Blowback: The Consequences of CIA-sponsored Regime Change in Latin America
45 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 15, 2021
The CIA coined the term “blowback” in the 1950s to refer to unintended and unwanted side effects of covert operations. We study the side effects of CIA-sponsored regime change in Latin America during the Cold War. While the US may have been acting in its perceived foreign policy self- interest, we find that these interventions caused large declines in democracy, moderate declines in real per-capita incomes, and no clear pattern in social unrest. Our findings should make any evaluation of US foreign policies regarding regime change in Latin America more negative and support the idea that these types of covert operations can cause real, damaging, blowback.
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