“Workers of my fatherland, have faith in Chile and her destiny. Others will overcome this grey, sad moment when treason strains to conquer. Go forward, knowing that much more sooner than later, the great avenues will open anew to let pass free people to build a better society.”
Salvadore Allende [Written on the wall at La Moneda Palace, Santiago 11/9/73]

On this day in 1973 many people died, an elected representative, Salvadore Allende was overthrown and a brutal marshall regime under General Augusto Pinochet came to power and began an oppression of some 17 years in Chile. The coup was the culmination of ‘Track II’ a covert operation funded by the United States and co-ordinated by Henry Kissinger which had previously resulted in the assassination of the leader of the armed forces René Schneider after an allegedly bungled kidnap attempt on Oct 22 1970. The coup itself resulted in a death toll of around 3,000 but in the proceeding months some 20,000 people are estimated dead whilst 60,000 were detained and subjected to torture, it is estimated that some 90,000 people ‘disappeared’ in Latin America following US intervention. The US involvement came as a result of the viewpoint that the election of a left-wing government by democratic means constituted a direct threat to America’s interest and therefore gave America the right to defend those interests by any means necessary. Kissinger stated that he saw “no reason that the US should stand by and let a nation ‘go Marxist’ because its people are irresponsible.”

Why was Chile so important to US interests? Well governmental interests it wasn’t other than the fact that Nixon saw the insurgent Central and Southern American people electing potentially difficult left-wing governments which may be prone to Soviet influence etc. etc. Furthermore Chile was of significance to two major US companies namely Pepsi and ITT they had both expressed their alarm to the US at the prospect of industry nationalisation at the hands of the Allende government. Chile was also significant in one other key area -copper.

The ‘black op’ was in the full knowledge of President Nixon who had described Allende as “unacceptable” when he heard of the Chilean election results. $10,000,000 was made available, and instructions were given to recruit ‘the best men’ for the job. Originally it was planned to have a multi-pronged attack based around throttling the economy to weaken the government’s position.

Gen. Schneider was seen as the first obstacle as he was not only the leader of the Chilean armed forces but also had publicly stated that he would defend the will of the Chilean people and made good his principle after the election of Allende. Records show that the US was aware of the significance of the removal of Schneider and Kissinger himself had sanctioned his replacement. [It is worth noting at this point that one of the indictments against war-criminal Kissinger relates to his involvement in the Chilean coup and murder of Schneider.]

After Schneider’s assassination General Augusto Pinochet led the direct assault on the bringing down of the government. On 11th September 1973 he instructed the Chilean Air Force to conduct a full scale bombing attack on the La Moneda palace. The end result was that some 3,00 were killed, Allende committed suicide before he could be captured and assasinated. Allende supporters and suspected left-wing sympathisers were herded into the main Santiago stadium where many were shot and others sent into exile.

No-one has stood trial for the attrocities in Chile, Pinochet wriggled out of responsibility thanks in no small part to his friend Margaret Thatcher and the then home secretary Jack Straw. Henry Kissinger has managed to be something of a ‘Teflon Man’ in avoiding any responsibility for the crimes he has perpetrated, he is wanted to answer charges relating to Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and there are shady dealings to be looked at elsewhere.

Now some people reading this may fool themselves that this is me, a left-winger, coming up with some elaborate conspiracy theorist plot to discredit the US, well take a look, all this is in the public domain, it isn’t even denied anymore, the people on the ground for the US in Chile have come forward, the documented meetings are now declassified and the money that was paid out by the US govt. is known and on the record.

The only parallel I would like to draw with what people may regard as a more familiar 9/11 is that the event I’m talking about involved the deaths of many innocent people and the suppression of democracy by a repressive right-wing regime for many years thereafter – remind you of anything? The United States was involved in both instances, in differing roles perhaps but the aftermath of either instance hardly covers America in glory.

Song Of The Day – U2 ~ Mothers of the Disappeared

Original Comments:

Rachel made this comment,
i’m afraid i wasn’t familiar with what happened in Chili in 1973. You’ve given me enough to make me interested. i’ll have to look up on it.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 12th September 2004, 01:19 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
True Baron and I’m so glad that the old witch with the handbag got a mention.

[Redbaron responds – It stuck in my craw to mention her name on my blog but her role in this one deserved a mention and after all she is in my top 3 of people most in need of termination. Between her and Kissinger it almost makes the ‘Logan’s Run’ carousel seem like a good idea!]
comment added :: 13th September 2004, 14:10 GMT+01

Pimme made this comment,
Some people will always be in denial of the facts, even after they are public knowledge. The 9/11 incidents definitely are being handled in similar fashion as the Chilean coup.
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com
comment added :: 14th September 2004, 04:26 GMT+01

Chileno made this comment,
Allende probably had no idea that the military coup would last for 17-years. Pinochet dramatically transformed the society, Chile remains un-free in many ways, the seeds of self-doubt and brutal consumerism still make it hard for Chile to resemble anything like a “better society”
comment added :: 1st August 2007, 05:22 GMT+01 :: http://c.hileno.com