History of Major Government Agency The CIA Part 3

About the history of the major government agency the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA, origins, facts and more.



For the next few years the CIA fought a "secret war" against Castro. A succession of commando raids were launched against the tiny island, and a succession of other clandestine operations were tried. Among them were several assassination attempts against Castro, some carried out with the help of organized crime.

* Also in 1961, dissidents from the Dominican Republic, who worked closely with the CIA, killed dictator Gen. Rafael Trujillo. CIA activities in Latin America prompted Lyndon Johnson to comment, "We had been operating a damned Murder, Inc., in the Caribbean."

* The CIA became very involved in the internal strife in the Congo (now Zaire) in the early and mid-1960s. In 1961 plans were made to assassinate Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, but he was killed by followers of Katangan leader Moise Tshombe before the plan could come to fruition. In 1964 the CIA supplied aircraft, veteran pilots from the Bay of Pigs invasion, and white mercenaries from Rhodesia and South Africa to Joseph Mobutu's government to suppress a revolt at Stanleyville.

* In 1964 the CIA spent a reported $20 million in an attempt to prevent leftist President Goulart from gaining control of the Brazilian Congress, governorships, and municipal offices.

* In 1966-1967, a team of CIA operatives helped Bolivians track down Che Guevara, a top aide to Fidel Castro. After Guevara's capture and execution, Antonio Arguedas, the Bolivian minister of the interior, announced he had been a CIA agent.

* In 1967 the CIA worked closely with Colonel Popodopoulos in the military overthrow in Greece. The CIA's denial of any direct payments to Popodopoulos did not preclude indirect channeling of funds.

* From 1960 to 1973, the CIA trained and supported an army of 30,000 Meo tribesmen to fight against the Communists in Laos. Like their Chinese compatriots in Burma, they also became involved in opium smuggling. When the Meo army was decimated by the Pathet Lao in 1968, Thai troops were recruited to take its place.

* In 1958 and again in 1964 and 1970, the CIA worked to block the election of Salvador Allende to the Chilean presidency. In 1964 the agency spent vast sums (officially, $3 million; other reports put the figure at $20 million) to ensure the election of Eduardo Frei. After Allende's election in 1970, the CIA spent $6 1/2 million to "destabilize" the government. Government officials were bribed, agents were infiltrated into the media and other groups, and demonstrations, strikes, and a group of violent right-wing terrorists were all financed by the CIA. Although the CIA did not actually kill Gen. Rene Schneider, who would not give his support to a military coup, it worked closely with those who did. The eventual coup that toppled the Allende government was also CIA-backed.

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