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The Gathering StormEduardo Frei's Revolution in Liberty and Chile's Cold War$
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Sebastián Hurtado-Torres

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747182

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747182.001.0001

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The Influence of the United States in Chilean Politics

The Influence of the United States in Chilean Politics

(p.189) Conclusion The Influence of the United States in Chilean Politics
The Gathering Storm

Sebastián Hurtado-Torres

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter reflects on the influence of the United States in Chilean politics. Since the dynamics of Chilean politics replicated very closely the ideological divide of the global Cold War, the overarching goal of the U.S. strategy toward Chile between 1964 and 1970 was to keep the Marxist Left from taking power. Arguably, the most important part of that strategy was the considerable support provided to the reformist political project of the Christian Democratic Party, as it constituted a viable alternative to the growing appeal of the revolutionary Left and offered a path toward economic and social modernization that coincided with the ideological outlook of the Johnson administration's foreign policy. Despite an imbalance of power, the U.S. foreign policy apparatus did not determine the motivations or intentions of the Chilean political actors with which it established relationships, nor did it shape the political debates on which the U.S. interests in Chile could be at stake. The United States established itself as a relevant and even powerful informal actor in Chilean politics but only as an ally of forces whose interests and goals, though convergent with U.S. interests, were independent.

Keywords:   United States, Chilean politics, Cold War, Chile, Marxist Left, Christian Democratic Party, revolutionary Left, modernization, U.S. foreign policy, Chilean political actors

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