Chile Marks 50th Anniversary of Salvador Allende’s Election
Declassified Records Capture U.S. Reaction to First Free Election of a Socialist Leader
September 4, 1970, Historic Vote Prompted Nixon/Kissinger Regime Change Effort
Washington D.C., September 4, 2020 – “Chile voted calmly to have a Marxist-Leninist state, the first nation in the world to make this choice freely and knowingly,” U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry dramatically reported to Washington in a cable titled “Allende Wins” on September 4, 1970. “[W]e have suffered a grievous defeat; the consequences will be domestic and international; the repercussions will have immediate impact in some lands and delayed effect in others.”
On the 50th anniversary of the history-changing election of Salvador Allende in Chile, the National Security Archive today posted a selection of previously declassified documents recording the reaction of U.S. officials to the first democratic election of a Socialist leader in Latin America, or elsewhere. Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy makers had dedicated tens of millions of dollars in overt aid and covert actions to preventing the popular head of the Chilean Socialist party from being elected. Allende’s victory set in motion a furious effort, ordered by President Nixon, supervised by his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, and implemented by the CIA, to destabilize Chile and undermine Allende’s ability to govern—an effort that set the stage for the September 11, 1973 military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people,” Kissinger famously told his top aides.
Read more at https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2020-09-04/allende-wins?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=4428305b-f207-4f9a-96c0-0c7690e9bb7e
‘Extreme Option: Overthrow Allende’
Nixon’s “Make the Economy Scream” Order issued 50 years ago
Genesis of Nixon’s Infamous Regime Change Directive on Chile Recorded in Declassified Documentation
Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020 – On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between 3:25 pm and 3:45 pm, President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to foment a military coup in Chile. According to handwritten notes taken by CIA Director Richard Helms, Nixon issued explicit instructions to prevent the newly elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, from being inaugurated in November—or to create conditions to overthrow him if he did assume the presidency. “1 in 10 chance, perhaps, but save Chile.” “Not concerned [about] risks involved,” Helms jotted in his notes as the President demanded regime change in the South American nation that had become the first in the world to freely elect a Socialist candidate. “Full time job—best men we have.” “Make the economy scream.”
Fifty years after it was written, Helm’s cryptic memorandum of conversation with Nixon remains the only known record of a U.S. president ordering the covert overthrow of a democratically elected leader abroad. Since the document was first declassified in 1975 as part of a major Senate investigation into CIA covert operations in Chile and elsewhere, Helms’s notes have become the iconic representation of U.S. intervention in Chile—and an enduring symbol of Washington’s hegemonic arrogance toward smaller nations.
Read more at https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/chile/2020-09-15/extreme-option-overthrow-allende?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=8e2cadb6-69a0-44f6-8374-c0d1026fcd8d