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JFK’s Assassination 50 Years Later, America’s 1963 Coup d'Etat
Photo: John F. Kennedy Dec. 29, 1962 receiving the Cuban flag from U.S. sponsored mercenaries who carried out the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Kennedy, received the flag saying, “I promise to return this flag in a free Havana.” Prior to the Cuban Revolution, the U.S. backed Batista Dictatorship murdered 20,000 people in seven years. With Kennedy’s backing, the Bay of Pigs invasion was an attempt to reestablish U.S. control of Cuba. The Cubans responded by militarily defeating the attempted U.S. mercenary invasion and other attempts to defend themselves, including the stationing of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. Kennedy responded to Cuba’s self-defense by bring the world to the brink of nuclear destruction in the so-called “Cuban Missile Crisis”.
JFK’s Assassination 50 Years Later, America’s 1963 Coup d'Etat
by Steven Argue
In Central America a joke is told: "Why hasn't the United States had a coup?" Answer: "Because they don't have an American Embassy."
Around the world, the CIA and U.S. State Department actively work to prevent any form of democratic will from being expressed by the people of the world. Among these many acts are coups overthrowing elected governments. Examples include Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, Haiti 2004, and the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002. Among the most recent of these U.S. interventions was Obama's 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew elected President Manuel Zelaya and installed a death squad government that has slaughtered journalists, activists, and unionists.
Yet, the United States itself has not been without its coups and coup attempts either. In 1933 leading American industrial and banking capitalists, including the DuPont family, planned a coup to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Their plan was to install a fascist government modeled after the governments of Hitler and Mussolini. Major General Smedley Butler helped stop that attempt by blowing the whistle on it.
In 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court carried out a coup by ordering an end to vote counts in Florida. Al Gore, for his part, failed to wage any effective fight against the U.S. Supreme Court's coup d'etat. If it had been a revolutionary socialist facing a stolen election, rather than Al Gore, we would have boldly declared that the election had been stolen and that it was time for the working class (who had elected him) to stop work and man the barricades to defend democracy. Al Gore, however, is a capitalist politician who based his electoral chances on backing from the capitalist class. Gore feared mobilizing the working class simply because he had more in common with Bush than he did with the working class. A capitalist politician like Gore simply prefers Bush to the fearful alternative of mobilizing the working class and awakening us to our own power.
The state of Florida also violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by illegally purging Black and Latino voters from voting rolls and denying them the right to vote. Under Jim Crow segregation the south was ruled by the racist Democrat Party enforced by the terror of the KKK and local police forces. Blacks were denied the right to vote. It was the 1965 Voting Rights Act that finally helped give Blacks the right to vote. In a further move against basic democracy, in 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This Supreme Court decision overturns the 2006 re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act. At that time, only a handful of southern racists, including Ron Paul, voted against the Act's re-authorization. Yet, the Supreme Court has now once again made a major decision to suppress the democratic will of the American people.
On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was murdered when multiple gunmen opened fire on his motorcade. The evidence of this being a CIA organized coup d'etat is straight forward and overwhelming. I say this as someone who has seriously reviewed many sources on what happened that day. To review those mountains of evidence in this work would go beyond the scope of this piece and repeat the work already done by others. The work of activist and investigator Ralph Shoenman and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison are among many sources that blow the lid off of the official lies presented in the Warren Commission Report. Oliver Stone dramatized the facts accurately in his movie "JFK".
While the blood thirsty CIA had their differences with Kennedy, Kennedy himself was no hero. In Vietnam he carried out the Phoenix Program, an operation that consisted of the mass torture and assassination of leftists and suspected leftists. And after Kennedy's military defeat at the Bay of Pigs by the Cuban people, Kennedy went on bring the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation in the Cuban missile crisis. Cuba simply wanted to defend itself after the imposition of the Batista dictatorship by U.S. imperialism and the attempted invasion by U.S. mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs. By threatening nuclear war to prevent Cuba’s self-defense, Kennedy almost killed us all. Kennedy was a capitalist and imperialist president, but as the Kennedy coup shows, the U.S. ruling class kills their own.
Ultimately, bourgeois democracy, the system we live under where the wealthy have all of the power, is not a democratic system. To be elected one needs massive financial backing from the ruling capitalist class and the backing of the corporate media. And if that system produces leaders that don’t exactly fit the profit needs of the capitalists who own this country, they will use the institutions of the capitalist state like the CIA or the Supreme Court to undemocratically impose whatever the capitalist class wants.
Capitalism is corruption. It is a system where, for instance, big oil and coal capitalists can prevent action on global warming by buying the politicians. Democracy will only be brought to the United States through smashing the capitalist state, expropriating the capitalist class, establishing workers democracy, and establishing a planned socialist economy to provide everyone with a job, housing, free education, free healthcare, and a cleaner environment where the future of humanity isn’t as badly threatened by global warming.
-Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency
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