The CIA May Not Have Been Involved In the Current Chilean Protests, But It Was Against Allende

The people of Chile recently decided by a large margin that it was time to draft a new constitution to replace the current Cold War-era one that relied on segregation and led to large inequalities in wealth and services. Protests erupted across the country in 2019 over what was deemed as unfair subway prices, and the people voted to consume fresh new policies to allow for more centralization of services such as education, healthcare, and pensions. Although the referendum will not be voted on until 2022, the committee will consist of an equal number of men and women elected from the populace instead of having politicians take the reins.

This goes to show that if enough people stand up to what are viewed as injustices, change can occur, and the last remnants of another one of the United States’ anti-Communist governments resulting from a coup d'état will soon fade away. It may still be unknown to what degree that the CIA actively took in the 1973 revolution against the democratically-elected, Communist-leaning Salvador Allende, but it is clear that the United States was greatly responsible for Augusto Pinochet’s rise to power.

President Richard Nixon was not thrilled that Allende, someone who threatened to nationalize American-owned businesses in Chile, was about to ascend to the presidency, so he secretly ordered the CIA to take whatever actions were necessary to prevent this from happening (called Track I). The $10 million budgeted operation utilized tactics, such as bribery and black mail against the congressional body, public disinformation, funding of opposition parties, and coercion against the South American nation’s government. The CIA (under Track II) was able to assassinate General Rene Schneider through a right-wing group led by General Roberto Viaux (involving a $35,000 check from the CIA), but it failed to carry out the sought after coup against the Chilean government.

After Allende was confirmed by the legislature and nationalized U.S.-owned companies, it was game on. The CIA worked with the Chilean military and attempted to propagandize the public against Allende, and President Nixon went further by manipulating a decrease of the global price of copper (an important resource), cutting off economic aid, pressuring the World Bank to halt loans, and successfully convincing the Inter-American Development Bank, Export-Import Bank, and foreign invenstors to abandon the country. After economic calamity plagued the nation as a result of American bullying, it was then effortless for the Chilean military to plot a coup amidst the inflation, labor strikes, and mass hunger. Though it is disputable whether the CIA actively participated in the coup, it was certainly in communication with the military conspirators during the attacks and bombardment against Allende’s government.

Right after the illegal overthrow, President Nixon recognized the brutal dictatorship (military junta) installed under General Augusto Pinochet by providing military and economic aid. With the support of the U.S. government, thousands of Allende supporters and other political dissidents were slaughtered or forcibly removed from society. In 1988, a referendum was held allowing democracy to again take hold in Chile (starting in 1990), thus ending seventeen years of authoritarian rule. However, the constitution implemented under the military dictatorship remained intact throughout years of a relatively stable democracy, but perhaps in the near future, the people will choose the direction of the country and a different governing document.

Thank you for reading, and if you would like to learn about more Cold War coup operations, please check out my book, The Global Bully, or website.
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Published on November 03, 2020 02:32
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