This article discusses the reactions of governments and political leaders around the world to the victory of Salvador Allende in the Chilean presidential election of 1970—reactions that were shaped by a combination of ideological considerations, the diplomatic interests of particular states in the context of the Cold War, and an image of Chilean democratic exceptionalism purveyed by Chilean diplomats and largely assumed by a surprising number of people abroad. Reactions to Allende's victory in 1970 reflected the ideological divisions in Chilean politics as well as the tensions and anxieties of an international order that was then beginning to experience a series of significant changes as a result of the East-West détente. Paradoxically, Allende's ideological foreign policy, one of the main reasons for which his election was both dreaded and welcomed in different parts of the world, foretold some of the changes that would take place in the international system in the 1970s.

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