Kissinger pressed Nixon to overthrow the democratically elected Allende government because his “‘model’ effect can be insidious,” documents show
On 40th anniversary of coup, Archive posts top ten documents on Kissinger’s role in undermining democracy, supporting military dictatorship in Chile
Kissinger overruled aides on military regime’s human rights atrocities; told Pinochet in 1976: “We want to help, not undermine you. You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende.”
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 437
Posted — September 11, 2013
Edited by Peter Kornbluh
For more information contact:
Peter Kornbluh 202/374 7281 or email@example.com
Washington, D.C., September 11, 2013 — Henry Kissinger urged President Richard Nixon to overthrow the democratically elected Allende government in Chile because his “‘model’ effect can be insidious,” according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The coup against Allende occurred on this date 40 years ago. The posted records spotlight Kissinger’s role as the principal policy architect of U.S. efforts to oust the Chilean leader, and assist in the consolidation of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.
The documents, which include transcripts of Kissinger’s “telcons” — telephone conversations — that were never shown to the special Senate Committee chaired by Senator Frank Church in the mid 1970s, provide key details about the arguments, decisions, and operations Kissinger made and supervised during his tenure as national security adviser and secretary of state.
“These documents provide the verdict of history on Kissinger’s singular contribution to the denouement of democracy and rise of dictatorship in Chile,” said Peter Kornbluh who directs the Chile Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. “They are the evidence of his accountability for the events of forty years ago.”
Today’s posting includes a Kissinger “telcon” with Nixon that records their first conversation after the coup. During the conversation Kissinger tells Nixon that the U.S. had “helped” the coup. “[Word omitted] created the conditions as best as possible.” When Nixon complained about the “liberal crap” in the media about Allende’s overthrow, Kissinger advised him: “In the Eisenhower period, we would be heroes.”
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The nationalization of the Chilean copper industry, commonly described as the Chilenización del cobre or “Chileanisation of copper,” was the progressive process by which the Chilean government acquired control of the major foreign-owned section of the Chilean copper mining industry. It involved the three huge mines known as ‘La Gran Mineria’ and three smaller operations. The Chilean owned smaller copper mines were not affected. The process started under the government of President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, and culminated during the government of President Salvador Allende, who completed the nationalization. This “act of sovereignty” was the espoused basis for a later international economic boycott, which further isolated Chile from the world economy, worsening the state of political polarization that led to the 1973 Chilean coup d’état.
In 1971 Chile’s newly elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, expropriated Anaconda’s Chilean copper mines under powers granted by an amendment to Chile’s constitution. The Allende government was overthrown in 1973, and the new military government agreed to pay Anaconda more than $250 million for its expropriated mines.