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What was the role of the CIA in Chile's political developments post-1945?

The CIA played a significant role in Chile's political developments post-1945, notably in the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende.

After World War II, the United States, through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), became increasingly involved in Chilean politics. This involvement was primarily driven by the Cold War context, where the US sought to prevent the spread of communism worldwide. Chile, with its strong democratic tradition, was seen as a key battleground in this ideological struggle.

In the 1960s, the CIA began to actively support right-wing political parties and media outlets in Chile to counter the rising popularity of socialist and communist parties. This included funding the Christian Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Eduardo Frei, who won the 1964 election. The CIA also engaged in a campaign of propaganda to discredit leftist parties and influence public opinion.

However, the most significant CIA intervention came in the early 1970s. In 1970, socialist candidate Salvador Allende was elected president, causing alarm in Washington. The Nixon administration, fearing the establishment of a Marxist government in the Western Hemisphere, authorised the CIA to prevent Allende from taking office. When this failed, the CIA turned to destabilising Allende's government, funding opposition groups, strikes and propaganda to create economic and political chaos.

The culmination of these efforts was the military coup of 11 September 1973, led by General Augusto Pinochet. While the extent of the CIA's direct involvement in the coup is still debated, it is clear that the agency played a significant role in creating the conditions for the coup. Following the coup, the CIA continued to support Pinochet's military dictatorship, despite its widespread human rights abuses.

In conclusion, the CIA's role in Chile's political developments post-1945 was significant and controversial. It actively intervened in Chilean politics to counter perceived communist threats, ultimately contributing to the overthrow of a democratically elected government and the establishment of a military dictatorship.

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