Yossi Schwartz, ISL – RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 04.07.2022
Most people associate September 11 with al-Qaeda deliberately crashing two planes into the upper floors of the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex and a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. However, a few people outside Chile remember that on September 11, 1973 general Pinochet made a coup against the elected government of Chile.
On June 30, Eitay Mack (a lawyer) wrote a very interesting article published in Haaretz (in Hebrew) on the relationship between Israel and the butcher Pinochet who came to power in a military coup supported by the American imperialists in 1973. However, before dealing with this article, it is necessary to deal with the popular front led by Allende that was overthrown by Pinochet backed by the CIA on September 11 1973.
Jack Devine, a CIA agent in Chile at the time of the coup claimed that the government of the USA was not involved in the 1973 coup but only knew about it and did not inform Salvador Allende about the plan to get rid of the elected government. It is hard to accept this claim as he himself admitted that “the United States helped launch an earlier coup attempt against Allende. In September 1970, after Allende finished first in a three-way presidential election, Nixon summoned cia Director Richard Helms to the White House and told him in no uncertain terms to foment a preventive coup—one that would keep Allende from taking office despite his victory“[i]. Allende ran as the candidate of Popular Unity, a bloc of social democrats, Stalinists, bourgeois Radicals, and some dissident Christian Democrats.
This plan to overthrow the Chilean elected government was called by Nixon and the CIA Track II—a secret complement to Track I, the political and propaganda effort that Washington had mounted earlier to keep Allende from being elected in the first place.
The popular front government led by Allende tried a half-baked policy of some left reforms in the framework of capitalism. It initiated land reform, and government spending to stimulate the economy. In the first year it seemed to work. real GDP grew by nearly eight percent, production increased by more than 12 percent, and consumption levels grew at a rate of 13 percent. But by early 1971, Allende’s economic plan began to backfire. Landlords became reluctant to maintain properties that might be seized at any moment. Business owners began leaving the country, taking their capital and entrepreneurial know-how with them, and the public at large suffered shortages of basic goods.
In October 1972, the truckers went on strike. Most goods were carried by trucks owned by small firms. The truckers believed the rammer of the capitalist press that Allende was planning to nationalize the truck industry. When the president announced plans for a mixed public-private transport operation in the Aisen region, the truckers walked off the job. Shop owners closed their small business.
In June 1973, an actual coup attempt did take place. A group of about 80 soldiers from an army tank unit decided to free an officer who had been arrested earlier for calling for a coup. However, the army’s commander in chief, General Carlos Prats, opposed the coup. This led Allende to announce that the Chilean army would never intervene.
On September 11th the army led by general Pinochet took power and Allende was dead. Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become General Chief of Staff in early 1972 before he was appointed Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende himself.
This does not surprise the Marxists. During the Russian revolution, General Lavr Kornilov, appointed as commander-in-chief of the Russian army in July 1917 attempted to seize control of power from the Provisional Government in what is known the Kornilov Affair one month later and was it not for the Bolsheviks he would have succeed.
The popular government of Leon bloom in France ended with the regime of Vichy headed by the pro-Nazi Marshal Philippe Pétain.
Going back to the article in Haaretz, a few days ago the Zionist press told us that the Israeli ambassador to Chile Moshe Tov saved Jews in a secret operation under the nose of Pinochet. In this story Mac wrote that this is an attempt to clear the image of Israel that was a strong supporter of Pinochet. The documents of the Israeli foreign office that were opened two years ago show that Tov was the architect of the close relations of Israel with one of the worst regimes in history famous for cruel tortures. Israel provided Pinochet with weapons and diplomatic support and Pinochet voted with Israel in the UN. Moshe Abidan who replaced Tov met with Pinochet who praised Tov as a human being and as an ambassador. Such praise coming from this cruel tyrant is not telling good things about the role of Tov. Tens of thousands of people were tortured to death by this regime. Among them left wing Jews.
“Between 1973 and 1991, Israeli governments and the IDF sold weapons and training to Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, a regime that committed crimes against humanity, disappeared thousands, and tortured tens of thousands. The Pinochet regime brought torture to new heights of cruelty, unseen in modern history. The State of Israel was not interested in this regime’s ties with Nazi war criminals; Pinochet had granted asylum to senior Nazi criminal Walter Rauff, the inventor of the mobile gas chamber. One of the regime’s central torture centers was Colonia Dignidad, a Nazi and neo-Nazi colony in southern Chile. On top of that, Israel also engaged in public relations efforts for Pinochet in Washington” [ii]
It is true that European and American imperialism have a longer history as imperialists than the Russian and Chinese imperialism and for this reason some fake Marxists tend to defend the newer Eastern imperialism, but this is a reflection of their class nature (reformism and centrism) leading them to act as social imperialists.
Down with all the imperialists!
Down with the Zionist apartheid, an enemy of the international working class and the oppressed nations!
[i] Jack Devine What Really Happened in Chile: The CIA, the Coup Against Allende, and the Rise of Pinochet: Foreign Affairs, JULY/AUGUST 2014, Vol. 93, No. 4 (JULY/AUGUST 2014), pp.26-30, 31-35
[ii] Eitay Mack Https://lobelog.com/israels-sordid-history-of-supporting-dictatorships