350. Telegram From the Embassy in Chile to the Department of State1

4154. Subj: Gen Pinochet’s Request for Meeting with MilGp Officer. Ref: State 181000.2

Following is summary of subject meeting:

1. Gen Pinochet said he was using Col Urrutia as intermediary to give me message in view of delicacy of matter of contact at this moment in time. He showed understanding and was relaxed about matter of recognition and volunteered that obviously we should not be first to recognize. He showed same recognition of advisability of not too much public identification with US at moment. (Comment: On these issues he seems to be reacting about as well as he could.)

2. Gen Pinochet is President of Junta and will probably continue to be so for at least a year.

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3. Junta government intends break relations with Cuba, USSR, North Vietnamese and North Koreans. Government also intends to clean out UP militants from Chilean diplomatic missions abroad.

4. Regarding relations with US, fundamental Junta desire is to strengthen and add to traditional friendly ties with US. Junta would hope that we could see our way clear to giving them relief for one year on Chile’s debt with US. (Comment: It was not clear whether he meant in context Paris Club.) He noted Junta would need a year to straighten things out.

5. Military government intends to honor Chile’s obligations regarding the copper debt and will be looking forward to trying to work out a mutually acceptable solution with US. (Comment: It was not clear whether Pinochet was referring to both debt and equity and my guess is that he was being general in his reference and has not yet addressed the specifics of the problem.) Pinochet also said that Junta hoped that we would be able to help them supply food for their people—clearly alluding to wheat as a first need but also including other food products.

6. He expressed continuing keen interest in the M–60 procurement. In this connection, as a historical footnote, he mentioned that Allende had been pressing Army very hard in recent days to buy Soviet equipment and mentioned that Gen Prats had actually signed some agreements in this regard when he was Army CINC. He said that in strengthening military resolve against such procurement, the Altamirano speech (Santiago 4072)3 had helped just as it had contributed to catalyzing the events of Sep 11.

7. Gen Pinochet also referred to the fact that he and his colleagues had not even hinted to us beforehand of their developing resolve to act and said he thought it had been better that way. He commented that what was done “had to work.”

8. Toward the end of the conversation Gen Pinochet invited several other Generals into the room (Bonilla, Alvarez, Lutz and Urbina) and Col Urrutia’s impression was that the Generals are pleased at the way things are going. Today they are cleaning out the snipers and essentially see their problem as one of isolated pockets of resistance and snipers.

9. The military government intends to declare the two big UP parties illegal and also the smaller groups such as the MIR, MAPU and IC. General Pinochet remarked at one point that it seems that the North Korean Embassy is filling up with asylees.

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10. Regarding arrangements for the future, Urbina will continue as Army Chief of Staff and Acting CINC and Bonilla will be SecGen of government.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P750011–2152. Confidential; Exdis; Flash.
  2. Dated September 12. (Ibid., P750014–0928)
  3. Dated September 10. (Ibid., [no film number])
  4. The Department of State sent a response to Pinochet’s overture welcoming his desire for strengthening ties with the United States and agreeing that it was “best initially to avoid too much public identification between us.” (Telegram 182051, September 13; ibid., P750014–0839) It was delivered to Pinochet through the Embassy Military Group Army Section Chief. (Telegram 4195 from Santiago, September 13; ibid., P750011–2150)