Welcoming Pinochet’s Coup (1973–1974)
Using British government archives, this chapter shows that Foreign Office officials and British diplomats in Santiago welcomed Pinochet’s coup in Chile. It reveals that British diplomats tried to persuade British journalists to portray the military regime in a positive light and criticised human rights activists. It shows that the Conservative government of Edward Heath shared the FCO’s view that the Pinochet regime would be beneficial for British business interests. It argues that social movements, such as the Chile Solidarity Campaign and human rights groups, had no institutional links to the governing Conservative party and were therefore unable to persuade an unsympathetic government to impose sanctions on the Pinochet dictatorship.