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Nixon, Kissinger on the Chile coup

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The following is a selection of comments made by former US president Richard Nixon and his then national security adviser Henry Kissinger that reveal Washington's role in the 1973 overthrow of Chilean president Salvador Allende:

-- 1970 --

Kissinger to CIA director Richard Helms (after Allende's election): "We will not let Chile go down the drain."

-- 1971 --

Nixon to Treasury secretary John Connally (after Chile decided not to compensate US companies following the nationalization of the copper industry): "I have decided we're going to give Allende the hook... He is an enemy... All's fair on Chile. Kick 'em in the ass. Ok?"

-- July 1973 --

(Two months before the coup)

Nixon: "I think that Chilean guy may have some problems."

Kissinger: "He has massive problems..."

Nixon: "If only the army could get a few people behind them."

-- September 16, 1973 --

Kissinger: "The Chilean thing is getting consolidated and of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown."

Nixon: "Isn't that something. Isn't that something."

Kissinger: "I mean instead of celebrating -- in the Eisenhower period, we would be heroes."

Nixon: "Well we didn't -- as you know -- our hand doesn't show on this one though."

Kissinger: "We didn't do it. I mean we helped them... created the conditions as great as possible."

Nixon: "That is right. And that is the way it is going to be played."

-- October 1973 --

Kissinger (from minutes of a staff meeting, after Kissinger became secretary of state): "I think we should understand our policy -- that however unpleasant they act, the government is better for us than Allende was."

rsr/sst/oh

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130908/nixon-kissinger-the-chile-coup