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The technique of a coup d’état, more recently also referred to as "coloured revolution", finds its origins in an abundant bibliography dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. It was successfully applied by the U.S. neo-conservatives to set the stage for "regime change" in a number of former Soviet republics. However, the technique backfired when it was tried in a different cultural environment (Venezuela, Lebanon, Iran). John Laughland, who reported on some of these operations for the Guardian, sheds new light on this phenomenon.