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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 24, 1973

LETTER FROM S.K. ROY, AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO

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    Analysis of the impact of the coup in Chile.
    "Letter from S.K. Roy, Ambassador to Mexico," September 24, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, File No: WII/101/20/73. Obtained by Ryan Musto. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/133974
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FROM: S.K. Roy, Ambassador to Mexico

TO: Shri J.S. Teja, Joint Secretary (AMS), MEA)

DATE: September 24, 1973

Letter: MEX/101/18/73

…All this seems a long way from home, but it can have more specific consequences than the general threat to peaceful socio-economic change. An important non-aligned country with a meaningful democratic tradition has had its policies changed by force. The “power-elites,” as Wright Mills called them, have gained confidence. The lesson is that however bloody the coup, success means global acceptance, irrespective of criticism or delay. Also this means a significant change in the regional power balance. With Chile likely to follow Brazil’s example – a US backed military-industrial coalition for development at any price, at the cost of civil liberties – Argentina becomes totally isolated. The US and its multinationals become the dominant element. Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia with, of course, Brazil formed a solid powerful block, and with Chile it crosses the Andes. A glance at the map will show how completely Argentina is isolated; and the almost equally difficult situation faced by Peru which, though ruled by the Generals, has chosen the path of social change, land reform and has nationalized ownership of Peru’s natural resources.

Mexico’s concern is readily understandable, because it also is now virtually isolated – the US to the north, and the almost totally US dominated Central American dictatorships to its south. With the main body of South America in the state analyzed above, I would say that President Echevveria is a very worried man indeed. He does have wide popular support. But everything he is trying to do can be overwhelmed easily, and even peacefully, if the powerful minority are able to so manipulate matters that the PRI chooses a strong conservative as his successor. There is a common threat of though running through the liberal commentaries which is very close to our thinking in India. A poignant plea for social justice which roughly translated reads: Freedom is crushed between strength and weakness, between the rich and the poor, and between the cognoscenti (those who know) and the ignorant. Freedom is only real when the law is based on justice.