Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democratic presidential candidates participate the presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

'In Chile, In Guatemala, In Iran': Sanders Applauded for Highlighting US Record of Overthrowing Governments Around the World

"Nobody on the debate stage except Bernie has the guts to say the truth about the legacy of U.S. foreign policy."

Jake Johnson

Facing a barrage of attacks from his Democratic rivals and hawkish questions from moderators, Sen. Bernie Sanders said during the presidential primary debate in South Carolina Tuesday night that political leaders must face up to America's long record of toppling democratically elected governments overseas.

"Excuse me, occasionally it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy," Sanders, the Democratic frontrunner, said as Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden attempted to slime the senator over his comments on Cuba's education and healthcare systems and falsely accuse him of being sympathetic to authoritarianism.

"That includes," Sanders continued, "the fact that America has overthrown governments all over the world in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran."

While pundits were not pleased with Sanders' remarks, progressives applauded the senator's willingness to speak candidly about the United States' sordid record overseas.

"A golden rule of Beltway orthodoxy is that candidates should never criticize U.S. foreign policy even when the criticisms are both factual and correct," tweeted Jacobin staff writer Luke Savage in response to CNN commentator David Axelrod's criticism of the senator's comments. "One of Bernie's strengths is his unwillingness to concede to this sort of elite taboo."

"Nobody on the debate stage except Bernie has the guts to say the truth about the legacy of U.S. foreign policy," added Nikhil Goyal, a PhD candidate at Cambridge University.

Others echoed Savage and Goyal:

After Republican Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin tweeted that Sanders was "digging his grave" by "blaming America" for overthrowing governments, progressive foreign policy analyst Elizabeth Beavers replied, "Imagine thinking 'blaming America for overthrowing governments' is anything other than historical fact."

"Guatemala, Iran, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and many, many others would like a word," Beavers added.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'End the Filibuster': GOP Ready to Tank Even Manchin's Compromise Voting Rights Bill

"Sen. Manchin searched for 10 Republicans to support voting rights legislation, but Republican senators willing to break with Sen. McConnell and stand on the right side of history simply don't exist."

Jessica Corbett ·


Chicago Groups Unite With Message to US Senate: 'Reject Rahm'

"Emanuel was more concerned with his own reelection than he was with justice for a child murdered on his watch. This is a complete slap in the face to Black America."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africa's Disappearing Glaciers Signal 'Irreversible' Threat to Earth System: Report

The authors of a U.N. report urge greater investment in climate adaptation and weather services on the continent.

Julia Conley ·


As Corporate Dems Belly-Ache Over Social Investments, Senate Panel Approves Extra $29 Billion for Pentagon

The Senate committee vote included $10 billion more than requested. "That's $100 billion over 10 years—or half the cost of universal pre-K, which we're told we can't afford," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·


'What Republicans Want to Do Everywhere': Outcry Over New Voting Maps in Texas

"The new redistricting plans are an unlawful attempt to thwart the changing Texas electorate and should be struck down."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo