Project FUBELT (also known as Track II) is the code name for the secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations that were to prevent Salvador Allende rise to power before his confirmation, and promote a military coup in Chile.
The highlights of Project FUBELT are cited in declassified U.S. government documents released by the National Security Archive on September 11, 1998, 25 years after the coup, as well as in papers uncovered by a 1975 congressional inquiry.
CIA memoranda and reports on Project FUBELT include meetings between United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and CIA officials, CIA cables to its Santiago station, and summaries of secret action in 1970—detailing decisions and operations to undermine the election of Salvador Allende in September 1970 and promote a military coup.
Revelations from declassified documents
Among the revelations in the formerly secret documents were the following:
- Handwritten notes, taken by CIA director Richard Helms, record the orders of President Richard Nixon, to foster a coup in Chile
- In the first meeting between Helms and high agency officials on the secret operations codenamed "FUBELT", a special task force under the supervision of CIA Deputy Director for Plans, Thomas Karamessines, is established, headed by veteran agent David Atlee Phillips. The memorandum notes that the CIA must prepare an action plan for National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger within 48 hours.
- Henry Kissinger, Thomas Karamessines and Alexander Haig (military assistant to Henry Kissinger), in a meeting on October 15, 1970, discuss promoting a coup in Chile, known as "Track II" of covert operations. Kissinger orders the CIA to "continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight.
- In a secret cable, Thomas Karamessines conveyed Kissinger's orders to CIA station chief in Santiago, Henry Hecksher: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup."
- The CIA ran a series of secret operations intended to push President Eduardo Frei Montalva to support "a military coup which would prevent Allende from taking office on 3 November."
- After Salvador Allende's election, the United States considered trying to get Chile expelled from the Organization of American States.
- Embassy officers and the State Department Policy Planning office called for the cutting off of economic and military assistance to Pinochet's government on human rights grounds, but were overruled by the Ambassador and officials of The Pentagon and Treasury Department.
- CIA, Notes on Meeting with the President on Chile, September 15, 1970
- CIA, Genesis of Project FUBELT, September 16, 1970
- CIA, Memorandum of Conversation of Meeting with Henry Kissinger, Thomas Karamessines, and Alexander Haig, October 15, 1970
- CIA, Operating Guidance Cable on Coup Plotting, October 16, 1970
- CIA, Report of CIA Chilean Task Force Activities, 15 September to 3 November 1970, November 18, 1970
- Department of State, Memorandum for Henry Kissinger on Chile, December 4, 1970
- National Security Council, Disarray in Chile Policy, July 1, 1975
- Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973 by Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archive.
- National Security Archive Documents: Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents relating to the Military Coup, 1970-1976