_EP: 06

EP 6: The Geopolitics of Empanadas

Allende's troubles escalate: miners down tools and disgruntled soldiers mount an unsuccessful coup attempt. A wave of unrelenting terrorist attacks keeps Santiago on edge. Stafford, fed up with bureaucracy, retreats to the seaside, while Fernando learns of a cunning plot.

_Episode Notes

01 : 26 "instead of milking them"

I'm paraphrasing a humorous remark made in Donoso, Julio. The Why of Things. United Kingdom, Athena Press, 2006, p. 134.

01 : 42 "disaster waiting to happen"

The El Teniente strike is well-covered in Bitar, Sergio, and Pizarro, Crisóstomo. La caída de Allende y la huelga de El Teniente: lecciones de la historia. Chile, Ediciones del Ornitorrinco, 1986; but also in Vergara, Angela. Copper Workers, International Business, and Domestic Politics in Cold War Chile. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010. See also our interview with her.

06 : 22 "A chilling graffiti"

See Wendling, Manuel. Memorias secretas de Patria y Libertad: y algunas confesiones sobre la guerra fría en Chile. Chile, Grupo Grijalbo Mondadori, 1999, p. 82.

13 : 16 "points out in an interview"

See his interview: "The cybernetic brain of Beer." Computing, vol. 29, 1973.

14 : 14 "those Quanfied Flow Charts"

In addition to Beer’s own works, a good account of the role played by The Quantified Flow Chart is to be found in Schwember, Hermann. "Cybernetics in Government: Experience With New Tools for Management in Chile 1971–1973." Concepts and Tools of Computer-assisted Policy Analysis, 1977, pp. 79–138. Available here.

14 : 44 "Stafford’s days in the steel industry"

Check our interviews with Brian Hollocks and Jonathan Rosenhead to learn more about Beer’s work at United Steel. 

17 : 00 "free markets and privatization"

Monica Gonzalez discusses that initial collaboration in May 1973 at the Hotel San Martín of Viña del Mar. See González, Mónica. La conjura: los mil y un dias del golpe. Editorial Catalonia, 2013, p. 175. Juan Gabriel Valdes, in Pinochet’s Economists, argues that these collaborations started as early as late 1972. See Los economistas de Pinochet: La escuela de Chicago en Chile. Chile, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2020, location 6781 in the Kindle edition. 

18 : 25 "A covert radio station"

The literature on America’s involvement in Guatemala is voluminous, but Gleijeses, Piero. Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944-1954. United States, Princeton University Press, 2021; Schlesinger, Stephen, and Kinzer, Stephen. Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, Revised and Expanded. United Kingdom, Harvard University Press, 2020; and Cullather, Nick. Secret History, Second Edition: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954. United States, Stanford University Press, 2006 remain indispensable sources. David Philips' own memoirs are an interesting read. A recent investigative project focusing specifically on that propaganda radio operation covers some new ground: Snow, Sylvia Brindis & Snow, Shane. "The (Literally) Unbelievable Story of the Original Fake News Network." Narratively, 26 Aug. 2020, available here.

21 : 53 "even turned to MI-6"

This fascinating detail is reported in Haslam, Jonathan. The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide. United Kingdom, Verso Books, 2005, p. 182.

27 : 19 "nearby ashram"

Stafford Beer recounts this in Beer, Stafford. "Cybernetics of National Development." Link.

29 : 05 "Sheraton is not really an option"

Monica Gonzales briefly mentions the Sheraton plotting in González, Mónica. La conjura: los mil y un dias del golpe. Editorial Catalonia, 2013, p. 269.

30 : 56 "sitting by the ocean"

Recounted by Mario Grandi in one of the interviews. 

35 : 22 "a copy of Playboy magazine"

Cañete, Roberto. Letter to Stafford Beer. Undated. Stafford Beer collection, Box 66, Liverpool.

36 : 49 "Marxist theory"

The essay is called Status Quo and it remains unpublished. It’s on file with the author.

39 : 01 "pens this angry letter to CORFO"

Espejo, Raul. Letter to Raimundo Beca. July 23, 1973. Stafford Beer collection, Box 66, Liverpool.

43 : 05 "politics of technology"

That whole speech is available in Vera Castillo, Jorge. La Política exterior chilena durante el gobierno del presidente Salvador Allende, 1970-1973. Chile, Instituto de Estudios de las Relaciones Internacionales Contemporáneas, 1987, pp. 481-488.

46 : 56 "one man is particularly zealous"

The best introduction to Contreras are to be found in Bawden, John R.. The Pinochet Generation: The Chilean Military in the Twentieth Century. United States, University of Alabama Press, 2016. See also his earlier article: Bawden, John R. "Gazing Abroad, the Chilean Military’s Reading of International Events: Implications for Doctrine, Ideology, and Behavior, 1945–1975." The Latin Americanist, vol. 56, no. 3, Wiley-Blackwell, Sept. 2012, pp. 5–30. Available here.

51 : 27 "A visiting reporter"

Cited in Scott, Jack. Yankee Unions, Go Home: How the AFL Helped the U.S. Build an Empire in Latin America. United States, New Star Books, 1978, p. 245

53 : 32 "insurgency in Vietnam"

These details were related to me by Claudio Grossman, at the time Fernando Flores’s assistant in La Moneda, in a telephone interview. 

53 : 47 "a good book on geopolitics"

This detail was related to me by Jorge Barrientos, an active participant in Project Cybersyn close to Fernando Flores. 

54 : 14 "in an internal memo"

"Memorandum From the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division of the Directorate of Operations, Central Intelligence Agency (Phillips) to the Deputy Director for Operations, Central Intelligence Agency (Karamessines)." United States, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, August 13, 1973. Available here.

58 : 02 "He did it in an essay"

This story is recounted in Schwember, Hermann. "Cybernetics in Government: Experience With New Tools for Management in Chile 1971–1973." Concepts and Tools of Computer-assisted Policy Analysis, 1977. Available here.

60 : 36 "in one of their memos"

Quoted from "Telegram From the Embassy in Chile to the Department of State." United States, Embassy in Chile, Santiago, September 8, 1973. Available here.

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