Date: Tue, 15 Sep 98 17:27:13 CDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Winkel)
Subject: CHILE-US: US Documents Confirm Destabilisation of Allende
/** ips.english: 511.0 **/
** Topic: CHILE-US: US Documents Confirm Destabilisation of Allende **
** Written 4:18 PM Sep 14, 1998 by newsdesk in cdp:ips.english **
Copyright 1998 InterPress Service, all rights reserved.
Worldwide distribution via the APC networks.
US Documents Confirm Destabilisation of Allende
By Jim Lobe, IPS
11 September 1998
WASHINGTON, Sep 11 (IPS) - Declassified U.S. documents, made
public Friday added new details to the Washington campaign of 25
years ago to destablise the government of President Salvador
Allende of Chile which culminated in a bloody military coup.
They also show the immediate U.S. support for Gen. Augusto
Pinochet, who ousted Allende on Sep 11 1973, inciduing orders to
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to "assist the junta in
gaining a more positive image, both at home and abroad."
The documents acknowledge the importance of the secret U.S.
role in preparing the climate for the military coup. In one
report, the agency notes that its 1.5 million-dollar subsidy and
advice to the anti-Allende 'El Mercurio' newspaper "played a
significant role in setting the stage for the military coup."
The documents, which were obtained by the independent National
Security Archive (NSA), make clear the falsity of the claims by
President Richard Nixon and then-National Security Adviser Henry
Kissinger that they had cancelled plans to foment a coup against
Allende after his inauguration in November, 1970.
In a top secret memorandum recounting a conversation between
Kissinger, Gen. Alexander Haig, and two top officials of the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) October 15, 1970, Kissinger
ordered the CIA to "continue keeping the pressure on every
Allende weak spot in sight - now, after the 24th of October (when
his election was confirmed by the Chilean Congress) and into the
future until such time as new marching orders are given."
A secret cable sent out the very next day from CIA headquarters
to the agency's station chief in Santiago ordered that, even if a
military coup did not materialise before Allende's inauguration,
"efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this
"We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end
utilizing every appropriate resource." the cable says.
While the U.S. role in the destablisation campaign was first
detailed in unprecedented Senate hearings in mid-1970s, the
release of some 30 new documents - some of which are still heavily
censored - help clarify the picture. (The NSA has published them
on their website www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchive).
Their release "begins to open the closet of national secrets
in both Chile and the United States," according to Archive senior
analyst Peter Kornbluh, who has written extensively about the
Chile coup. "These documents provide a dramatic reminder of a
dark history that the powers-that-be in both Santiago and
Washington would prefer to forget."
The 1970s hearings established that the Nixon administration
adopted a secret, two-track strategy to ensure that Allende, a
Socialist, was defeated in his fourth bid to the Chilean
presidency in the 1970 elections. The first track, primarily a
political and psychological campaign targeted against Allende, was
little different from previous, multi-million-dollar efforts by
the CIA to prevent his election in 1958, 1962 and 1964.
The second track, so secret that even the US ambassador in
Santiago was not informed, was launched after Allende narrowly won
a three-way race on Sep 4, 1970.
"On September 15," wrote the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, "President Nixon informed CIA Director Richard
Helms that an Allende regime in Chile would not be acceptable to
the United States and instructed the CIA to play a direct role in
organizing a military coup d'etat in Chile to prevent Allende's
accession to the Presidency."
Kissinger later claimed that Track II had been "turned off"
after the bungling of one October coup attempt sponsored by a
general to whom the CIA had provided arms and advice. In his two-
volume memoirs, less than two pages of which were devoted to
Chile, Nixon said he "instructed the CIA to abandon the
operation" in mid-October. In the same passage, he said the coup
resulted from "three years of inefficient administration."
But top CIA officials told Congress that Track II had never
been cancelled. Altogether, the CIA spent at least eight million
dollars between 1970 and 1973 on destabilisation activities. The
new documents disclose that Track Two actually had a code name:
The new documents confirm that Kissinger himself ordered the
operation to continue beyond Allende's inauguration and that the
CIA confirmed those orders immediately to its agents on the
ground. They also include a memo by Helms dated Sep 16, 1970, in
which he states "The President has asked the Agency to prevent
Allende from coming to power or to unseat him."
Among other revelations in the new documents are efforts to
appeal to then-President Eduardo Frei's "machismo" to block
Allende's installation and back a military coup. "Frei did manage
to confide to several top-ranking military officers that he would
not oppose a coup, with a guarded implication he might even
welcome one," Helms reported to Kissinger. But Frei retreated
after the botched attempt in mid-October.
They also include a secret report on US efforts to block Chile
from receiving loans from international agencies, like the Inter-
American Development Bank and the World Bank, and its
consideration of a move to have Chile expelled from the
Organisation of American States (OAS).
Declassified U.S. embassy cables show that officials were well
aware of the executions and torture by the junta but were
concerned primarily with the execution of two U.S. nationals in
the National Stadium. These killings posed "a difficult public
relations situation," according to an Oct 21, 1973 cable.
They also reveal that a number of embassy staff, backed by the
Policy Planning office in the State Department's Latin America
wing, called for an end of all U.S. economic and military aid to
the junta in July, 1975, to press it to improve its human rights
performance. Most aid was shut off by Congress the following year.
As to why Nixon and Kissinger were so determined to block or
oust Allende, one Nov 5, 1970 "options" paper for Kissinger
lists as first among U.S. objectives "the prevention of
establishment...of an authoritarian Marxist regime, the prevention
of the regime's falling under Communist control, and prevention of
its influencing the rest of Latin America to follow it either as a
model or through its external policies."
Citing the warning of an unnamed Italian businessman, Nixon
said in his memoirs that an Allende in power in Chile, combined
with Fidel Castro in Cuba, would make "Latin America a red
[c] 1998, InterPress Third World News Agency (IPS)
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