Being young and not being a revolutionary,

it’s almost a biological contradiction.

–Salvador Allende


People of Chile were subjected to a systematic

campaign of torture and state violence


That the cold war left a large number of developing countries in ruins while the main adversaries were not affected is summed up by Nadeem Aslam aptly, “The cold war remained cold only for the rich and privileged places of the planet.” One unfortunate country among many others was Chile. On Sept. 11, 1973, Salvador Allende’s socialist government was toppled by a U.S.-backed military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, barely three years after being Allende was elected.

As declassified CIA documents show, the government of Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger influenced the military to overthrow Allende, and provided resources to deter any leftist movements in the country through the CIA. As fears of the “Red Scare” grew after success of 1959 revolution in Cuba, Washington opposed any form of socialist gains assuming they would affect U.S. economic and political interests in the hemisphere.

Dubbed Operation Condor, a brutal campaign of political repression and state terror took hold of the continent, as the United States sought to obliterate leftist movements opposed to Washington-backed military coups in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay — and Chile. But then one comes across the likes of Bolsonaro, Brazil’s President, who think that Pinochet saved Chile from turning into Cuba, ignoring the bloody past of the country under the dictator’s rule.