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Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War

Tanya Harmer

Publication Year: 2011

This ms is an international history of the inter-American Cold War. Harmer looks at Chile during the presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-73) and outlines how he proposed a constitutional “Chilean road to socialism.” This call for a peaceful transformation of the inter-American system and international economic relations abroad resulted in a violent, unconstitutional future for Chile, with a right-wing dictatorship drowning out the promise of a revolution in the Southern Cone as well as the global South’s continued dependency on the North.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents/Maps and Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xiii

I am indebted to many people for their support and guidance during the many years that I have been researching and writing this book. First, I owe an enormous debt to Arne Westad—my graduate teacher, doctoral supervisor, mentor, and friend. His inspiration, warm encouragement, energy, and enthusiasm for history and learning have been invaluable to...


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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-19

On 5 November 1970, thousands of people crammed into Chile’s national stadium to mark the beginning of Salvador Allende’s presidency and what was being heralded as the birth of a new revolutionary road to socialism. For some, Allende’s inauguration two days earlier had been a cause for...

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1 Ideals: Castro, Allende, Nixon, and the Inter-American Cold War

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pp. 20-48

“It is hard to imagine,” a Chilean Socialist Party militant mused as he looked back on the late 1960s more than forty years later. Back then, when you walked into any bookshop, there were lots of Marxist publications, and news of Latin American guerrilla struggles reached Chile all the time....

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2 Upheaval: An Election in Chile, September–November 1970

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pp. 49-72

Fidel Castro was in the offices of Cuba’s official newspaper, Granma, when he heard that Salvador Allende had narrowly won Chile’s presidential election late at night on 4 September 1970. “The miracle has happened!” he exclaimed, when Luis Fernández Oña walked through the door. Oña then...

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3 Rebellion: In Pursuit of Radical Transformation, November 1970–July 1971

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pp. 73-106

Salvador Allende embraced the idea that his election represented a turning point for inter-American affairs. On the night of his election victory, he had spoken elatedly to thousands of supporters in downtown Santiago and declared that countries around the world were looking at Chile.1 And they were, but not necessarily with the admiration that Allende implied....

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4 Disputes: Copper, Compañeros, and Counterrevolution, July–December 1971

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pp. 107-148

On 17 November 1971 Fidel Castro visited the southern Chilean city of Concepción and told crowds that a brilliant revolutionary future lay ahead. “The road that revolutionaries propose for humanity is rose colored!” he proclaimed. Yet, he also urged his audience to be realistic about the...

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5 Battle Lines: Détente Unmasked, January–October 1972

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pp. 149-189

A year after Allende’s presidency began, he spoke enthusiastically about signs that the world was undergoing some sort of profound transformation. “The American empire is showing signs of crisis,” he proclaimed. “The dollar has become nonconvertible. Apparently, the definitive victory...

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6 Crossroads: Incomprehension and Dead Ends, November 1972–July 1973

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pp. 190-219

In late November 1972 Salvador Allende set off on an international tour that took him from Mexico City to Havana via New York, Algiers, and Moscow. In many respects, the trip was a gamble—a somewhat uncoordinated effort both to improve Chile’s position before its representatives sat...

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7 Cataclysm: The Chilean Coup and Its Fallout

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pp. 220-254

In mid-August 1973 a retired Chilean admiral, Roberto Kelly, arrived in Brasilia on a highly secret and special mission. His goal was to inform the Brazilians that a group of Chilean plotters was poised to overthrow Allende’s government and then to sound them out about the international...

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pp. 255-275

A concerned scholar once asked me whether my researching the details of Cuba’s role in Chile meant that I thought the United States was justified in destabilizing Chilean democracy. Having spent decades uncovering the many wrongs of U.S. interventionism in the Third World, he wanted to...

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A Note on Sources

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pp. 277-281

As one scholar warned not long ago in Diplomatic History, “mono-national research tends to produce mono-national explanations and to ignore the role of players from countries other than those whose words are examined.”2 This book is an explicit effort to avoid such a pitfall. Although uncovering other,,,


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pp. 283-243


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pp. 245-361


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pp. 363-375

Further Reading

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p. 377

E-ISBN-13: 9781469602721
E-ISBN-10: 1469602725
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807834954
Print-ISBN-10: 0807834955

Page Count: 400
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 769187754
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War

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Subject Headings

  • Latin America -- Politics and government -- 1948-1980.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Latin America.
  • Latin America -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989.
  • Chile -- Foreign relations -- 1970-1973.
  • Cuba -- Foreign relations -- 1959-1990.
  • Brazil -- Foreign relations -- 1964-1985.
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