrupt union elections in the Brazilian petroleum sector. An itemized list of CIA bribes to Brazilian officials was discovered by a Sao Paulo union official: “Bonus to Jose Abud for collaboration – $156.25; Special payment to Dt. Jorge M. Filho of Labor Ministry – $875.00; Trip for Mr. Glaimbore Guimasaes, our informer at Fegundes St. – $56.25; Photocopies of books and documents of Petroleum Federation – $100.00; Assistance to Guedes and Eufrasio to defeat Luis Furtado of the Suzano Union – $140.64.”
Prior to the September 4, 1964 Chilean presidential election, the leftist Popular Action Front opposition discovered that US chargé d’affaires Joseph Jova was assisting the Christian Democratic Party candidate. Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Montalva, with the CIA’s help, defeated Allende.
A CIA memo dated October 3, 1955, describes CIA support for the pro-Western. Masjumi Party in the Indonesian election, the nation’s first since independence. CIA director Allen Dulles appeared to be hopeful about the chances of a Masjumi victory due to Indonesia’s “large percentage of illiterates.” In the 1984 El Salvador presidential election, the CIA supported Christian Democrat Jose Napoleon Duarte over the more extreme-right winger, Roberto d’Aubisson. Republican US Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina charged that the CIA “meddled” in the election on behalf of Duarte. It was even discovered that the “invisible ink” used on the fingers of those who had voted was supplied from the CIA.
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