16. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Ambassador Edward Korry

Ambassador Edward Korry has been our Ambassador in Chile since the beginning of 1968. He has done an excellent job and is probably the best Ambassador we have in Latin America. He has won the friendship and confidence of Chilean government and civic leaders of all parties and in all realms of activity. In this sense, he has done a really extraordinary job. Added to that is a very perceptive understanding of the Chilean situation, and an ability to analyze and articulate it usefully and graphically. You will recall that the Chilean Foreign Minister, in his talk with you, asked that Korry be left in Santiago.

He has just played an important and key role in the Chile negotiations with Anaconda, for which Korry was personally congratulated by Secretary Rogers (see attached cable).2

With Chile entering a very crucial electoral period, which will culminate in the Presidential elections in September 1970, Korry’s knowledge of the scene, the actors, and his perceptive understanding of the situation and the US interest will be invaluable. Chilean leaders and politicians have such remarkable confidence in him, that he is in a position to be very persuasive and influential during a period when we will need influence.

I therefore believe that it is very much in our foreign policy interest to have Korry remain as Ambassador through the election period and I hope no change will be made. No matter how capable any replacement [Page 46] was he could not be immediately effective until he becomes familiar with the situation and until the Chileans get to know him. For a great part of this delicate pre-election period then, a replacement would not be markedly effective.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 773, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. I. Confidential; Exdis. Attached is a note from Vaky to Kissinger: “Per our conversation this memo is for you to use with Flanigan. I now understand that a tentative decision has been made to send Hurd to Chile. Korry has been queried by wire as to whether he sees any problem in Hurd’s going to Chile. I hope you can raise this with Flanigan soonest.” In telegram 2995 from Santiago, July 14, Korry noted that John Hurd would face insuperable obstacles to effective performance given his close ties to the oil industry and the bad publicity surrounding his nomination as Ambassador to Venezuela. Korry also criticized the suggestion that he be nominated as Ambassador to Venezuela, noting that he would be viewed as a specialist in massaging Christian Democrats, and that the idea that he could be promoted from Chile to Venezuela would be taken in Chile as an insult. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US–CHILE)
  2. Attached but not printed is telegram 109522 to Santiago, July 2.