How sanctions are making the economy 'scream': Britain and its Western allies claim that they have only imposed "targeted sanctions" and "travel bans" on the Zimbabwean leadership and not economic sanctions on the whole country. "Who do they think they are deceiving?," asks Dr Tafataona Mahoso, head of Zimbabwe's Media and Information Commission.

Author:Mahoso, Tafataona
Position:ZIMBABWE: Sponsored supplement

There is a campaign of what I call "economic terrorism" against Zimbabwe mounted by Britain and its Western allies. "Economic terrorism" is what was meant by the former US president, Richard Nixon, when he instructed US spy agencies to "make the economy of Chile scream".


On 15 September 1970, Nixon called a meeting which was attended by (among others) National Security Adviser Dr Henry Kissinger, Attorney General John Mitchell and CIA Director Richard Helms.

Helms' notes of that meeting show that the US used its global power over financial institutions, international corporations and aid agencies to throw basic economic factors in the Chilean economy completely out of control and therefore precipitate social and political havoc.

That is what Nixon meant by "make the economy scream". Because the economic havoc would start after the popular election victory of President Salvador Allende, the people would be made to believe (through massive media propaganda) that the turmoil was being caused by Allende's "mismanagement" of the economy.

In Confessions of an Economic Hitman, John Perkins confirmed in 2006 that the economies of targeted countries were made to "scream" and collapse not just through the actions of the CIA and other spy agencies alone, but also through the action of genuine-looking multinational companies which the US National Security Agency set up in order to make sabotage look like free enterprise. Sabotage schemes had to be made to look like normal business.

But how was the Chilean economy to be made to "scream"? The following were some of the ways: According to the US National Security Memorandum 93, America was to mobilise all its institutions and agencies to create a worldwide impression, starting from November 1970, that Chile was no longer "creditworthy". In Zimbabwe, the economic saboteurs have also been pushing the same claim since the implementation of the African land reclamation programme.

In Chile, the US would influence all donors and financial institutions who used to extend lines of credit to the country to stop doing so. The US had veto powers not only in the UN Security Council but also in all major international finance institutions through the IMF and the World Bank.

Chile was immediately struck off the list of countries eligible for US loans, for Export-Import Bank loans, for Inter-American Bank loans and for World Bank and IMF loans.

The immediate effect of this was that Chile was...

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