179. Memorandum for the Record1
- Minutes of the Meeting of the 40 Committee, 13 November 1970
- Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Nutter, Mr. Johnson, Lt. Gen. Richard T. Knowles and Mr. Helms
- Colonel Richard T. Kennedy, Mr. Thomas Karamessines and Mr. William Broe were present for all items.
- Mr. Charles Meyer and Mr. Arnold Nachmanoff were present for Item 1.
- Mr. John Holdridge was present for Item 2.
a. Mr. Meyer briefed the Committee members on his visit to Chile for President Allende’s inauguration and his conversations with Allende, Frei, Osso and numerous other Chileans and Latin Americans.2
b. Mr. Meyer expressed his conviction that very few Chileans accurately evaluate the Allende threat to Chile—they believe that the “Chilean character” will somehow miraculously preclude a Marxist take-over of the country. Because of Chilean abhorrence of Chileans fighting Chileans there is little likelihood of an attempt to remove Allende by force. Any concept of a unified political opposition to Allende at the moment is virtually hopeless. The CDU is so badly split its factions cannot get together and there is no rock on which to build a solid political opposition.
c. Mr. Meyer stated that a unanimous view expressed to him by every Chilean and other Latin American with whom he spoke was that the U.S. should refrain from taking any hostile action against Allende for at least the traditional 100-day honeymoon period or Allende would immediately receive at least double the support he now has among Chileans. To this, the Chairman observed that it would then appear advantageous to Allende to take steps designed to provoke a U.S. reaction against him and thus far he has carefully avoided doing so.
d. Mr. Meyer noted that after a period of about 70 days any substantial exchanges of foreign funds for escudos will not be possible as controls will by then be too stringent. The Chairman suggested that [Page 460] prompt steps be taken to procure escudos for possible future expenditures in Chile and Mr. Broe responded that such acquisition has commenced.
e. [5½ lines not declassified]
f. The Chairman observed that the scope for covert operations in Chile does not seem very broad at present but asked that the CIA produce for consideration at the next meeting a paper offering certain specific proposals along the lines of the general Covert Annex dated 27 October 1970 to the NSC Options Paper on Chile.3
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Chile.]