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Date: Tue, 15 Sep 98 17:27:13 CDT
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: CHILE-US: US Documents Confirm Destabilisation of Allende
Article: 43199
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.9704.19980916121659@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** 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 date."

"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: 'Operation FUBELT'.

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 sandwich."



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