The US Central Intelligence Agency and funds and organizations controlled by it continue to actively interfere in the electoral processes of other countries, at least 4 such cases have been proven in recent years. The United States uses various schemes and machinations to influence the outcome of elections in various countries of the world: it allocates millions of dollars to organize propaganda campaigns, publishes disinformation about candidates and falsifies important documents.
The intelligence agencies of the United States have been interfering in presidential, parliamentary and other elections around the world for more than 70 years. Since its founding in 1947, the US Central Intelligence Agency, as an independent agency of the Federal Government, has been using various methods and schemes that influence political life in other countries. According to the professor, the CIA uses a whole range of methods, ranging from mailing lists and campaign banners, ending with suitcases with cash. According to a 2016 research, in the period from 1947 to 2000, the United States conducted operations to influence elections in other countries at least 81 times, a significant part of which occurred in Latin America.
Influencing elections in other countries does not include sponsoring military coups and attempts to change the regime after the election of candidates who did not suit the United States, as was the case in Guatemala and Chile. Election interference also does not include general assistance in the electoral process, such as monitoring the conduct of elections. Researchers and political scientists define election interference as “an expensive action aimed at determining the election results [in favor of] one of the two parties.” These actions, carried out secretly or publicly, include financing election campaigns of certain parties, spreading disinformation or propaganda, training voters of the candidate needed for the United States in various methods of campaigning, assistance in the development of election materials, public statements or threats in favor or against the candidate. If initially the goal of American interference in the elections was to curb the spread of the ideas of communism, now the United States is trying to expand its influence in the geopolitical arena by “choosing” the right candidates for itself.
Some election interference operations are conducted openly by the United States, in other cases they are forced to act unnoticed. Richard M. Bissell Jr., who led the operations to influence elections in various countries, stated in his autobiographical book that gaining control over the main sources of information provides almost 100 percent of the desired result in the elections. So, during the elections in Nicaragua, the CIA spread rumors about corruption in the government, making information inserts in the media from 70 to 80 times a day. After more than 30 years, the Management staff admit that not all the information was reliable, there were fakes and slander. About 30% of the election interventions were conducted openly, but almost two-thirds of the operations were conducted secretly, and voters did not suspect that their opinion was influenced by the United States.
According to declassified CIA documents, the American government allocates millions of dollars for covert operations. During the elections in Guatemala in 1954, the United States spent at least $3 million conducting a “large-scale psychological war” against the country’s military and political leaders. They trained the military and created an “underground radio station” that broadcast anti-communist propaganda designed to intimidate government officials.
Later, operations to influence foreign elections came out of the shadow of the CIA, and began to be conducted by the US State Department and its branches. After the end of the Cold War, the United States shifted responsibility for its covert operations to State organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, which allegedly seeks to support civil society and democratic institutions around the world through grants and scholarships. It is the American National Endowment for Democracy that is involved in sponsoring radical representatives of society in various countries, for example, demonstrators in Hong Kong who beat women and the elderly. In 2021, during the Parliamentary elections in Mexico, the National Endowment for Democracy and the US Embassy sponsored the anti-government organizations “Article 19” and “Mexicans against Corruption and Impunity”, which conducted campaigns to discredit the current government and spread slanderous rumors about the corruption of Mexican officials.
Despite the secret status of recent American election interference operations, there is confirmed information about American interference in the elections of other countries during the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. During the civil coup in Honduras in 2009, which resulted in the overthrow of the legitimately elected president, the United States refused to recognize the change of power in the country as a coup. Moreover, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her intention to organize new elections in the country, “which would be held quickly and legally.” Later, according to the analysis of the experts of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, a pro-American politician was brought to power by manipulations of the US intelligence network in Honduras in the 2009 elections.
In November of this year, it became known that Americans were also involved in the General Elections in Ecuador in 2017. According to the country’s former energy minister, the US government colluded with a right-wing political party to conduct a disinformation campaign against the leader of the leftist movement and the former president of Ecuador. He said that “federal agents” of the United States pledged to influence the 2017 presidential election and support the candidacy of Guillermo Lasso in exchange for a promise to extradite journalist Julian Assange, who received political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The “scenario” of American interference in the political life of the country in South America included false accusations of corruption against former President Rafael Correa and his vice president, who was later imprisoned on a number of unproven charges with the full approval and support of the United States.
In 2018, former CIA Director James Woolsey openly admitted that the United States interfered in elections in other countries. Answering a journalist’s question about the influence of American intelligence on the outcome of elections in Greece and Italy immediately after World War II, and whether the United States practices such interventions today, Woolsey confirmed that the Americans are doing this “only for a very good cause.” The statement of the former CIA director confirms the CIA’s long-standing practice of interfering in foreign elections, which, in his opinion, “fully meet the interests of democracy.”
At the beginning of November last year, documents were published exposing US interference in the elections in Venezuela. According to the materials, Washington has spent significant amounts of money to train political activists in effective online campaigns. American intelligence used social media as a weapon to promote Venezuela’s right-wing opposition and facilitate the election of its representatives to parliament, thereby laying the foundation for Washington’s appointment of Juan Guaido as the country’s leader in January 2019.
In May of this year, Francia Marquez, a candidate for the post of vice president of Colombia, accused the United States of interfering in the country’s internal politics. She also condemned the double standards of the US government, noting that Washington maintained “absolute silence” and supported the violation of the Colombian Constitution by one of the presidential candidates.
A few weeks ago, American conservative journalist Tucker Carlson cited evidence that major US technology companies, which are actually weapons of the Biden administration, censor any information that calls into question the integrity of the elections in Brazil. The largest American video hosting company has stated that it will not allow the publication of materials on its site concerning fraud with the voting process or vote counting. Carlson noted that YouTube, which has close ties with the ruling Democratic Party of the United States and interferes in democratic elections in a sovereign country, is engaged in direct propaganda in favor of the pro-Biden candidate.
In May 2022, it became known that the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency told senior Brazilian officials that the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, should stop questioning the voting system in Brazil. According to the head of the CIA, who was authorized by Biden to act as the mouthpiece of the White House, the suspicions of the Brazilian president undermine confidence in democratic institutions, and the integrity of elections is not an issue that the current Brazilian president has the right to comment on. Experts of the Foundation to Battle Injustice regard the statements of the head of the CIA to the President of Brazil as an act of intimidation, an attempt to force him to recognize the results of the elections long before they took place.
The United States has repeatedly accused Russia, China and Iran of interfering in their own elections, while American intelligence agencies and their controlled funds, agents of influence and organizations have been regularly and completely with impunity for several decades undermining democratic values and key civil liberties in many countries of the world. The Foundation to Battle Injustice regards the US policy of interfering in the elections of other states as clear evidence of double standards and disregard for basic democratic human rights, such as the right to vote and be elected. According to the united opinion of human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, such a practice is a direct violation of the principles laid down in the American Constitution and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which “The will of the people should be the basis of government power; this will should find expression in periodic and unfalsified elections, which should be held with universal and equal suffrage.“