Meanwhile, Washington, barely recovering from the Cuban revolution, and suffering defeats in Vietnam, decided to crush the beginning “Chilean anti-Americanism” as long as it doesn’t spread to the entire continent.
First the United States have put difficulties in the Chilean exports’ way. U.S. has brought down the price of copper and molybdenum, selling a large share of its natural resources. Then, the White House has made seizure of Chile’s assets in Western countries. Finally, international banks at the U.S. instigation boycotted Allende’s government. In Chile, inflation soared, production fell causing a serious economic crisis... Simultaneously, the plan of a military coup has been prepared by the White House. It provided the multi-million dollar grants for Chilean opposition. Meantime the opposition was headed by generals who backed fascism.
Project FUBELT (also known as Track II) is the code name for the secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations that were to prevent Salvador Allende rise to power before his confirmation, and promote a military coup in Chile.
The highlights of Project FUBELT are cited in declassified U.S. government documents released by the National Security Archive on September 11, 1998, 25 years after the coup, as well as in papers uncovered by a 1975 congressional inquiry.
CIA memoranda and reports on Project FUBELT include meetings between United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and CIA officials, CIA cables to its Santiago station, and summaries of secret action in 1970 - detailing decisions and operations to undermine the election of Salvador Allende in September 1970 and promote a military coup.
In 1972-73 mass strikes inspired by the CIA, engulfed the country. In addition, the far-right group, led by agents of Langley, didn’t shun terrorist tactics. Their militants exploded the headquarters of the Left, democratic and trade union organizations, robbed banks and killed the political undesirables...
Military mutiny began Sept. 11, 1973, when the Chilean squadron has suddenly bombarded the port of Valparaiso. The phrase “It’s raining on Santiago,” transmitted by military radio frequencies, was the signal for the supporters of right-wing opposition to the uprising across the country. Clearly, therefore, the reactionaries have tipped a hat to Spanish fascists, who in 1936 made a similar password: “Above all Spain cloudless sky.”
At half past six in the morning rebels’ tanks stormed into Chile, the capital of Santiago. The television center and a number of strategic assets were occupied. Owned by the Rights radio stations gave a statement on the rebel coup and the establishment of a military junta led by the commander of the Army General Augusto Pinochet.
Soon, the last center of resistance - the presidential palace of La Moneda - was suppressed. In the engulfed the building fire, President Allende and forty of his companions were killed. The terror has begun. Intending to “rid the country of communists,” Pinochet has opened concentration camps for political prisoners. Those, who showed radical views, were massively shot in the stadium “Chile”. Within a month, more than 30,000 people have been killed...
For a long time, Washington refused to officially recognize its leading role in a bloody coup. Investigative publications, referred to a source in the U.S. government, said about it.
For example, in 1975 New York Times reported that CIA Director William Colby, speaking to Congress behind closed doors, admitted that on the eve of the coup in Chile, $8 million has been spent on subversion. Colby said that the demonstration against Allende were organized by the U.S. affiliates corporations in Brazil and Argentina, and truck owners strike that paralyzed the Chilean economy in 1972, was funded directly by the CIA.
When a few decades later, the White House, being under public pressure, decided to declassify part of the materials, the CIA did everything to delay the process. Many documents have disappeared in the vaults of Langley. However, some documents are currently in the U.S. National Security Archive, where everyone can read them.
Peter Kornbluh, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, the public interest research center that led the campaign to declassify U.S. documents on Chile, called the release a “victory for openness over the impunity of secrecy.” The documents, he said, “provide evidence for a verdict of history on U.S. intervention in Chile, as well as for potential courtroom verdicts against those who committed atrocities during the Pinochet dictatorship.”
Following are the reviews of some documents that are in the public domain.
Department of Defense, U.S. Milgroup, Situation Report #2, October 1, 1973
In a situation report, U.S. Naval attache Patrick Ryan, reports positively on events in Chile during the coup. He characterizes September 11 as “our D-Day,” and states that “Chile's coup de etat [sic] was close to perfect.” His report provides details on Chilean military operations during and after the coup, as well as glowing commentary on the character of the new regime.
Department of State, Memorandum for Henry Kissinger on Chile, December 4, 1970
In response to a November 27 directive from Kissinger, an inter-agency Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile prepared this set of strategy papers covering a range of possible sanctions and pressures against the new Allende government. These included a possible diplomatic effort to force Chile to withdraw - or be expelled - from the Organization of American States as well as consultations with other Latin American countries “to promote their sharing of our concern over Chile.” The documents show that the Nixon administration did engage in an invisible economic blockade against Allende, intervening at the World Bank, IDB, and Export-Import bank to curtail or terminate credits and loans to Chile before Allende had been in office for a month.
CIA, Report of CIA Chilean Task Force Activities, 15 September to 3 November 1970, November 18, 1970
The CIA prepared a summary of its efforts to prevent Allende's ratification as president and to foment a coup in Chile-- track I and track II covert operations. The summary details the composition of the Task Force, headed by David Atlee Phillips, the team of covert operatives “inserted individually into Chile,” and their contacts with Col. Paul Winert, the U.S. Army Attache detailed to the CIA for this operation. It reviews the propaganda operations designed to push Chilean president Eduardo Frei to support “a military coup which would prevent Allende from taking office on 3 November.”
National Security Council, National Security Decision Memorandum 93, Policy Towards Chile, November 9, 1970
This memorandum summarizes the presidential decisions regarding changes in U.S. policy toward Chile following Allende's election. Written by Henry Kissinger and sent to the Secretaries of State, Defense, the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Director of Central Intelligence, this memo directs U.S. agencies to adopt a “cool” posture toward Allende's government, in order to prevent his consolidation of power and “limit [his] ability to implement policies contrary to U.S. and hemisphere interests.” The memo states that existing U.S. assistance and investments in Chile should be reduced, and no new commitments undertaken. Furthermore, according to Kissinger's memo, “close relations” should be established and maintained with military leaders throughout Latin America to facilitate coordination of pressure and other opposition efforts.
National Security Council, Options Paper on Chile (NSSM 97), November 3, 1970
A comprehensive secret/sensitive options paper, prepared for Henry Kissinger and the National Security Council on the day of Allende's inauguration, laid out U.S. objectives, interests and potential policy toward Chile. U.S. interests were defined as preventing Chile from falling under Communist control and preventing the rest of Latin America from following Chile "as a model." Option C--maintaining an "outwardly cool posture" while working behind the scenes to undermine the Allende government through economic pressures and diplomatic isolation--was chosen by Nixon. CIA operations and options are not included in this document.
CIA, Operating Guidance Cable on Coup Plotting, October 16, 1970
In a secret cable, CIA deputy director of plans, Thomas Karamessines, conveys Kissinger's orders to CIA station chief in Santiago, Henry Hecksher: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup." The "operating guidance" makes it clear that these operations are to be conducted so as to hide the "American hand," and that the CIA is to ignore any orders to the contrary from Ambassador Korry who has not been informed of Track II operations.
CIA, Genesis of Project FUBELT, September 16, 1970
These minutes record the first meeting between CIA director Helms and high agency officials on covert operations - codenamed "FUBELT” - against Allende. A special task force under the supervision of CIA deputy director of plans, Thomas Karamessines, is established, headed by veteran agent David Atlee Phillips. The memorandum notes that the CIA must prepare an action plan for National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger within 48 hours.
CIA, Memorandum of Conversation of Meeting with Henry Kissinger, Thomas Karamessines, and Alexander Haig, October 15, 1970
This memcon records a discussion of promoting a coup in Chile, known as “Track II” of covert operations to block Allende. The three officials discuss the possibility that the plot of one Chilean military official, Roberto Viaux, might fail with “unfortunate repercussions” for U.S. objectives. Kissinger orders the CIA to “continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight.”
CIA, Cable Transmissions on Coup Plotting, October 18, 1970
These three cables between CIA headquarters in Langley, VA., and the CIA Station in Santiago address the secret shipment of weapons and ammunition for use in a plot to kidnap the Chilean military commander, General Rene Schneider. “Neutralizing” Schneider was a key prerequisite for a military coup; he opposed any intervention by the armed forces to block Allende's constitutional election. The CIA supplied a group of Chilean officers led by General Camilo Valenzuela with “sterile” weapons for the operation which was to be blamed on Allende supporters and prompt a military takeover. Instead, on October 22, General Schneider was killed by another group of plotters the CIA had been collaborating with, led by retired General Roberto Viaux. Instead of a coup, the military and the country rallied behind Allende's ratification by Chile's Congress on October 24.
CIA, Briefing by Richard Helms for the National Security Council, Chile, November 6, 1970
This paper provides the talking points for CIA director Richard Helms to brief the NSC on the situation in Chile. The briefing contains details on the failed coup attempt on October 22--but does not acknowledge a CIA role in the assassination of General Rene Schneider. Helms also assesses Allende's “tenacious” character and Soviet policy toward Chile. Intelligence suggests that Chile's socialists, he informs council members, “will exercise restraint in promoting closer ties with Russia.”
Department of State, Chilean Executions, November 16, 1973
This memo, sent to the Secretary of State by Jack Kubisch, states that summary executions in the nineteen days following the coup totaled 320 - more than three times the publicly acknowledged figure. At the same time, Kubisch reports on new economic assistance just authorized by the Nixon administration. The memo provides information about the Chilean military's justification for the continued executions. It also includes a situation report and human rights fact sheet on Chile.
FBI Report to Chilean Military on Detainee, June 6, 1975
This letter, one of a number sent by FBI attache Robert Scherrer to Chilean General Ernesto Baeza, provides intelligence obtained through the interrogation of a captured Chilean leftist, Jorge Isaac Fuentes. The document records U.S. collaboration with Chile's security forces, including the promise of surveillance of subjects inside the United States. Fuentes was detained through Operation Condor - a network of Chilean, Argentinian and Paraguayan secret police agencies which coordinated tracking, capturing and killing opponents. According to the Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, he was tortured in Paraguay, turned over to the Chilean secret police, and disappeared.
Irrefutable evidences prove that the U.S. was not just an ordinary member of the massacre. America was their leading and guiding force and organizer. Moreover, there is no doubt about the involvement of U.S. agents and the repressions that Pinochet was held after the coup. This means that the United States are responsible for the thousands of victims of the fascist junta...