30. Memorandum by Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff1

I have the following comments on Chile:

1. The plan proposed2 is designed in part upon a given estimate of how the three candidates will perform—Alessandri first, but declining; Allende strong second and possibly rising; and Tomic a distant third. I believe, however, that this estimate is dated. According to latest reports Tomic is rising, and the prospect is that all three will be bunched together in an almost dead heat. This suggests possibly different options. It also suggests that the “readings” ought to be reviewed frequently between now and September to determine if shifts in our support are indicated.

2. If Allende is the threat the paper posits, should we not do more than we propose to insure his defeat?

[Page 79]

3. The present tactic is to reduce Radical votes for Allende. Presumably, these will shift to Alessandri, but if they divide between Alessandri and Tomic, all we may be doing is insuring a three-way split.

4. Why would not a complementary tactic be to strengthen Tomic’s appeal? He has to contend with Allende for the same sector of votes. By dividing the left vote between them, there is a good chance of increasing Alessandri’s percentage.

5. If we have in the past sought to strengthen the moderates in the Radical Party, should we not think of strengthening the moderates in the Christian Democratic Party? Would it not be good insurance? A moderate left-wing alliance may be needed to confront Allende.

6. The paper posits merely spoiling Allende’s chances, but refuses to formulate a plan to support an alternative. It points out that we could live with either, and that either has problems which may not merit our support (page 13). But is this wise? If Alessandri wins at 73 and Allende shows up strong, might we not have a difficult situation for the long haul. This might polarize the society by offering strong political forces at the extremes and destroy the relatively moderate left force that might contend with the Communists/Socialists for leadership of the political left.

Viron P. Vaky 3
  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1970. Secret; Eyes Only. Although the memorandum bears no addressee, it was most likely written for Kissinger in preparation for the 40 Committee meeting scheduled for March 25.
  2. See Document 29.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.