9/11 in Chile marks anniversary of coup against Allende
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‘Thirty-five years ago today on a different 9/11, army Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected government of Socialist President Salvador Allende in Chile,’ says this Los Angeles Times editorial.
‘Since that day, two issues have continued to generate contention: Should Pinochet be remembered merely as a tyrant who became an international symbol of repression, or as an economic reformer who turned Chile into a global success; and to what extent did the U.S. government bring about his dictatorship?’
Meanwhile, this report from the Associated Press talks about some of the events that led to the CIA supporting efforts to block Allende’s ascent to the presidency.
‘Senior officials in the Nixon administration discussed a desire to stop the newly elected government of leftist Chilean President Salvador Allende from taking power in 1970, according to recently declassified transcripts of those conversations made public Wednesday.
‘In one exchange, President Nixon’s Secretary of State, William P. Rogers, cautioned about secret U.S. efforts to prevent Allende from taking power after the administration had stressed the importance of democratic elections. The CIA ended up supporting the kidnapping of Chile’s top general in an effort to block Allende’s ascendance to the presidency.’
Those efforts failed. But the 1973 coup that overthrew Allende and put Pinochet in power was Chilean-made but U.S.-sponsored, says the editorial on the subject.
‘Our hand doesn’t show on this one,’ said Nixon to Kissinger, according to transcripts of conversations between the two in 1973 -- made public only in 2004. ‘We didn’t do it,’ Kissinger replied. ‘I mean we helped them ... created the conditions as great as possible.’
-- Deborah Bonello