Latin American Program in the News: Augusto Pinochet's Military Coup Observed In Chile 40 Years Later

By Andrew O'Reilly, Fox News Latino

Sep 12, 2013
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While Chile has recovered from the dictatorship to become one of Latin America’s leading political and economic powers, the United States — particularly the CIA — is still recuperating from its involvement in the 1973 coup.

From propaganda and covert action during Allende’s time in office to knowledge of the coup plot and the Operation Condor, the CIA was deeply involved in the overthrow of the government and the installation of Pinochet's dictatorship.

“[The] CIA sought to instigate a coup to prevent Allende from taking office after he won a plurality in the 4 September [1970] election,” the CIA general report on the coup stated.

The CIA turned down a Fox News Latino request to comment on the clandestine service’s involvement in the coup, but many analysts cite the Cold War mentality in the U.S. at the time — and Allende’s friendly relations with Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union — as the prime reason for CIA's direct involvement in Chile.

“The Cold War provided the justification to do these things that were flagrant offenses to U.S. values and laws,” Cynthia J. Arnson, the director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told Fox News Latino.

“While the Chilean coup had a profound impact on the political system in terms of reforms in the intelligence community and ruling out assassinations, in many ways we have not learned any lessons from the past,” Arnson said.

Despite tensions over the U.S. role in the coup, relations between Washington and Santiago have remained stable and the two nations remain strong political and economic allies.

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For the full article in Fox News Latino, please click here.

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