A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 23, 2014
“Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington, D.C.?” (joke)

American influence (through American embassies) has caused many revolutions throughout the world.  A political joke has been told since at least 1995:

Q: Why will then never be a coup d’état in Washington, D.C.?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.


It’s not known who first told the joke, but Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told the joke several times in 1995.


Google Books
February 1995, Vibe, pg. 54, col. 2:
Like a true politician he (Aristide—ed.) told them the same joke he’d told in L.A., and got the same laugh, the same ovation. “Now, Haitian people like to tell a joke,” he said. “But remember, it’s just a joke. Let me tell you the joke. It goes like this: Why are there no coups d’état in the United States?”

He waited a bit and sized up his crowd like a stand-up comic. Then he delivered the punch line: “The answer is: Because there is no American embassy in the U.S.”

Google Books
ISLA
Volume 51, Issue 3
1996
Pg. 170:
Whenever I hear of the further exploits of John Kambourian, I’m reminded of what is reportedly Aristide’s favorite joke: Why will then never be a coup d’etat in Washington, D. C. ? Answer: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Google Books
The Immaculate Invasion
By Bob Shacochis
New York, NY: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
1999
Pg. ?:
Colonel Boyatt’s revelation reminded me of a joke, reportedly Aristide’s favorite. Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington, D.C.? Answer: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Google Books
Freeing the World to Death:
Essays on the American Empire

By William Blum
Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press
2005
Pg. 226:
Q: Why will there never be a coup d’etat in Washington?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Twitter
snow black
‏@xepheraux
Q: Why has there never been a coup in the United States?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.
–Old South American Joke
10:07 PM - 11 Sep 2013

Twitter
Ben Phillips
‏@benphillips1989
@donph Russians have a joke about that (’Why will there never be a Maidan in America?’ ‘Because there’s no American embassy there’wink
12:55 PM - 17 Dec 2014

New York (NY) Times
Hawkish Russian Emissary to Visit Cuba’s Leaders
By ANDREW ROTHDEC. 19, 2014
(...)
There is little trust in the benevolence of American foreign policy in Moscow now, largely because of the perceived hand of the State Department in Ukraine’s revolution in February. A well-traveled but still popular joke asks why there has not been a revolution in Washington. The answer: There is no American Embassy there.

Al Arabiya News
Cuba, caught in Russia-U.S. Cold War love triangle
By Maria Dubovikova
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
(...)
There is an old joke: “Why there has not been a revolution in Washington? Because there is no American Embassy there!”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, December 23, 2014 • Permalink