31. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable1
- Chile/Brazil/Latin America
- 18 to 24 October 1970
- Offer of Salvador Allende, Chilean President-Elect, To Assist and Train Latin American Revolutionary Organizations
- Chile, Santiago (28 October 1970)
- [2½ lines not declassified]
TDCS DB–315/05814–70. 1. Salvador Allende, President-elect of Chile, told leaders of the Chilean National Liberation Army (ELN) and representatives of the Brazilian National Liberating Action (ALN) at a clandestine meeting that Chile will become a center of assistance and training for Latin American revolutionary organizations seeking to liberate their countries through armed struggle once his administration is firmly in power. The brief midnight meeting with Allende was held during the week of 18 to 24 October in the home of an ELN leader in order that the ALN representatives could deliver a congratulatory letter to Allende from Brazilian revolutionary organizations.[Page 160]
2. (Headquarters comment: In January 1970 articles appeared in “Granma,” organ of the Cuban Communist Party, and “Ultima Hora,” the newspaper of the Socialist Party of Chile (PS), reporting the formation in Santiago of a committee of support for the Bolivian people and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The articles stated that the group, headed by Senator Carlos Altamirano of the PS, was to provide support to and express solidarity with the Bolivian revolutionaries. Other Socialist leaders were named officers of the committee. “Granma,” of 14 January 1970, stated that Allende would be one of the Chilean ELN’s six directors. Allende’s promises of clandestine support for Latin American revolutionary organizations as reported herein differ from his overt public statements, which pledge a “democratic government within the stipulations of our current constitution” and “unreserved respect for the people’s right to self-determination and defense of the principle of noninterference.” He did not specify the time frame during which he intends to undertake this activity, but he will doubtless gauge this very carefully in view of the relatively moderate public image he is attempting to project towards foreign governments and investors.)
3. Allende said that the future government of Chile will support the revolutionary organizations by providing guerrilla training installations, political and insurgency training, financial support, and refuge for revolutionaries from other countries. He cautioned that the Chilean Government will have to protect its international reputation and, therefore, will have to provide this support in a clandestine fashion to avoid becoming isolated and blockaded like Cuba.
4. In the congratulatory letter to Allende the Brazilian ALN, Popular Revolutionary Vanguard (VPR), Tiradentes Revolutionary Movement (MRT) and the Revolutionary Movement Eight (MR–8) asked Allende for his support of a consolidated Brazilian revolutionary front described as being in the final stage of formation and already engaged in coordinated urban guerrilla revolutionary activities. The letter was signed by Joaquim Camara Ferreira, Captain Carlos Lamarca, and Jesse and Adriano Luna. (Headquarters comment: Camara Ferreira, leader of the ALN, suffered a heart attack and died while resisting arrest on 23 October 1970. Lamarca, a former Army Captain, heads the VPR.)
5. Allende told the revolutionaries that the Chilean ELN has his high personal regard and will be the channel through which the future Chilean Government will provide all necessary aid to Latin American revolutionary organizations.
6. (Source comment: The ELN has nothing to do with the Chilean Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR). A large part of the ELN membership comes from the youth of the Chilean Socialist Party. The ELN was created to support the Bolivian revolution generally, and the Bolivian ELN in particular.)[Page 161]
7. In addition to the above addressees the following persons are being furnished copies of this report:
[Omitted here is the list of officers in footnote 1.]
Summary: This cable, titled “Offer of Salvador Allende, Chilean President-Elect, To Assist and Train Latin American Revolutionary Organizations,” reported on a clandestine meeting between Chilean President Salvador Allende and members of the Chilean National Liberation Army and the Brazilian National Liberating Action during which Allende told leaders of both organizations that Chile would become a center for the assistance and training of Latin American revolutionary organizations.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 774, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. II. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem; No Dissem Abroad; Background Use Only. A copy was sent to Alexis U. Johnson, David Packard, Thomas Moorer, John Mitchell, William Rogers, John Irwin II , Charles Meyer, Melvin Laird, and Raymond Leddy, and to the Embassies in Santiago, La Paz, and Rio de Janiero. At the top of the page, Kissinger wrote, “David [Halperin], Give summary to Pres. HK.” Also written at the top in an unknown hand is “Allende reportedly has told reps of Latin American revolutionary movements that Chile will aid armed struggle movements.”A copy of this cable was sent to President Nixon under cover of a November 6 memorandum from Kissinger. The memorandum is in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXI, Chile, 1969–1973, Document 174.↩