MIM Notes 224
U.$. role in Chile exposed with release of government documents
On November 13 the u.$. government released over 16,000 documents from the State Department, CIA, White House, Defense Department and Justice Department regarding events in Chile from 1968 through 1991. This was part of the Chile Declassification Project ordered by President Clinton last year.
Although many of the released documents include large sections of text that are blacked out, the documents provide further proof of the u.$. involvement in the violent overthrow of the elected Allende government in 1973. Over 3,000 Chileans were immediately "disappeared" in this coup. Included in the documents are records of u.s. covert operations to help destabilize and ultimately overthrow the Allende governemnt.
Also included is evidence of the u.$. support for the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet which took power after the bloody u.s.-supported coup to overthrow Allende in 1973. These documents were held up for two months while the CIA resisted releasing them and the white house tried to convince the CIA that it's ok to admit that you've supported bloody military dictatorships. The released government documents detail meetings of the "40 Committee", an interagency group headed by national security advisor Henry Kissinger, which oversaw u.s. efforts to undermine the election and government of Allende. The files record President Nixon's commitment to "do everything we can to bring Allende down" after attempts to keep him from taking office failed. A document dated November 6, 1970, reveals Nixon approving "drastically ruining the Chilean economy" and asking the National Security Council for a plan to sell part of the strategic u.s. copper reserves to bring down world copper prices which would hurt the Chilean economy. Sometimes it is in the capitalists' interest to forgo a profit for the long term benefit of control of another country.(1)
There are lessons to be learned from the the Allende government and its bloody overthrow. Allende and others remained shackled to bourgeois democracy and class collaboration rather than revolutionary class struggle. A week before the coup, 500,000 Chilean workers rallied in support of Allende and begged him to open the armories so that they could fight the fascists, but Allende said "no." The Chilean Communist Party (PCCH) sided with Allende against armed struggle, and in return they were arrested, tortured and "disappeared." Even before the coup, the Moviemento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) had warned the Communist and Socialist (PSCH) parties that there would be no peaceful road to socialism.
Also, the progressive political parties, community groups, and labor unions were too fragmented to offer a unified response to the coup. Had they had effective, united leadership under a proletarian party true to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the outcome would have been different.(2) MIM takes this release of documents, supported by Clinton, to mean that the u.$. government thinks sufficient time has passed so that it can claim it is no longer responsible for its earlier crime. It also correctly gauges the u.s. public which is not particularly interested in u.$.-supported murder in other countries so long as its comfy position at home is not threatened. In fact the overwhelming u.$. popular support for the bombing of Iraq demonstrates this in more recent foreign events. But MIM does not see any difference between the murderous u.s. government in the 1970s which helped massacre tens of thousands of Chileans and installed a brutal military dictatorship to ensure u.s. control of Chile and the murderous u.s. government today which continues to bomb and starve the Iraqi population in an attempt to control Iraq.
Imperialism necessitates military aggression. Sometimes this is in the form of overt wars, but on a day to day basis this includes covert attacks on individuals and organizations that threaten imperialist hegemony. The imperialists have perfected a system of paying their lackeys in the Third World to carry out these covert wars, keeping their hands clean. The policies of the u.s. government have not changed since the 1970s and we can expect that in another 30 years we will see the release of documents detailing more dirty wars supported and financed by the u.s. in the year 2000.