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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.


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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

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