Skip to content Skip to footer

US Should Declassify Docs on Its Role in Chile’s 1973 Coup, Ocasio-Cortez Says

“It’s very important to frame the history of what happened here in Chile with Pinochet’s dictatorship,” she said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at a press conference on May 24, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday said her country’s government should declassify documents related to its role in the violent 1973 overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, nearly five decades ago.

“It’s very important to frame the history of what happened here in Chile with Pinochet’s dictatorship. And also to acknowledge and reflect on the role of the United States in those events,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a video conversation with Camila Vallejo, a spokesperson for the Chilean government.

“The transparency of the United States could present an opportunity for a new phase in our relationship between the United States and Chile,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who led a congressional delegation to Chile and other Latin American nations — an effort sponsored by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The Nixon administration was closely involved in efforts to prevent Allende, a democratic socialist, from assuming power in 1970 and in the subsequent overthrow of the Chilean government on September 11, 1973. The CIA has acknowledged that it “actively supported” the viciously repressive military junta led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who was later arrested and indicted for human rights violations.

While some U.S. documents related to the Chile coup have been declassified, Ocasio-Cortez has called for the declassification of “all information” at the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon detailing U.S. involvement in the coup.

In July, Ocasio-Cortez introduced an amendment to the annual U.S. military policy bill that would have aimed to declassify the documents, but the Republican-controlled House Rules Committee blocked the amendment from receiving a vote.

“It’s time for the U.S. to acknowledge its history of contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America,” the New York Democrat said at the time. “To reset this relationship, we must take full, public responsibility for our historical role — and demonstrate with our present actions that we will not support human rights abuses.”

Ocasio-Cortez and fellow lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas), are now set to travel to Colombia.

In a statement earlier this week, Casar noted that “U.S. foreign policy has too often contributed to instability in Latin America: we should be protecting democracy rather than supporting coups, and we should be creating peace and prosperity across the Western Hemisphere rather than replaying the Cold War.”

“Now is the time to talk about our history, jointly fight the climate crisis, and invest in lasting peace,” said Casar.

Briefly, we wanted to update you on where Truthout stands this month.

To be brutally honest, Truthout is behind on our fundraising goals for the year. There are a lot of reasons why. We’re dealing with broad trends in our industry, trends that have led publications like Vice, BuzzFeed, and National Geographic to make painful cuts. Everyone is feeling the squeeze of inflation. And despite its lasting importance, news readership is declining.

To ensure we stay out of the red by the end of the year, we have a long way to go. Our future is threatened.

We’ve stayed online over two decades thanks to the support of our readers. Because you believe in the power of our work, share our transformative stories, and give to keep us going strong, we know we can make it through this tough moment.

Our fundraising campaign ends tonight at midnight, and we still must raise $17,000. Please consider making a donation before time runs out.