Secret US files reveal Chile plot





Conversations between top US officials in 1970 show a secret plan to overthrow the newly-elected socialist government in Chile. The day before the 35th anniversary of the military coup, the National Security Archive in Washington published transcripts of telephone conversations between Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers. On September 11th, 1973, during economic difficulties and a constitutional crisis, Salvador Allende was deposed by the Chilean military. He died the same day, allegedly having committed suicide. Augusto Pinochet, Commander of the Army, subsequently led the military junta which ruled Chile until 1990. Kissinger was the US National Security Adviser and less than two weeks after the coup became Secretary of State. The transcripts, known as ‘telcons’, reveal that a week after Allende’s victory, Kissinger informed Nixon of the State Department’s suggestion to ‘see what we can work out [with Allende]’. Nixon’s response was, however, to instruct Kissinger: ‘Don’t let them do it’. Another message from Kissinger to CIA director Richard Helms was: ‘We will not let Chile go down the drain.’


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