Date of Degree
Mary J Roldan
Laird W Bergad
Intellectual History | Latin American History | Military History | Oral History | Political History
Dictatorship, Brazil, Chile, Authoritarianism, Transnationalism, Cold War, United States, Diplomacy
Based on the testimony of Brazilian exiles who lived in Chile during the coup d’état of 1973, on documents recently declassified by the Brazilian Truth Commission and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Relations, and on broad archival research in United States and South American collections, this dissertation investigates the political, economic, and diplomatic relations between Brazil and Chile from Salvador Allende’s candidacy to presidency and the first days of the Chilean military dictatorship. Despite the the widely held notion that the United States was the one and only supporter of the Chilean September 11 coup, this theis shows that Brazilian influence was also instrumental to the overthrow of the democratically elected socialist president and to the solidification of the Augusto Pinochet regime. The Brazilian government sent expertise, torturers, weapons, and medicines, and installed a network to monitor the activities of Brazilian exiles in the country, which would serve as a model for Operation Condor.
The Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Roberto Campos, one of the most influential Brazilian economists, disagreed with the state-based policies that characterized the Brazilian civilian-military regime. Instead of nationalization and price controls, Campos believed in the strength of the free market and private institutions, a perspective similar to the one implemented by the Chicago Boys in Chile, and which he took to Chile during trips to that country in the early 1970s. The Brazilian Ambassador in Santiago, Antônio Cândido da Câmara Canto, was also an important ally of the Chilean dictatorship. He helped organize the opposition to Allende and provided information about the activities of leftist groups and the government through the Centro de Informações do Exterior do Itamaraty (CIEX), the Brazilian Foreign Office’s Intelligence Center. Investigating the role of diplomats, businessmen, and politicians, as well as the connections between the United States and Brazil which shared the common objective of preventing the socialist government from developing its “Chilean Path to Socialism,” this dissertation aims to open a new avenue of research at the local and transnational levels, pointing to the significance of relations among South American countries in shaping historical trajectories, instead of limiting the Cold War framework to the question of West-East tensions.
Burns Nascimento, Mila, "Dictatorship Across Borders: How Brazil Influenced the Chilean Coup d’état of 1973" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.