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September 17, 1970
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pproved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 CJIA `'- ite,,:.,,,pirofslfor Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE et No Forag i mem Intelligence Memorandum Reactions in Latin America to Allende's Victory in Chile Ilterkt 87 17 September 1970 No. 1463/70 roved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582�, Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 WARNING This document contains information affecting the national defense of the United States, within the meaning of Title 18, sections 793 and 794, of the US Code, as amended. Its transmission or revelation of its contents to or re- ceipt by . an unauthorized person is prohibited by law. CROUP EXCLUIDID FROM AUTOMATIC COWt11.111AUINO AND UCCIANSIVICATION roved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 .7177,'V71773'.9`; wenr/ohl4m17.117T:11:117:7M7P.! 77:7,-(fritrit7,77117rf75771:71177fTIF Approved for Re-leae: 2017/ No Foreign issem CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence 17 September 1970 INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM Reactions in Latin America to Allende's Victory in Chile Summary There seems to be a widespread conviction in Latin America that Salvador Allende's 36-percent plurality in the Chilean presidential election is a political watershed that is likely to have impor- tant repercussions throughout the hemisphere. Most governments have refrained from public comment, ap- parently choosing to await the outcome of the vote of the Chilean Congress on Allende and runner-up Jorge Alessandri that is scheduled for 24 October. They no doubt also want to appraise opinion at home and to study the reactions of other Latin American countries and of the US. Cuba is apparently the only country that has formally congratulated Allende, but the text of the message has not yet been made public and Fidel Castro has withheld comment. In general, political reactions have fallen into three categories. Orthodox Marxists and radical national- ists are jubilant over Allende's victory. They be- lieve that their chances for a larger political role have been enhanced in many countries. Christian Democratic and other left-of-center parties are dis- appointed over the defeat of Radomiro Tomic, Chile's Christian Democratic candidate, and are worried about their own political fortunes. Political groups in the center and on the right are concerned and appre- hensive; many are hostile. In some countries these groups probably will counsel harsher treatment of left-wing opposition. On the extreme right, there is unmitigated opposition to Allende. Note: This memorandum was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated with the Office of National Estimates and the Deputy Directorate for Plans. No F Dissem SE roved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 b No Foreign ssem Initially, the Soviet press has greeted Allende's victory with enthusiasm, calling the results a "big success for left-wing forces." The election results are seen as having "profound significance" as regards bolstering the independence from the US not only of Chile but all Latin America. The Director of Moscow's Latin American Institute told a US Embassy official on 1 September that the USSR would aid an Allende administration if the US were to pursue a policy of "economic isolation" like that toward Cuba. He added that if the US and Chile continue to have "normal re- lations," he saw "little prospect of sizable Soviet aid." -2- No F gn Dissem SE ET pproved for Release 2017/02/01 002909582 :YrWni17.7t7., Irn7717777: -77:47,777.7717777,t,77, Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 0J2I.4cL J. No Foreign ssem 1,rm. -1W406t, Reactions From Chile's Neighbors 1. It is likely that the first and some of the most important effects of Allende's dlection will be felt by Chile's immediate neighbors--Ar- gentina, Bolivia, and Peru. Since the 1830s rela- tions between Chile and both Peru and Bolivia have been marred by rivalry and hostility. Chile's min- eral rich northernmost provinces were won from Bo- livia and Peru as a result of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), and the paramount issue still dividing Chile and Bolivia grows out of La Paz' unyielding desire to regain access to the Pacific. Argentine- Chilean relations, likewiSe, have been troubled for decades by smoldering boundary disputes and military rivalry and competition. All three of Chile's neighbors, for different reasons, will be sedulous observers of Allende and his Popular Unity coali- tion, though to date the attitude of each has been cautious. Peru 2. A high-level US observer in Lima has re- ported that Allende 's victory "has been generally well received" and should "give the Peruvian Gov- ernment renewed determination to pursue its revolu- tionary program." Moderate generals, however, are worried about the existence of a Communist state on Peru's southern border, especially in the light of the long-standing military rivalries with Chile. 3. Members of the Velasco government thus far have refrained from public comments on the Chilean election, but Rear Admiral Vargas Caballero, Peruvian Minister of Housing, reportedly believes that Allende 's victory will be "auspicious" for Peru. Those govern- ment: officials who are strongly committed to the "revolutionary" programs of the Velasco administration and to even more rapid reforms probably think that an Allende government will reinforce Peru's revolution. No F -3- ign Dissem SE roved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 SECRET No Foreign issem 4. More moderate members of the Velasco govern- ment, however, are probably disturbed by Allende's success. Prime Minister and Minister of War Montagne was reported on 4 September to be "concerned about the possibility of an Allende victory." A high-level police official is worried that under an Allende admin- istration, "the Chileans *ith the did of the Cubans, Chinese, and other leftist groups, would export their revolution to Peru." Moderate military leaders prob- ably believe that a Marxist government in Chile would make it more difficult for them to oppose the rapid pace of reform currently espoused by their own radi- cals, and many of the generals may fear that Chile will become a center for subversion in Latin America. There is probably also apprehension that the Soviets will buildup their military strength in Chile if Allende takes office in November. 5. Despite these mixed views toward Allende, the Peruvian Government's relations with the Popular Unity coalition would probably be friendly, and the two governments would be likely to find areas of com- mon interest. For instance, although Peru has felt that it could not take the initiative in restoring relations with Cuba, it might be quick to follow a Chilean exchange of ambassadors with Havana. Bolivia 6. So far, President Ovando is one of only four Latin American heads of state who have commented publicly on Allende's victory. Although he told US Ambassador Siracusa on election eve that he favored Radomiro Tomic, the candidate of Chile's Christian Democratic Party, he said on 7 September in a press conference that "it is possible for Bolivia to live in friendship with a Marxist regime that doesn't use violence to impose its goals" and expressed the belief that the Chilean Congress should declare Allende winner. Asked if he thought Bolivian-Chilean relations might improve under an Allende administration, Ovando replied that "if Allende really wants justice not only in his country, but in the whole world, logically he must recognize Bolivia's right to the sea." -4- No F TIT/f0,p,F Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 0 _Kt, 1. No TOreign ssera 7. Bolivian military leaders, however, view an. Allende government with considerable alarm. Some re- portedly believe that the "US should use its influence to ensure the selection of Alessandri by the Chilean Congress." Regimental-level officers reportedly con- sider an Allende government "extremely dangerous for democracy in Bolivia." They cite the assistance given by Allende and his followers to the five survivors of Che Guevara's 1967 guerrilla effort and to ten political prisoners released by Bolivia in July 1970 who stopped off in Chile on their way to Cuba. The military apparently fear that with Allende in power, Bolivian guerrillas and urban terrorists could expect considerable support from Chilean sources. 8. High military circles reportedly believe that the only specific step the Bolivian Government can take is to launch "harsh repression of the subversive left," and such a course would be widely supported by the armed forces. But if the President is reluctant to take a harder line against the Bolivian left, a further strain would be placed on relations between Ovando and the military. 9. Reaction among other sectors in Bolivia has been mixed. Moderate businessmen reportedly fear that radicals will be reinforced and more audacious and that Bolivia will lean more toward the left un- der the influence of an Allende adndnistration, es- pecially because the Bolivian Government is "without definition." They reportedly are afraid that a "strong anti-US front composed of Chile, Peru, and Bolivia could become a reality." 10. Leaders of the important Bolivian Mine Work- ers Federation .and the Bolivian Workers .Cehtral report- edly consider the Allende victory "a triumph of the working class and oppressed masses." They believe that Allende will develop "intense" relations with Cuba but that he will move calmly and gradually in implementing domestic reforms. They do not discount the possibility of a "right-wing" coup attempt. La Paz university students reportedly have been too pre- occupied with a hunger strike against the government to take account of the election. -5- No F Dissem SE pproved for Release: 2017/02/01002909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 b JC., No Foreig issem Argentina 11. Although the government thus far has not reacted publicly, it is deeply concerned over the election outcome. 12. Foreign Ministry officials are taking a cautious approach and believe that it is premature to comment publicly on the Allende victory. 13. The US Embassy in Buenos Aires reports that the Argentine military are "quite concerned--even alarmed--by prospects of an Allende presidency, but they are not in a state of panic." Army commander General Lanusse said that the situation "is very serious for Argentina," but did not imply an impend- ing Argentine military move. The Embassy reports that the government "apparently propose to take no initiatives in the matter at this time." Foreign Ministry officials reportedly believe that reaction in Chile against any Argentine intervention would be swift and united. ID addition, an Argentine colonel reportedly commented on 6 September that Argentina could not risk any future intervention in Chile as No F -6- an Dissem SENT (b)(1) (b)(1) pproved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582immummw � Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 ..L.J No Foreig Dissem "this might give the Soviets ar excuse to send troops to maintain the Allende government." 14. Reaction by Argentine politicians has thus far been low-key. Most leaders have refrained from public comment, but there is widespread opinion that an Allende government would be a major and tragic hemispheric development. Peron's representative in Argentina, however, extolled the victory of the Chilean "popular movement" and identified Peron with Allende. Argentine Communist Party leaflets have lauded Allende and have called for unity against the Argentine dictatorship. Although a variety of labor leaders have expressed disappointment over the elec- ticn, even foreseeing an eventual Communist take-over in Chile, they are "in no sense alarmed." There has been almost no discernible student reaction. Reaction from Other South American Countries Brazil 15. President Medici reportedly is "most con- cerned over the prospect of a Marxist government in Chile" and has referred to lame-duck President Frei as "the Kerensky of Chile." Medici, in a cabinet meeting following the election, reportedly said that if PAlende's victory is ratified in Congress, "Chile in dne time could become a second Cuba despite Al- lende's promises to maintain free elections and in- diviavkal liberties." He indicated that Brazil would have relations with an Allende administration, but hinted that if Chile takes a "drastic turn to the left as Cuba did in 1959-1960," he would sever rela- tions. Medici reportedly lamented that democratic forces in the Western Hemisphere had supported Frei's candidacy in 1964, but in the recent campaign, "when anti-Marxist forces needed help even more, little or none was forthcoming." 16. In private, Brazilian officials have re- acted similarly, although they have refrained from public comment. They are resigned to Allende's con- firmation by Congress and believe there is nothing they can do to influence events. They tend to blame the outcome principally on weaknesses within the Christian Democratic Party rather than on Lllende's appeal. Foreign Ministry and high-level military circles have adopted a righteous "we-told-you-so" attitude, charging that a "socialist" government like Frei's will "inevitably lead to a Communist regime." -7- No F ign Dissem ET roved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 0 No Foreig1Iissem 17. There are no indications that either the Brazilian Government or the military are consider- ing taking any action against Chile, but the military apparently views increased informal cooperation with Argentina as an inevitable outgrowth of the Chilean situation. Both Argentine and Brazilian officials reportedly are concerned that Allende may permit the USSR to "establish a port" in Chile. 18. Reaction from Brazil's generally conserva- tively oriented press has been hostile and apprehen- sive. The independent Jornal do Brasil called the outcome a "political earthquake, more terrible than past earthquakes in Chile." The conservative 0 Estado de Sao Paulo warned that "it is not the first time in contemporary history that dictatorship comes to power taking advantage of democratic constitu- tional rights....Adolf Hitler was an example in 1933." 0 Jornal blames the election result on Chile's democratic forces, particularly the Christian Demo- crats, who had "allowed" themselves to be seduced by the lullaby of cooperation "with the Marxists." 0 Estado de Sao Paulo saw an Allende government following the path of Cuba, including the "solicita- tion of Soviet alms," and 0 Jornal foresaw a menace of subversion from Chile "with its red frontiers bordering on the Latin democracies." Venezuela 19. President Caldera, in a press conference on 10 September, said that much can be learned from the Chilean elections both by those who "celebrate" the results aid by those who "lament," He added, however, that he believes President Frei is still the most populax political figure in Chile. His remarks were probably intended to blunt charges in Venezuela that Christian Democracy in Latin America is declining. (Caldera's Christian Democratic Party (COPEI) is the only major Christian Democratic 72arty outside of Chile.) 20. A COPEI leader told the US Embassy in Ca- racas that he and his associates were badly shaken by Allende's victory and that the party would have to study the implications. According to press re- ports, he believes that the first lesson to be learned from the Chilean election is that a united -8- No Fo ign Dissem SE Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 Approved for Release,.i2017/0k01.C12909582 No Forel Dissem front of progressive parties is necessary in Vene- zuela. Thus, in the short run, Allende's victory may tend to increase cooperation in Congress between COPEI and the progressive Accion Democratica party. It may also enhance the possibility of broader coop- eration among Venezuela's weak leftist forces, even though Caldera and at least one other prominent COPEI leader have criticized Tomic for moving too far left in his camp4gn in Chile. 21. Former President Romulo Betancourt stated in public that the election results in Chile must be respected and that Allende's victory proves the bankruptcy of the radical Marxist view that violence is the preferred means of attaining power. He went on to reiterate his "Betancourt Doctrine" that only those governments acquiring power legally and through elections should be afforded diplomatic recognition and participation in the Inter-American system. Colombia 22. Reaction in Colombia is moderate and largely uncritical, probably because of the widespread lack of informed opinion about Chile and the conviction that Chilean political developments affect Colombia only peripherally. President Misael Pastrana answered a question about the Chilean election in a press confer- ence on 7 September. Although he stressed his inten- tion to refrain from commenting on internal Chilean poljtics, Pastrana nevertheless again advocated con- stitutional reforms in Colombia to provide for run-off elections when a candidate fails to win a majority vote. 23. Much of the discussion in Colombia about Allende's victory seems to center on the prospects for the continuance of the Andean Pact, a sub-regional association of five South American countries that has been a favorite Colombian project for several years. In his press conference Pastrana was optimistic that Allende would uphold Chile's commitments to the pact. Former President Lleras, who with Chilean President Frei was the principal architect of the pact, also publicly stated his belief that the association would not be significantly affected by Allende's victory. -9- oved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 No ForeihQissem 24. Colombian press comments have been gener- ally moderate and restrained. A columnist for El Espectador, a,.. prestigious Bogota daily, said that Allende is a serious person and not a "tropical" like Castro. Uruguay 25. Reaction in Uruguay has been limited so far to press and media commentaries reflecting a favorable reception of Allende's victory. It is unlikely that the Pacheco government will criticize the results in view of Uruguay's firm committent. since the first decades of the 20th century to an advanced welfare system and socialism. Newspapers representing various factions of the ruling Colorado Party state optimis- tically that Allende will bring liberal socialism to Chile within a democratic system. The Colorado paper El Diario compared Allende's brand of socialism to Dubcek's. Another Colorado paper, La Manama, notes that Allende's election strengthens Moscow's position against radical Marxists and terrorists who espouse violent paths to power. The Catholic paper favorably compares Allende's politics to Scandinavian socialism. The orthodox Con,nunist Party daily, El Popular, of course, was jubilant. Ecuador 26. On 10 September President Velasco Ibarra became the fourth Latin American head of state to comment publicly on Allende's victory. Quito radio quoted his comment that "the Chilean people expressed their sovereign will and it must be respected by all states, whether they like it or not." There has been no other official or private reaction from Ecuador. Reaction From Middle America Mexico 27. :Mexican officials have made no public state- ments, but all of the press has expressed satisfaction with the peaceful course of the election. Excelsior, a prominent Mexicc City daily, editorialized that, "the democratic maturity of the Chilean people exercised the -10- No Fo gn Dissem SE pproved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 1,.!Tr.7-77.77, Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 No Foreig Dissem r right of self-determination, and they deserve the highest respect from all the nations of the world." It Ilso cautiously pointed out that "Allende, a democratically and freely elected president, has assumed, above any other considerations, a commit- ment to freedom." 28. Another Excelsior editorial commented that "Chilean socialism has come from the ballot box, not from an explosion of violence, assault on palaces, or military coups." El Dia of Mexico City said that Allende's victory apresses the desire of the Chilean people for deep changes in the country's basic struc- ture." 29. Such comments probably accurately reflect the mood and opinions of many Mexican officials and the informed public. Mexico's firm espousal of non- intervention, its tradition of popular and national. istic reforms growing out of its own experiences, and its independent foreign policy impel it toward an uncritical judgement on Allende. 30. The private views of some Mexican officials, however, may differ in varying degrees from the official stance. Central America and the Caribbean 31. Reaction from most Central American and Caribbean states has been limited and brief. El Salvador 32. In El Salvador, where the Christian Demo- cratic Party (PDC) is a major political force, the Allende victory has attracted intensive media and public attention, however. Salvadoran Chtistian -11- eign.Dissem SE ET (b)(1) pproved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 f: Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 0 r, I No Foreign issem Democrats have not yet publicly reacted but reportedly agree that the election will further wilaken their party and that the government is behind the recent attacks against them that have appeared in the Sal- vadoran press. Editorials and signed columns warn that the PDC is a "bridgehead to communism" and that any PDC election victory will result in the country being "sold out to the Communists." A colum- nist who is often spokesman for the Salvadoran oli- garchy is running �L series that seeks to show that Chilean Christian Democracy was responsible for Allende's victory. Costa Rica 33. The Costa Rican press has also devoted de- tailed attention to the Chilean elections. Although it is almost uniformly critical, it probably has not reflected the depth of antipathy that President Figueres feels for Allende. News accounts have em- phasized that the Chilean Congress is expected to con- firm Allende's plurality and that the Chilean mili- tary is expected to respect the decision. Editorial opinion, however, reflects dismay over Allende's victory. La Nacion, an influential conservative daily, termed it a "serious threat to all other Latin American people" and criticized Chilean democratic elements for being "lost in indecision." The more progressive La Republica said that Allende's victory could be blamed on the "suicidal efforts of Chilean democratic elements." The only approving reaction came from the Communist Youth of Costa Rica. Honduras, Panama 34. Statements by Radio Honduras are probably typical of the reactions of official and ruling circles in the remaining Central American countries. A sta- tion editorial emphasized that it was premature for "Communists throughout the world" to show enthusiasm for Allende's victory, because "we are sure that the last word is yet to be heard." Editorials in Panama's progovernment newspapers indicate unease over the out- come of the Chilean election. The blame for the "victory of Communism" is placed, however, on the US for "lack of sensitivity" to Latin American needs. -12- No F n Dissem SE Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 No Foreign issem Dominican Republic 35. Although President Balaguer of the Dominican Republic has declined to com-nt, other officials have thus far reacted with cauti�ts acceptance. Some lead- ers have commented on the likelihood of Allende's elec- tion to the presidency by Congress and say that they expect cordial relations with his government. Former President Juan Bosch emphasized that Allende's victory presented problems for US policy in Latin America and claimed that the US could do little to avert a "Chilean Revolution" without.risking.grave consequences. 36. Informed opinion in the Dominican Republic takes a number of different lines. Comment concen- trates on the belief that hit can't happen here" because the military would not permit it. Moderate leftists are somewhat concerned that the Balaguer government could adopt a more repressive attitude toward the left and opposition in general. At the same time, however, the Chilean election reinforces the views of some of the left that change is inevitable and highly desirable. The Dominican Republic is some- what isolated from the Latin American political main- stream, and Allende's victory is not likely to have an immediate or profound impact on the country's political life. Cuba 37. So far Cuban public comment has been con- fined to a few Radio Havana broadcasts and probably to daily newspaper coverage. The tone of these statements is enthusiastic without being overly boastful or confident. It appears that Castro prefers to continue the policy he followed during the Chilean electoral campaign of avoiding comment on Chilean affairs as much as possible. It is too early to pre- dict whether Castro will accept the invitation he reportedly has received to attend Allende's inaugura- tion. 38. Fidel Castro and Salvador Allende have been friends since 1959, when the Chilean senator began his frequent and regular visits to Cuba. Castro has praised Allende many times during the past 11 years and will be delighted to have a friend and sympathizer -13- No F oved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582 Approved for Release: 2017/02/01 002909582 ET No Foreign sem governing an important Latin American country. The Cuban leader went to some lengths to aid the Allende campaign: from reportedly providing funds through an intermediary in Spain to playing to perfection a careful public role designed to deny Allende's op- ponents any issue. In..anticipation of Allende's victory, the Cuban Communist Party recently re-es- tablished relations with the Chilean Communist Party in order to be on good terms with the key element of Allende's coalition. Havana's relations with Allende's Socialist Party are already good. Havana probably expects to gain an increase in trade, a resumption of diplomatic ties, and a full restoration of normal intercourse between the two countries. Conclusion 39. Preliminary reaction in Latin America to Allende's victory has generaly been cautious. There is widespread acceptance of or resignation to the possibility that Allende will be inaugurated in No- vember, and there seems to be no inclination in any country to infPrfere openly in Chilean affairs. Most governments have withheld official comment, in view of the fluidi.ty of the Chilean situation. 40. These initial responses will probably pre- vail at least until after the Chilean Congress votes on the candidates. If Allende confirmed, he will probably receive the public endorsement' of additional governments, and, once he is inaugurated, most coun- tries of the hemisphere will pi...obably attempt to es- tablish cordial relations with his government. -14- No F Dissem SE pproved for Release: 2017/02/01 CO2909582mm,