On September 15, 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger authorized the U.S. government to do everything possible to undermine the incoming government of the socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende. Nixon and Kissinger, according to the notes kept by CIA Director Richard Helms, wanted to “make the economy scream” in Chile; they were “not concerned [about the] risks involved.” War was acceptable to them as long as Allende’s government was removed from power. The CIA started Project FUBELT, with $10 million as a first installment to begin the covert destabilization of the country.
U.S. business firms, such as the telecommunication giant ITT, the soft drink maker Pepsi and copper monopolies such as Anaconda and Kennecott, put pressure on the U.S. government once Allende nationalized the copper sector on July 11, 1971. Chileans celebrated this day as the Day of National Dignity (Dia de la Dignidad Nacional). The CIA began to make contact with sections of the military seen to be against Allende. Three years later, on September 11, 1973, these military men moved against Allende, who died in the regime change operation. The United States “created the conditions,” as U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger put it, to which U.S. President Richard Nixon answered, “that is the way it is going to be played.” Such is the mood of international gangsterism.
Chile entered the dark night of a military dictatorship that turned over the country to U.S. monopoly firms. U.S. advisers rushed in to strengthen the nerve of General Augusto Pinochet’s cabinet.
What happened to Chile in 1973 is precisely what the United States has attempted to do in many other countries of the Global South. The most recent target for the U.S. government—and Western big business—is Venezuela. But what is happening to Venezuela is nothing unique. It faces an onslaught from the United States and its allies that is familiar to countries as far afield as Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The formula is clichéd. It is commonplace, a twelve-step plan to produce a coup climate, to create a world under the heel of the West and of Western big business.
Step One: Colonialism’s Traps.