Salvador Allende  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean physician and politician, known as the first Marxist to become president of a Latin American country through open elections.

The possibility of Allende winning Chile's 1970 election was deemed a disaster by a US administration that wanted to protect US geopolitical interests by preventing the spread of Communism during the Cold War.

Relationships with the Soviet Union

Political and moral support came mostly through the Communist Party and unions of the Soviet Union. For instance, Allende received the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1972. However, there were some fundamental differences between Allende and Soviet political analysts, who believed that some violence – or measures that those analysts "theoretically considered to be just" – should have been used. Declarations from KGB General Nikolai Leonov, former Deputy Chief of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, confirmed that the Soviet Union supported Allende's government economically, politically and militarily. Leonov stated in an interview at the Chilean Center of Public Studies (CEP) that the Soviet economic support included over $100 million in credit, three fishing ships (that distributed 17,000 tons of frozen fish to the population), factories (as help after the 1971 earthquake), 3,100 tractors, 74,000 tons of wheat and more than a million tins of condensed milk.

In mid-1973 the USSR had approved the delivery of weapons (artillery, tanks) to the Chilean Army. However, when news of an attempt from the Army to depose Allende through a coup d'état reached Soviet officials, the shipment was redirected to another country.

Allende is mentioned in a book written by the official historian of the British Intelligence MI5 Christopher Andrew. According to SIS and Andrew, the book is based on the handwritten notes of KGB archivist defector Vasili Mitrokhin. Andrew alleges that the KGB said that Allende "was made to understand the necessity of reorganizing Chile's army and intelligence services, and of setting up a relationship between Chile's and the USSR's intelligence services". The Soviet Union observed closely whether this alternative form of socialism could work, and they did not interfere with the Chileans' decisions. Nikolai Leonov affirms that whenever he tried to give advice to Latin American leaders he was usually turned down by them, and he was told that they had their own understanding on how to conduct political business in their countries. Leonov adds that the relationships of KGB agents with Latin American leaders did not involve intelligence, because their intelligence target was the United States. Since many North Americans were living in the region, they were focusing in recruiting agents from the United States. Latin America was also a better region for KGB agents to get in touch with their informants from the CIA or other contacts from the United States than inside that country.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Salvador Allende" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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