Puebla Group Demands Formal Apology from the US for Chile Coup

By Saheli Chowdhury on September 11, 2023

photo: RT

The Puebla Group has demanded that the United States present a formal apology for its role in the 1973 coup d’état against President Salvador Allende of Chile as part of the commemoration events for 50 years since one of the bloodiest coups in the world.

On Sunday, September 10, the Puebla Group and the Latin American Council for Justice and Democracy (CLAJUD) released a joint declaration highlighting that “it is essential to recognize the responsibility of foreign actors in the events that led to the coup” that overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, and ushered in the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who led the coup.

“In an act of historical justice and in the spirit of truth, memory and defense of human rights, the Puebla Group and the Latin American Council for Justice and Democracy (CLAJUD) join the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the military coup d’état that marked a profound break in the history of Chile in 1973,” the declaration stated. “In this context, we consider it relevant and necessary to express our firm conviction that it is essential to recognize the responsibility of foreign actors in the events that led to the coup d’état.”

“Declassified documents have revealed the complicity of the United States in attempts to prevent Salvador Allende’s inauguration, facilitating the coup d’état, and facilitating and sustaining the subsequent dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet,” the statement continued. “The US government of the time ignored international concerns about serious human rights violations” committed by the Pinochet dictatorship.

The statement also referred to US sanctions and other subversive attempts to debilitate the Chilean economy during the Allende administration. Declassified documents have revealed that the US government spent more than $8 million (not corrected for inflation and the current value of the US dollar) during the three years of Allende’s government to plan and execute the coup against the socialist president. On the day that Allende’s victory in the Chilean presidential election of 1970 was announced, then US President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger infamously announced that they were going to “make the Chilean economy scream.”

By applying economic sanctions, and at the same time funding and inciting the main players in the Chilean internal market to create artificial shortages of essential items of daily life, including food, medicine, and fuel, the US government tried to create a scenario in which the Chilean people themselves might rise against their own elected government. Simultaneously, the US bribed Allende’s political opposition to do everything possible to block the president’s social welfare and other popular measures in Congress, and Allende was forced to rule almost entirely by decree during his brief years in power. Despite all these attempts, when the majority of the Chilean people continued to support the government they had elected in polls, the US went for the military coup route. The same strategy is being employed against Venezuela five decades later.

Taking all this into account, the Puebla Group and CLAJUD made a “respectful but forceful call to the authorities of the United States… to offer a formal apology to the State of Chile and its people for the interventionist actions that led to the overthrow of President Salvador Allende and the breakdown of democratic order in Chile. Such an acknowledgement would have the character of historical reparation, would be seen as an act of global responsibility and a demonstration of genuine willingness on the part of the United States to defend and promote democracy and human rights around the world.”

“On this solemn occasion, the Puebla Group and CLAJUD reiterate their commitment to the defense of democracy, human rights, and justice in Latin America and the world. Long live the free and democratic people of Chile!” the statement concluded.

Source: Orinoco Tribune