Salvador Allende Gossens of Chile was an icon of the American left, the first Marxist to assume office via the ballot box. The CIA has been blamed for his overthrow and death, further enhancing his cult standing in Cambridge, Berkeley, and Ann Arbor. Now, 35 years after his election, a book being published today in the U.K., The Mitrokhin Archive, Volume II: the KGB and the World, reveals that Allende was in fact a KGB asset, on the payroll. The London Sunday Times published a valuable summary yesterday.
BY FAR the most important of the KGB's contacts in South America was Salvador Allende Gossens (codenamed Leader by the KGB), whose election as President of Chile in 1970 was hailed as 'a revolutionary blow to the imperialist system in Latin America'....
Regular Soviet contact with Allende after his election was maintained not by the Soviet Ambassador but by his KGB case officer, Svyatoslav Kuznetsov, who was instructed by the centre to 'exert a favourable influence on Chilean government policy'. According to Allende's KGB file, he 'was made to understand the necessity of reorganising Chile's army and intelligence services, and of setting up a relationship between Chile's and the USSR's intelligence services'. Allende was said to react positively....
Kuznetsov arranged his regular meetings with Allende through the President's personal secretary, Miria Contreras Bell, known as La Payita and codenamed Marta by the KGB. La Payita was Allende's favourite mistress during his presidency. Kuznetsov reported that Allende was spending 'a great deal of time' in her company. 'His relationship with his wife has more than once been harmed as a result.' Despite Allende's affairs, however, his wife, Hortensia, remained intensely loyal to him. Kuznetsov did his best to cultivate her as well as her husband.
In October 1971, on instructions from the Politburo, Allende was given $30,000 'in order to solidify the trusted relations' with him. Allende also mentioned to Kuznetsov his desire to acquire 'one or two icons' for his private art collection. He was presented with two icons as a gift.
Needless to say, the American press is studiosly uninterested in any of this important news.
Herb Meyer 9 19 05