After Iosif Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet Union emerged from its isolation and began to show an interest in traditionally marginalized foreign societies. As the example of the Chilean-Soviet rapprochement under Eduardo Frei's administration (1964–1970) shows, Soviet leaders viewed state-to-state relations with “progressive” Latin American regimes as an appropriate means of undermining U.S. influence in the region without risking an armed confrontation with “imperialism.” The reformist project of the Chilean Christian Democratic government, which included a diplomatic opening to the Soviet bloc, provided a testing ground for the suitability of Moscow's new global approach. The surge of cultural and political exchanges indicate that the Soviet authorities were keenly interested in the Chilean experience. In addition, the considerable growth of travel and official missions beyond the Iron Curtain also demonstrates that Santiago wished to benefit by diversifying its international partners.

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