346. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Coup in Chile—Situation Report

At approximately 6:30 A.M. today the Chilean Armed Forces and the National Police launched joint operations against the Government of President Allende of Chile. In a proclamation broadcast over opposition radio stations, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, Air Force and National Police and the Chief of Naval Operations called on President Allende to resign immediately. The proclamation said that the armed forces and the police are united in their anti-Marxist fight against an incompetent government which is leading the country to chaos. It assures the workers that the social and economic gains they have made will not be lost; and it orders all pro-government media to stop broadcasting.

President Allende arrived at the Presidential Palace at 0730 with extra heavy police guard and armored cars. In a broadcast message, he said he would not resign and called on the workers to occupy their places of work.

All telecommunications between Santiago and the outside world have been interrupted and airports have been closed by the military. Chilean Air Force planes have reportedly strafed at least one pro-government radio station which refused to obey the armed forces order to transmit only via the military network. The Navy secured control of the port of Valparaiso by 0840 today without encountering any armed [Page 897] resistance. The entire country is reported to be under the control of the Armed Forces. The only exception is the Presidential Palace in Santiago where elements of the National Police loyal to Allende are apparently still holding out. According to late reports from our Embassy in Santiago, Army troops were seen entering the Palace at approximately twelve noon and smoke was rising from the Palace which had been under Chilean Air Force attack.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 777, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. VIII. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. Printed from an uninitialed copy.