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U.S. involvement in Chile

            Henry Kissinger, while serving as United States Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977, once said, "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people" (Weiner 23). For a short period, he simultaneously was Head of National Security during 1969-1975. The Cold War, to put it briefly, was the United States' attempt to spread democracy and discourage communism. Chile was a unique form of government in the early 1970s, with the first Western communist president to be selected via a popular democratic election. This form of government was considered unique because it was a combination of democratic elections and communistic governmental policies, which are considered to be at the opposite ends of the political spectrum and not co-existent. Kissinger, among other United States leaders, feared that the spread of communism was threatening America because of Chile's newly elected president. This fear led the political leaders of the United States to rely on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to influence the Chilean people that communism was not the appropriate form of government (Blum 33). The U.S.', especially the CIA's, actions against Allende can be seen in its failed attempt to stop Salvador Allende from winning the presidential election, the successful media based campaign against Allende and his policies and finally the support offered to the overthrow of Allende. .
             In the fall of 1970, Chile hosted presidential elections. Allende, a physician and long time politician, was chosen as the Popular Unity candidate. On September 4, 1970, Allende won presidential office by gaining 32% of the popular vote. Prior to the election, the U.S. government had feared that Allende might win the election, and sent CIA officers on July 14, 1970 in an attempt to persuade the public that Allende was not the proper candidate. The CIA mounted a full tilt covert operation to keep Allende from taking office.

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