The World Bank–United States–Latin American Triangle: The Negotiations with Socialist Chile, 1970–1973

Claudia Kedar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper sheds light on the largely unknown negotiations between Chile and the World Bank (WB) during the presidency of Salvador Allende (1970–1973). The prevalent understanding of the WB's involvement in Latin America portrays the Bank as a loyal ally of the U.S. government and as an institution with the power to impose its views on its borrowers. Yet, an in-depth analysis of previously unexamined primary sources demonstrates that rather than reflecting a dynamic in which the relationship was between Washington and the WB on the one hand, and Chile on the other hand, these relations constituted a WB–U.S.–Chile asymmetric triangle. Despite profound ideological discrepancies, multiple pressures, and constraints, Allende's government and the WB conducted high-ranking negotiations that challenged the U.S.-promoted economic embargo against Chile. The examination of this counterintuitive relationship sheds new light on Allende's positioning in the international arena and on the functioning of the World Bank, thereby providing a unique prism through which to reconsider dichotomist perceptions of the Cold War in Latin America.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)667-690
Number of pages24
JournalInternational History Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Cold War
  • Latin America
  • Salvador Allende
  • United States
  • World Bank


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