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The War on Democracy (2007)

Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary ... See full summary »


(as Chris Martin), | 1 more credit »




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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Agee ...
Himself (archive sound)
Jacobo Arbenz ...
Himself, President of Guatemala (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Allen Dulles ...
Himself (archive footage)
John Foster Dulles ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ari Fleischer ...
Himself (archive footage)
Richard Helms ...
Himself (archive footage)
E. Howard Hunt ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary people to free themselves from poverty and racism. Since the mid 19th Century Latin America has been the 'backyard' of the US, a collection of mostly vassal states whose compliant and often brutal regimes have reinforced the 'invisibility' of their majority peoples. The film reveals similar CIA policies to be continuing in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon. The rise of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez despite ongoing Washington backed efforts to unseat him in spite of his overwhelming mass popularity, is democratic in a way that we have forgotten or abandoned in the west. True Democracy being a solid 80% voter turnout in support of Chavez in over 6 elections. Written by David Blake

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Release Date:

15 June 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

John Pilger: The War on Democracy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(35 mm version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Narrator: Today, the people of Latin America are again rising up, against an empire built on an extreme form of capitalism known as the Washington Consensus. Whole countries have been privatized, put up for sale, their natural wealth sold to foreign companies for peanuts. In Venezuela they have said "No more!"
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User Reviews

The true nature of the American democracy
13 May 2008 | by (Korea (Republic of)) – See all my reviews

Democracy is one of the old-fashioned goods the U.S. have exported to developing countries. To quote President Bush: "America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others to find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way." Can it be so? Absolutely not. The reality has usually been the other way round. Democracy made in the U.S. is like Pandora box for tiny countries.

The War On Democracy filmed by John Pilger shows well the falsity of the U.S. through the revelation of the hidden, suppressed history in Latin America.

Don't be embarrassed at the fact that The U.S has tried to turn over democratic governments under the guise of democracy. Especially, many countries in Latin America have been attacked with the loss of countless lives, and their leaders became the victims of an injustice; Jacobo Arbenz, a democratically elected Guatemalan president in 1950, was forced into exile being stripped naked and photographed; In 1973 Salvador Allende of Chile took his life against the bombing led by General Pinochet, an America's man.

By what right, has the U.S. played the leading role in destroying the democratic governments and the dreams of the people? Who gives the U.S. the right? Let's listen to the pretext of Duane Clarridge, head of the CIA's Latin American division in the early 1980s in Chile. "We'll intervene whenever we decide it's in our national security interests to intervene, and if you don't like it, lump it. Get used to it, world -we're not gonna put up with nonsense. If our interests are threatened, we're gonna do it." Philip Agee, C.I.A. agent 1967-68, also back up the Clarridge's excuse. "In the CIA, we didn't give a hoot about democracy. I mean, it was fine if a government was elected and would cooperate with us, but, if it didn't, then democracy didn't mean a thing to us, and I don't think it means a thing today." Like pilger's saying, it's evident no country has a right to go its own way, unless that way coincides with the interests of the United States.

However, the U.S. tasted the bitterness of defeat on April, 2002 in Venezuela. The joint work of Washington and the wealthy of Caracas to get rid of President Chavez ended up failing due to people power demanding the return of their president. In spite of the planned coup, Chavez was put in the bosom of the people in 48 hours after being abducted.

The people power was also brilliant in Bolivia. In 2000, to take backs the valuable resources like water, Bolivian people fought against a foreign consortium dominated by the American corporation Bechtel, and accomplished their hope. Furthermore, in 2005, the indigenous person, Evo Morales, was elected president for the first time ever.

Of course, there sure is another plot of empire still going in Latin America, Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa. However, the rising up against empire will never stop as long as the people power exists. As Hugo Chavez says, the world should be governed by the rule of law, equality, justice and fraternity, not by empire's greed.

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