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NSAarchive | CHILE'S COUP at 50, 8 Aug
FOIA disclosure: Kissinger Briefed Nixon on Failed 1970 CIA Plot to Block Allende Presidency
As the commander in chief of the Chilean army, Gen. René Schneider, lay dying in a hospital after being shot in a CIA-backed coup plot in October 1970, President Nixon placed a phone call to his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, to ask "What is happening in Chile?" according to a transcript of their conversation posted today by the National Security Archive. Kissinger told the President that the CIA-backed plot to block Socialist president-elect Salvador Allende from being inaugurated—an operation ordered by Nixon five weeks earlier—had not succeeded. The Chilean military turned out to be "a pretty incompetent bunch," according to Kissinger, having failed to seize power after the removal of Gen. Schneider, Chile's top pro-constitution officer.

"There's been a turn for the worse," Kissinger explained, referring to the Schneider assassination, "but it hasn't triggered anything else. The next move should have been a government takeover, but that hasn't happened."

"The [congressional] election is tomorrow and the inauguration is [November] third," Kissinger informed Nixon. "What they could have done is prevent the Congress from meeting. But that hasn't been done. It's close, but it's probably too late."

Obtained by the National Security Archive through legal and FOIA efforts, the Kissinger-Nixon "telcon" was published for the first time last week in Pinochet Desclasificado: Los Archivos Secretos de Estados Unidos Sobre Chile, a revised, 50th-anniversary, Chilean edition of Archive analyst Peter Kornbluh's book, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability. The updated edition was published as the first of a special series by Un Día en La Vida, a new publishing agency founded by Andrea Insunza and Javier Ortega through one of Chile's leading publishers, Catalonia Books. As part of the 50th-anniversary commemorations in September, a leading Chilean television channel, Chilevision, plans to broadcast a four-part documentary based on the book and Kornbluh's efforts to unearth secret documents relating to the U.S. role in the coup and support for the Pinochet dictatorship that followed.

archive Sun Feb 19th, 2017
by Cat on Fri Aug 11th, 2023 at 01:46:43 AM EST

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