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Socialist medical doctor Salvador Allende nearly wins the Chilean presidency in 1958 and 1964, despite the CIA's FUD campaign. (For instance, it was claimed that Allende would send all children to the USSR to be indoctrinated.) He is popularly elected in 1970. The US fears a "good example" will be set by preservation of civil liberties under a Marxist president, and sets about, in Nixon's words, to "make the economy scream." Meanwhile, Dr. Allende embarks on such radical programs as (gasp!) distributing milk to impoverished children. The Commander of the Army in Latin America's oldest democracy, Rene Scheider, refuses to stage a coup and is assassinated because the CIA disagrees with "the apolitical, constitutional-oriented inertia of the Chilean military." Even with the pressure applied by the US, Allende is solidly backed by the people in parliamentary elections in 1973. Seeing that Allende cannot be impeached by US-backed opposition parties, the CIA gives the go-ahead for a military coup. Pinochet is thrust into power, beginning a reign of terror that would nearly last two decades before the restoration of democracy. And Margaret Thatcher is behind him because of the aid given to the UK in the war over the Falklands. Nevermind that thousands were tortured and killed -- he's a friend of the UK!

The overthrow of Allende by the CIA was done primarily to prevent further nationalization of industry in Chile. Allende and the Chilean congress sucessfully nationalized the copper mines, the steel and coal industries and most previously private banks. ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph), a U.S. company, stands accused of specifically requesting the CIA to overthrow Allende to prevent loss of profits to a nationalized telecommunications industry.

The following are Allende's last words, delivered on 9/11/73 as the Chilean Air Force was bombing the Palacio de le Moneda (the Presidential Palace):

Workers of my homeland: I have faith in Chile and its future. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason is trying to be uppermost. You must continue to know that, sooner rather than later, grand avenues will be opened where free men will go to build a better society.
Long live Chile. Long live the people. Long live the workers.
These are my last words, certain that the sacrifice will not be in vain. I am sure that there will be at least a moral sanction that will punish the felony, cowardice and treason.

Allende died in the palace.

The moral sanction, as of 9/11/02, has not yet ocurred.

On November 13, 2000, the National Security Agency declassified and released 16,000 documents. Here is an excerpt taken from a conversation among Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, Attorney General John Mitchell, Secretary of State William Rogers, and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, among others.

Richard Nixon is the speaker. This conversation took place on Friday November 6, 1970, at 9:40 a.m.


Our main concern in Chile is the prospect that he can consolidate himself and the picture projected to the world will be his success. A publicly correct approach is right. Privately we must get the message to Allende and others that we oppose him. I want to see more of them; Brazil has more people than France or England combined. If we let the potential leaders in South America think they can move like Chile and have it both ways, we will be in trouble. I want to work on this and on the military relations put in more money. On the economic side we want to give him cold Turkey. Make sure that EXIM and the international organizations toughen up. If Allende can make it with Russian and Chinese help, so be it but we do not want it to be with our help, either real or apparent.

We'll be very cool and very correct, but doing those things which will be a real message to Allende and others.

This is not the same as Europe -- with Tito and Ceaucescu -- where we have to get along and no change is possible. Latin America is not gone, and we want to keep it. Our Cuban policy must not be changed. It costs the Russians a lot; we want it to continue to cost. Chile is gone too -- he isn't going to mellow. Don't have any illusions -- he won't change. If there is any way we can hurt him whether by government or private business -- I want them to know our policy is negative.

There should be no guarantees. Cut back existing guarantees if it's possible.

No impression should be permitted in Latin America that they can get away with this, that it's safe to go this way. All over the world it's too much the fashion to kick us around. We are not sensitive but our reactions must be coldly proper. We cannot fail to show our displeasure. We can't put up with "Give Americans hell but pray they don't go away." There must be times when we should and must react, not because we want to hurt them but to show we can't be kicked around.

The new Latin politicians are a new breed. They use anti-Americanism to get power and then they try to cozy up. Maybe it would be different if they thought we wouldn't be there.

We must be proper on the surface with Allende, but otherwise we will be tough. He is not going to change; only self-interest will affect him.


Nixon, Kissinger, et al began with the manipulation of the copper market, crucial to the economic stability of the South American nation. It was, in actuality, this and other forms of economic duress that made the infiltration of Chilean political and military infrastructure so easy; once it became apparent that socialism in Chile was doomed to failure (albeit on account of America's waging of economic war), a coup became the only way to escape mass poverty. The CIA was able to sow the seeds of revolt only when it became clear that revolt was the only hope.

Augusto Pinochet is a pretty typical result of such a situation, though he did eventually prove to be a particularly adept scumbag. The economic boom Chile experienced in the following years came as a direct result of America's aim to cement one of the cruelest regimes of the 20th century--communism was contained, Soviet influence was curtailed, and thousands upon thousands of innocent (at first leftist, later anti-fascist) Chileans lost their lives in thousands upon thousands of unspeakably horrible, forgotten crimes.

Quote excerpted from: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20001113/701106.pdf

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