154. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the Station in Chile1

1. Track Two policy, objectives, and actions were reviewed at high USG level afternoon 15 October. Conclusions, which are to be your operational guide, follow:

2. It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. It would be much preferable to have this transpire prior to 24 October but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden. While this imposes upon us a high degree of selectivity in making military contacts and dictates that these contacts be made in the most secure manner it definitely does not pre[Page 374]clude contacts such as reported in Santiago 5442 which was a masterful piece of work.

3. After the most careful consideration it was determined that a Viaux coup attempt carried out by him alone with the forces now at his disposal would fail. Thus, it would be counterproductive to our Track Two objectives. It was decided that CIA get a message to Viaux warning him against precipitate action. In essence our message is to state, “We have reviewed your plans, and based on your information and ours, we come to the conclusion that your plans for a coup at this time cannot succeed. Failing, they may reduce your capabilities for the future. Preserve your assets. We will stay in touch. The time will come when you together with all your other friends can do something. You will continue to have our support.”3 You are requested to deliver the message to Viaux essentially as noted above. Our objectives are as follows: (A) To advise him of our opinion and discourage him from acting alone; (B) Continue to encourage him to amplify his planning; (C) Encourage him to join forces with other coup planners so that they may act in concert either before or after 24 October. (N.B. Six gas masks and six CS cannisters are being carried to Santiago by special [less than 1 line not declassified] courier ETD Washington 1100 hours 16 October.)4

4. There is great and continuing interest in the activities of Tirado, Canales, Valenzuela et al. and we wish them optimum good fortune.

5. The above is your operating guidance. No other policy guidance you may receive from State or its maximum exponent in Santiago, on his return, are to sway you from your course.

6. Please review all your present and possibly new activities to include propaganda, black operations, surfacing of intelligence or disinformation, personal contacts, or anything else your imagination can conjure which will permit you to continue to press forward toward our [less than 1 line not declassified] objective in a secure manner.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Chile–ITTCIA 1963–1977, Lot 81D121, Chile–CIA 1970. Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. Drafted by Broe; authenticated by Phillips. The telegram is printed from a previously redacted copy; the original was not found.
  2. Not found.
  3. See Document 152 and footnote 2 thereto.
  4. In an October 18 telegram, the Station requested 8 to 10 more grenades, three sterile 45 caliber machine guns, and 500 rounds of ammunition for the Valenzuela group. (Telegram 562 from the Station in Santiago to Headquarters; Central Intelligence Agency, DO/LA Files, Job 80–000012A, Box 6, Military, Vol. III, 16 October 1970) The CIA authorized the weapons that same day. (Telegram 856 from Headquarters to the Station in Santiago; ibid. and “Track II,” October 19; ibid., Box 12, D/DP Task Force Files) The guns were delivered to the coup plotters on October 21. (Telegram 896 from Headquarters to the Station in Santiago, October 22; ibid., Box 6, Military, Vol. III [16 Oct 1970–])