85. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Chile (Korry) to the 40 Committee1

1. The following information was given to the [less than 1 line not declassified] Ambassador [less than 1 line not declassified]. The Ambassador wishes that it be included in the 40 Committee deliberations.

2. [3 lines not declassified] the previous day to speak with President Frei. The message from Frei was that he could not afford to wait until October 24th to move against Salvador Allende. Frei admitted he has been amazed by the speed and extent of the moves being made by the Popular Unity forces to consolidate their position. Frei told the two generals he has decided that he will resign after the National Day celebrations (September 18–19) leaving the next in line, Senate President Tomas Pablo, as the interim president until new elections can be called.

3. [1 line not declassified] Pablo is to name a military cabinet except for two positions which Frei has specifically asked be filled by their present incumbents—Minister of Economy Carlos Figueroa and one other [less than 1 line not declassified]. It is Frei’s hope that under Pablo and a military cabinet steps can be taken to neutralize the Communist Party. After the country is cleaned up, Frei said he would accept to run as candidate for the presidency in new elections.

4. Valenzuela gave the impression that among the generals who will support Frei in the above plan, the strongest person is [name not declassified]. As Frei put it, Schneider has “constitutionalism sickness” and is therefore a problem.

5. President Frei is undoubtedly aware of the Embassy’s contact [name not declassified] which had been alluded to earlier by me in my recent talk with Sergio Ossa, Minister of Defense.2

6. As to the accuracy of the above information, no one can judge. It was quite clear and in keeping with his close personal friendship [less than 1 line not declassified] appeared [less than 1 line not declassified] as sincere in what he reported and willing to help in the above plan as presented to him by Frei.

  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1970. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. See Document 79.