In this revealing history of Allende’s Chile, Jonathan Haslam uncovers the actual involvement of Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the CIA in that country’s struggle for political and economic stability. The story begins by tracing the trajectory of the communist and socialist parties from the pre-war period through to the dramatic election of Salvador Allende as president of Chile in 1970, in a country long accustomed to political democracy but divided by great inequality of income. It weaves in an account of a new force linked to Castro’s Cuba, and elucidates the longstanding politicization of the Chilean armed forces through mere talk of action in the early 1960s to the attempted coup d’etat of 1969 and the coup of 1973. It highlights the personal profile of Allende and his close ties to Cuba, and shows Soviet indifference to the fate of the regime during a period of emerging detente with the United States, which meant enduring isolation for this precarious socialist experiment.
In this tragic tale of assisted suicide, The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende’s Chile underlines the chronic mismanagement of the economy in the drive to socialism on the back of a minority franchise. It deepens our understanding of close US involvement in attempts to block the formation of the Unidad Popular government, and how it then attempted to bring down the regime by massive subsidies to nationwide strikes, engineering a coup led by the navy behind the back even of CIA stations in Santiago.