Book: Rise of leftist power in South America led to Allende coup

SANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The rising power of leftists in South America made the election of Chile's President Salvador Allende a threat to the United States, a journalist says.

That was one of the reasons the CIA became involved, directly or indirectly, in the socialist leader's assassination in 1973, author Carlos Bosso said in an interview published Sunday in the Santiago (Chile) Times.


In his book, "The CIA in Chile," Bosso said the CIA detected what it saw as "a strong increase" in Chileans voting for leftist political parties in the 1960s

He cited an analysis of leftist guerrillas done by the CIA that said attempts by leftist groups to take over governments by violence "were not feasible anymore," so the groups began getting involved in the continent's political processes. That resulted in the election of Allende.

"From this point of view," Bosso said, "the U.S. was put in a situation that it obviously didn't like, with a president, Richard Nixon, who hated Marxism."

Bosso used declassified CIA documents in reaching his conclusion.

Documents written by the agency's Office of National Estimates said socialist sympathies were growing in Latin America in reaction to what U.S. analysts saw as "bad salary distribution, inflation and a very bad political class, something not really far from today," Bosso said.


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