Chilean President Gen. Augusto Pinochet today accused the U.S. Alliance for Progress, John F. Kennedy's program for Latin America, of "opening a wide breach for the penetration of demagogic Marxism" in the southern hemisphere.
That breach, Pinochet said, brought rightist military governments to power as "the only reserves capable of preserving the sovereignty of their respective countries.
Pinochet's remarks came in a nationally televised speech commemorating the fourth anniversary of a military coup that toppled the Marxist coalition government of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973.
The Alliance for Progress, a sweeping development program that planned investments of more than $100 billion in Latin America during the 1960s, gave rise to extensive aid programs on a regional rather than bilateral basis. The programs had largely dissolved long before the Alliance decade ended officially in 1971.
While such programs were "sometimes inspired by noble ideas," Pinochett said, they failed to consider the necessity for "effective and global defense against totalitarian aggression."
In an attempt to reform social structures, Pinochet said, the Alliance led to the breakdown of existing structures and opened the door to subversive ideology, terrorism and Soviet aggression.
Denying this reasoning would make the rise of military government inexplicable, he argued. Accepting it leads to a new understanding that only the military can develop the institutions necessary for justice, stability and progress in Latin America, Pinochet said.
While Pinochet has frequently criticized the United States, with which Chile's relations are strained because of alleged human-rights violations by the military here, today's speech marks the first time he has attacked the Alliance for Progress.
Pinochet returned Friday from a visit to Washington for the signing of the Panama Canal treaties. He described his conversations with President Carter as "frank and constructive."
Pinochet noted a "slow but progressive improvement in the attitude of the United States toward the Chilean reality."
"Chile does not beg the applause or international favor of anyone," he said, "Chile has not modified, nor will it modify the course it has planned, neither to ingratiate itself with certain countries, nor much less to yield to foreign pressures."
Pinochet also said inflation was expected to be less than 70 per cent this year, down from a high of at least 800 per cent when his government took power in 1973.