William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"

12

Telephone and Telegraph Company (ITT) and other U.S. businesses channel over $700,000 to the Alessandri campaign.36 After Allende won the election the CIA adopted a "firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup."37 Schneider was seen as an obstacle to a successful coup because of his commitment to honor the Chilean Constitution and the election results.38 Therefore the CIA worked with two groups led by right-wing officers, and even provided arms to one group, planning on kidnapping Schneider in the hope that this would provoke a military coup.39

Of course the New York Times did not have knowledge of such clandestine activities. Yet, the blind faith placed in the Nixon Administration's claims of neutrality was at best naive given the U.S. Government's extensive legacy of intervention in the region. In a September 20, 1970, editorial Tad Szulc acknowledged that "the history of United States military intervention in Latin America...has raised the inevitable question of whether the Marines and the Central Intelligence Agency play any part in current 'contingency planning' in regard to Chile."40 Szulc, basing his assertion on interviews with State Department officials, excluded the possibility of any such action on the grounds that Washington had little influence on Chilean politics, the U.S. had little leverage against Chile, that CIA action could make matters worse, and that Nixon wa


36. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973 [Freedom of Information Electronic Reading Room] (1975). Available [Online]: < http://www.foia.state.gov/ChurchReport.htm >
37. CIA, "Operating Guidance Cable on Coup Plotting, October 16, 1970," p. 1, in Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup 1970-1976, [National Security Archive]. Available [Online]: <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/ch05-01.htm>.
38. CIA, "Report on Chilean CIA Task Force Activities, 15 September to 3 November 1970," p. 17, in Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup 1970-1976, [National Security Archive]. Available [Online]: <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8.htm>
39. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.
40. Tad Szulc, "Trying to Read the Meaning of Allende Victory," New York Times, September 20, 1970, 4:3.
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