Brazil conspired with US to overthrow Allende, memos show

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Four official documents from 1971, recently declassified by the US Department of State, show high-level collaboration between the US and Brazil in plans to overthrow the lawfully elected government of Chile. The documents include accounts of a frank discussion between US President Richard Nixon and Brazilian President Emilio Médici on ways to bring down the democratically elected Chilean leader Salvador Allende, as well as the government of Cuba, so as to “prevent new Allendes and Castros”, in Nixon’s words. The memorandum, which contains the official State Department account of the discussion between the two men, is dated December 9, 1971. In it, Nixon appears to offer covert US assistance to Brazilian paramilitaries and intelligence operatives engaged in plans to overthrow the Chilean government: “[i]f money were required or other discreet aid, we might be able to make it available”, the US President is quoted as saying. Researchers at the Washington-based National Security Archive, who published the declassified documents on Sunday, have called on Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva to release portions of Brazil’s military history archives, in order to shed further light on the country’s collaboration with the US during the Cold War.

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