Ramblings & ephemera

Why the US toppled Chile’s government

From Robert Sherrill’s “100 (Plus) Years of Regime Change” (The Texas Observer: 14 July 2006):

Kissinger, then secretary of state, was certain he detected the odor of communism in the election of Salvador Allende Gossens to the presidency of Chile. …

Chile was one of the most stable countries in South America, with a high literacy rate, a relatively large middle class, and a strong civil society. But millions of its people lived in desperate poverty, and Allende made no secret of his ambition to lift that class – and to do it by controlling some of the giant corporations operating in Chile but owned by yanquis.

Topping his hit list, besides consumer-product companies like PepsiCo Inc., were the world’s two largest copper mining companies, Kennecott Corp. and Anaconda Mining Co., and International Telephone and Telegraph Co., all owned by U.S. interests. Allende wanted the Chilean government to take them over. …

Kinzer’s account of these rebellious years ends with the death of Allende in La Moneda, the presidential palace and traditional seat of Chilean democracy. He had been president for 1,042 days. He refused an offer of free passage out of the country and committed suicide.

So Kissinger and Nixon and Rockefeller and their friends got what they wanted: a Chile run by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who took office after the coup of September 11, 1973.

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