20. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Chile (Korry) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

Progress Report #2.

At opera night 18 Sept Ambassador chatted briefly during intermission with President Frei under watchful eyes diplomatic corps including Soviet Ambassador. Frei whispered that Ambassador must see Ossa and indicated important date would be Tuesday, 22 Sept, since nothing would happen over weekend. German and Italian Ambassadors later commented to Ambassador that Frei very pessimistic about PDC changes in Congress and that Frei was “desperate” about situation in Chile.

Also at opera during other intermission, Carlos Figueroa, Minister Economy, approached Ambassador saying had to meet soonest because needed Ambassador’s political advice and wanted go over with him the economic report. They will meet 20 Sept.

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Ambassador had met earlier in day with Raul Saez who said has been so busy gathering information for Zaldivar economic report to government on 22 Sept that he has neither seen Ossa nor been made aware that the economic report may be tied into a plan for ministerial resignations. Saez explained that Ossa completely occupied with preparations for 18–19 Sept national day celebrations, thus they had not seen each other for several days. Saez said making every effort see Ossa soonest. Saez called the Ambassador the morning after (19 Sept) to say that “things are shaping up,” having seen Ossa previous evening.

Ambassador will see Ossa evening 19 or 20 Sept.

  1. Summary: This message described brief meetings between Korry and top Chilean officials at a recent night at the opera. During the intermission Korry had a short encounter with Frei. The German and Italian Ambassadors to Chile later noted that Frei seemed particularly pessimistic concerning the current political situation.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 777, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, 1970. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Progress Report #1, September 18, is Document 103, Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXI, Chile, 1969–1973.