The mix of economic sabotage, political propaganda and army persuasion worked. Allende found himself confronted by growing social chaos and soaring inflation. At every turn, his policies encountered well-funded adversaries. On September 11, 1973, amid the mounting chaos, Chiles military struck. In a classic coup detat, the army seized control of strategic sites throughout the country and cornered Allende in his presidential offices. He died in a shootout, apparently shooting himself in the head to avoid capture. CIA documents referring to the days immediately before and after the coup remain classified to this day, but it is not irresponsible to assume that the CIA granted strategic and intelligence support vital for the coups success.
Nixon and his officials were exhilarated over the coup. CIA records detailing clandestine operations after the coup are still highly classified. But the 40 Committee, chaired by Kissinger, immediately authorized the CIA to assist the junta in gaining a more positive image, both at home and abroad, according to documents previously revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The CIA helped the junta write a white book justifying the coup. The CIA financed advisors who helped the military prepare a new economic plan for the country. The CIA paid for military spokesmen to travel around the world to promote the new regime.
... . After Allendes inauguration on November 3, the CIA continued working toward a military coup. A CIA note, in which the mentality of this agency ... elections failed the back-up plan for a military coup was called Track II. The CIA inducements to Frei included offering substantial sums ...
In addition, the CIA used its own media assets to cast the junta in a positive light. The reality in Chile was far different, as the U.S. government knew. Only 19 days after the coup, a secret briefing paper prepared for Kissinger entitled Chilean Executions put the total dead from the coup at 1,500. The paper reported that the junta had summarily executed 320 individuals, three times more than publicly acknowledged. Despite the carnage, U.S. officials described the scene almost poetically. Now that they are in fact again a country in liberty no obstacle is too high, no problem too difficult to solve, stated the Navy section of the U.S.
military group in a situation report on October 1, 1973. Chilean progress may be slow, but it will be as free men aspiring to goals which are for the benefit of Chile. To help, Nixon opened the spigot of economic aid. Three weeks after the coup, the Nixon administration authorized $24 million in commodity credits to buy wheatcredits that had been denied to Allendes government. The United States provided a second $24 million in commodity credits to Chile for feed corn, and planned to transfer two destroyers to the Chilean navy. The aid flowed, although Assistant Secretary of State Jack Kubisch reported to Kissinger that junta leader Pinochet had ruled out any time table for turning Chile back to the civilians.14 Chiles record as South Americas pre-eminent democracy was coming to an end.
Nevertheless, even the CIAs best propaganda could not hide the reality on the ground. The coups brutality was drawing worldwide condemnation and prompting worries at the White House. Internationally, the Juntas repressive image continues to plague it, stated a Kissinger briefing paper on November 16, 1973. Reports of mass arrests, summary executions, torture and disappearances were reaching the world press. The administration warned about an image problem in the United States, too, because two Americans, Charles Horman and Frank Terruggi, were among those executed at the National Stadium. Their deaths constituted a difficult public relations situation,15 one cable reported on October 21, 1973.
The report to Kissinger cited heavy media criticism and congressional inquiries on the two executions. In February 1974, Kubisch delicately raised the American deaths with Chilean Foreign Minister Manuel Huerta, according to a newly declassified memorandum of the conversation. The topic was broached in the context of the need to be careful to keep relatively small issues in our relationship from making our cooperation more difficult,( Department of State, Memorandum for Henry Kissinger on Chile, 1970) the memo said. However, the first wave of executions was only the start of atrocities in Pinochets Chile. Human rights violations kept complicating U.S.-Chilean relations, especially after Nixons Watergate resignation in August 1974. By 1975, human rights advocates were challenging the Ford administrations continued support for Pinochet. A confidential NSC memorandum from July 1, 1975 revealed a sense of insecurity even inside the U.S.
The years of 1958 until 1964 mark a time when the political structure that Chile had seen changed dramatically, allowing the influences of corrupt people and leaders who were out to better their own standard of living rather than the lives of the inquilinos and afuerinos (casual laborers) to take control of the government. Even though there was hope of escaping this time, it proved to be another ...
Embassy. A number of officers in the Embassy at Santiago have written a dissent, according to the memo prepared for national security advisor Brent Scowcroft. The dissent was strongly supported by the Policy Planning office in the State Departments Latin American division, calling for cutting off all economic and military assistance to Chile until the human rights situation improved. The memo said the embassy staff was overruled by then-Ambassador David Popper who wanted to continue support for the junta while making stronger protests on human rights. Popper met with the Chilean minister of economic coordination, Raul Saez, on April 6, 1975, to discuss the concerns. Popper said, the most difficult problem we had in our embassy had to do with allegations of torture,(DINA, 1970) according to an embassy cable.
The root of the problem seemed to be the absolute power of DINA, Pinochets equivalent to the CIA, to do whatever it desired in detaining and handling suspects. Saez replied that he had disapproved with Pinochet about DINA, so far without much success. The minister then blamed fascist advisors to the junta for the atrocities. However, the declassified documents portrayed DINA as anything but a rogue agency. Rather, it was an intelligence service, which served at Pinochets personal command. On April 15, 1975, the U.S.
Defense Intelligence Agency reported, since the decree establishing DINA as the national intelligence arm of the government, Colonel Manuel Contreras has reported exclusively to, and received orders only from, President Pinochet. By summer 1975, human rights abuses forced the Ford administration to distance itself from the Chilean junta. Pinochet requested a visit with President Ford in August, but White House officials feared the meeting would provoke criticism domestically in the United States and from Latin America. The NSC instructed the Popper to discourage it by saying that the Presidents schedule was already full. In 1976, U.S.-Chilean relations received another jolt when DINA agents traveled to Washington and exploded a bomb under a car carrying former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and two Americans. Letelier and one of the Americans, Ronni Moffitt, died.
o Daniel Webster defines a Hypocrite as "a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion"o A Democratic-Republican opposes a strong central government with most power assigned to the states, Alexander Hamilton's economic policies, advocates a liberal agrarian democracy, a foreign policy favoring the French Revolution while also appealing to poor townsfolk. o Both Mr. Jefferson and I ...
A federal investigation traced the bombing back to DINA and some Cuban-American accomplices. A Senate investigation linked the Letelier bombing to a program of cross-border assassinations known as Operation Condor. That operation attacked Pinochet critics in Spain, Italy and Argentina as well as the United States. Nevertheless, Pinochet and his coup makers would avoid prosecution, at least in Chile. Before returning the government to civilians in 1990, Pinochet passed an amnesty law for himself and his senior officers. Only DINA chief Contreras and Brigadier Espinoza were sentenced to seven years in prison, for his role in the Letelier bombing.
In his defense, Contreras insisted that he was just following Pinochets orders. While the newly released documents answer some mysteries about the covert U.S. policy toward Chile, other issues remain as unproved speculations. Still-secret records could clarify Pinochets responsibility for Operation Condor as well as the CIAs knowledge about the state-sponsored terrorism and the CIA relationship with the DINA. I believe the CIA involvement in the Chilean coup should be a topic of embarrassment and indignation to all Americans. The U.S. has always believed to be the policemen of the world.
The newly declassified documents have proved that the U.S. has been more of the Gestapo of the world. By releasing these documents the government has in a way apologized for its past actions and opened the way so finally justice is brought to the murders of Chile..