On this day September 28, 1973
ITT’s headquarters in New York City, New York, was bombed by protesters for alleged involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected and emerging socialist government in Chile.
In 1970 ITT owned of 70% of Chitelco, the Chilean Telephone Company, and funded El Mercurio, a Chilean right-wing newspaper. Declassified documents released by the CIA in 2000 suggest that ITT financially helped opponents of Salvador Allende’s government prepare a military coup.
After Allende received 36.3% of popular vote in a three way tie and was chosen by the Chilean congress as president, Edwards proceeded to consult the U.S. ambassador to Chile and asked if the U.S. would “do anything militarily, directly or indirectly?”(Kinzer 170).
After the ambassador (Edward Korry) rejected his request, Edwards went to the chief executive officer of Pepsi-Cola, who had direct access to President Nixon. Augustin Edwards’ friend from Pepsi-Cola notified Nixon of the “problem” in Chile and from that point on “he (Nixon) had been triggered into action” as Henry Kissinger said.
In addition, International Telephone & Telegraph offered up to one million dollars to support any action by the U.S. to oppose Salvador Allende. ITT had set up shop in Chile and were also at risk because “the Chilean telephone system was high on Allende’s list for nationalization” (Kinzer 171).