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Sunday, August 1, 2010

ALLENDE, SALVADOR

Elected president of Chile by a narrow majority in 1970, Salvador Allende Gossens attempted to transform  the country into a socialist economy, but his disastrous measures led to widespread discontent that was  supported by a Central Intelligence Agency program ordered by President Richard Nixon. The CIA supported a military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet in September 1973, which resulted in the death of  Allende in the Presidential Palace.
Later the director of central intelligence, Richard Helms was to plead  nolo contendere on a charge of perjury when he testified to Congress that the CIA had not plotted to bring down the Allende government in Chile. Caught in the dilemma of whether to protect the Agency’s secrets or give misleading sworn evidence to an open  session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held to approve his appointment as Nixon’s ambassador to  Tehran, Helms opted for less than the full truth.