According to various sources, including foreignpolicy.com, the CIA has confirmed a total of seven countries the US has overthrown, beginning with Iran in 1953. It was the involvement of the military government installation in Syria that tied the US to the ousting of Iran's then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. Much of this information about the US involvement in the regime change can now be seen in the unclassified documents regarding this coup.
It wasn't until Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz turned on the US that anything was done about the then leader and ally of America. After attempting to occupy and essentially take US holdings and property, the US government orchestrated a coup in 1954, resulting in the expulsion of Árbenz.
The US actions in dealing with the former and first Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, were actions of necessity. Lumumba was removed from office during a conflict with Belgium, a country that the US supported. After leaving office, however, Lumumba began working with the Soviet Union and quickly become a threat to the newly formed government in Congo. Long story short, after some harrowing events, the threat by Lumumba was terminated, permanently.
In 1961 the reign of terror imposed by the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo came to an abrupt end. The heartless ruler who was guilty of crimes such as ethnic cleansing was ambushed and assassinated. The twist here is that the gunman claimed he was following orders from no person or agency, yet the CIA was openly supportive of the assassin.
This was arguably a paid hit by many accounts on behalf of the CIA. The issue with the South Vietnamese leader at that time, Ngo Dinh Diem, was reportedly tenuous at best. It wasn't until plans for a revolt were leaked that the US took action. That action was also swift and deadly, and as we mentioned, to the tune of more than a few dollars and cents too.
In an overthrow so bold that even former US President Lyndon Johnson was reportedly recorded giving orders to do whatever was necessary, Brazilian President Joao Goulart was public enemy number one. The replacement government also fared well and led Brazil into the mid-1980s.
The last recorded country the US has overthrown or played a direct role in regime change was Chile in 1973. It had been three years that the US had been working to remove Chilean President Salvador Allende. The violent leader eventually fell to a military revolt at the hands of military general Augusto Pinochet.
Overthrown by US
Year of Effort
|Ukraine||Yes||2014||Many sources claim that the US supported and helped fund the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution or the Ukrainian Revolution, in Ukraine, which resulted in the removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (and arguably led to Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which triggered the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War). However, other sources maintain that US involvement was negligible and has been greatly exaggerated for political purposes.|
|Libya||Yes||2011||The US was involved in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, which led to the overthrow of the government of Muammar Gaddafi. The intervention was motivated by the US's desire to protect civilians from Gaddafi's forces, but it also had the effect of destabilizing Libya and leading to a civil war.|
|Honduras||Yes||2009||The US has been involved in several coups in Honduras, most notably in 2009, when the CIA helped to overthrow the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was accused of being a leftist sympathizer, and the coup was supported by the US government.|
|Haiti||Yes||2004||The US has been involved in several coups in Haiti, most notably in 1991, when the CIA helped to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was restored to power in 1994, but was again overthrown in 2004. The US has continued to meddle in Haitian politics, and is currently supporting the government of Jovenel Moïse, who is accused of corruption and human rights abuses.|
|Iraq||Yes||2003||The US was involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which led to the overthrow of the government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion was motivated by the US's belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, which was later found to be false.|
|Venezuela||Temporary||2002||The United States has been accused of supporting the 2002 coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. The coup was quickly reversed—Chávezwas deposed from office, but reinstated two days later—but it led to a period of political instability in Venezuela. The US has also been accused of providing financial and logistical support to opposition groups in Venezuela in recent years.|
|Albania||Yes||1991||The US supported the Kosovo Liberation Army in its fight for independence from Serbia in the 1990s. The US also bombed Serbia in 1999 to stop the ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo.|
|Nicaragua||Yes||1990||The US was involved in the Contra War, which was a proxy war between the US and the Soviet Union fought in Nicaragua from 1980 to 1990. The war was motivated by the US's desire to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which was a communist government.|
|Panama||Yes||1989||In 1989, the US invaded Panama and overthrew the government of Manuel Noriega. Noriega was a drug trafficker and a US ally, but he had become increasingly independent, and the US decided to remove him from power.|
|Fiji||Yes||1987||In 1987, the CIA was involved in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Timoci Bavadra and the installation of a military government led by Sitiveni Rabuka. The coup was motivated by the US's desire to protect its interests in Fiji, which included a military base.|
|Grenada||Yes||1983||The US invaded Grenada in 1983 to overthrow the government of Maurice Bishop. Bishop was a communist leader who was overthrown by a coup. The US invasion was widely condemned by the international community.|
|Chad||Yes||1982||The US supported a coup against the government of Hissène Habré in 1990. Habré was a brutal dictator who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Chadians.|
|Jamaica||Yes||1980||In 1976, the CIA was involved in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Michael Manley. Manley was a socialist, and the coup was supported by the US government.|
|Afghanistan||Yes||1979||U.S. government provided weapons and funding for the Afghan mujahideen fighting to overthrow the Afghan government|
|Portugal||Yes||1976||The US was involved in the Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the fascist government of Portugal in 1974. The revolution was motivated by the US's desire to promote democracy in Portugal.|
|Australia||Yes||1975||CIA involvement in the Whitlam dismissal is an allegation that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, which culminated in the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.|
|Chile||Yes||1973||The US supported the coup against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973. Allende was replaced by Augusto Pinochet, a military dictator who ruled Chile for 17 years.|
|Cambodia||Yes||1970||The US supported the Khmer Rouge in their fight against the Vietnamese-backed government of Cambodia in the 1970s. The Khmer Rouge was a brutal regime that killed millions of Cambodians. The US later invaded Cambodia in 1975 to overthrow the Khmer Rouge.|
|Greece||Yes||1967||The US has never overthrown the government of Greece. However, the US has been involved in military interventions in Greece, such as the 1947 Greek Civil War.|
|Ghana||Yes||1966||The US has never overthrown the government of Ghana. However, the US has been involved in military interventions in Ghana, such as the 1966 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Kwame Nkrumah.|
|Indonesia||Yes||1965||From 1965 to 1967, the CIA was involved in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Sukarno and the installation of a military dictatorship led by Suharto. The coup was motivated by the US's fear that Sukarno was a communist sympathizer.|
|Brazil||Yes||1964||The US has never overthrown the government of Brazil. However, the US has been involved in military interventions in Brazil, such as the 1964 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of João Goulart.|
|Bolivia||Yes||1964||In 1971, the CIA helped to overthrow the democratically elected government of Juan José Torres and install a military dictatorship led by Hugo Banzer. The coup was motivated by the US's desire to prevent Bolivia from nationalizing its tin mines, which were owned by US companies.|
|Guyana||Yes||1964||The US has never overthrown the government of Guyana. However, the US has been involved in military interventions in Guyana, such as the 1970 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Forbes Burnham.|
|Vietnam||Yes||1963||The United States was heavily involved in the Vietnam War from 1954 to 1975. The US supported the South Vietnamese government against the communist North Vietnamese government. The war was a costly and bloody conflict, and it ended with the withdrawal of US troops and the victory of the North Vietnamese.|
|Ecuador||Yes||1963||The US has never overthrown the government of Ecuador. However, the US has been involved in military interventions in Ecuador, such as the 1965 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of José María Velasco Ibarra.|
|Dominican Republic||Yes||1963||The US supported a coup against the democratically elected government of Juan Bosch in 1963. Bosch was replaced by a military dictatorship that lasted for three years.|
|Laos||Yes||1960||The US was involved in the Vietnam War, which led to the overthrow of the communist government of Laos in 1975. The war was motivated by the US's desire to prevent the spread of communism in Southeast Asia.|
|Guatemala||Yes||1954||The US supported a coup against the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz in 1954. Árbenz was a leftist leader who was accused of being a communist. The coup was followed by a 36-year civil war that killed over 200,000 Guatemalans.|
|Iran||Yes||1953||The US was involved in the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a pro-US monarchy led by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The coup was motivated by the US's desire to protect its oil interests in Iran.|
|Philippines||Yes||1899||The US was involved in the Philippine-American War, which lasted from 1899 to 1902. The war was fought over the issue of Philippine independence, and the US eventually prevailed. The war had a devastating impact on the Philippines, and it is estimated that over 1 million Filipinos died.|
|Cuba||Yes||1898||The US has been hostile to Cuba since the Cuban Revolution in 1959. The US has imposed an economic embargo on Cuba and has supported numerous attempts to overthrow the Cuban government.|
7 countries' governments have been overthrown by the US over the years -- Iran, Guatemala, Congo, The Dominican Republic, South Vietnam, Brazil, and Chile.