The Role of American Imperialism in the 1973 Chilean Coup

TLDR Salvador Allende's presidency and subsequent death in the 1973 Chilean coup led by General Pinochet was heavily influenced by American imperialism, with the Nixon administration using economic pressure and propaganda to prevent Allende, a Marxist, from winning the election and implementing left-wing policies. The coup was seen as a significant event in Latin American history and highlighted the tension between democracy and opposition in Chile.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Salvador Allende's last radio address before his death in the 1973 Chilean coup led by General Pinochet is seen as a significant event in Latin American history and is often attributed to American imperialism and the actions of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.
04:38 Salvador Allende, a martyr and figure from the liberal tradition, was the president of Chile and a victim of the 1973 coup led by General Pinochet.
08:31 Salvador Allende, a Marxist intellectual and organizer on the left, made several unsuccessful bids for the presidency of Chile before the Americans became worried about him in the early 1960s.
12:37 The Americans pumped money into Chile to support the center-right Christian-democrat candidate Eduardo Frey and spent about $3 million on anti-Allende propaganda in an effort to prevent Chile from electing a Marxist president.
16:33 American business interests, particularly copper companies and ITT, were funding Allende's conservative opponent in the 1970 election and urging the Nixon administration to prevent Allende, whom they viewed as a Marxist, from winning in order to protect their financial investments in Chile.
20:29 The Nixon administration considers two options to prevent Allende from becoming president of Chile: bribing or persuading the Chilean Congress not to vote for him (track one), or persuading the Chilean military to have a coup by threatening to make the economy suffer (track two).
24:27 President A&A implements a flurry of left-wing policies upon taking office, including nationalizing industries, increasing spending on health and education, expanding land redistribution, and implementing social programs.
28:27 The economic policies of the A&A administration, including increased spending and inflation, lead to hyperinflation, a contraction of GDP, and a decrease in real wages, causing discontent among the middle class.
32:43 The Nixon administration used economic pressure, including shutting down American financing and loans to Chile, to bring about the downfall of Allende, while also pumping millions of dollars into opposition newspapers, right-wing groups, and the Christian Democrat Party.
36:56 The strain on Chilean democracy in the early 1970s, due to Allende's experiments and conservative opposition, leads to tension between the Supreme Court, Congress, and Allende himself, ultimately leaving the option of a military coup as the only solution for the opposition.
Categories: History

Browse more History