Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Joseph John Jova
This was given the highest priority, to beat Allende democratically, but the fallback was that we were already exploring with the armed forces; if there was a run-off election, would they stand back of it? I must say, I had no trouble at all with our military. I know in some places the embassy and the ambassadors had great trouble with the head of the MAAG, the military mission, the attach�s. No, good collaborators; CIA also was upset, but as I say, they too are Americans helping the nation, but still there is a little rivalry between us, and they have been taught to lie, and they don't come clean all the way. But I think you have to respect the fact that they did perform a useful role.
Q: You were saying the story continued. But again, we're talking about your term in Chile when you were looking at it. How did this play out?
JOVA: Poor Julio Duran, he perhaps helped, but they won handily, and there was great euphoria at home, and in the embassy. I remember we were in constant touch with the State Department, and when the election returns were in we finally said, “We've broken all the rules, we've opened champagne, we're toasting it down here too.” And at home, by that time Kennedy had been killed, and at that time it was a Johnson thing and he was concentrating on Vietnam more and more, but still he wanted a tranquil Latin America, and no horsing around about it.
Again, it was a most interesting experience, the opportunity to work with Frei, and that government for nine months. Once we had won the election, Ambassador Cole felt that his job was done, and he was increasingly eager to get back to his own life, so he offered his resignation. Strangely enough I had been sounded out, would I accept being ambassador to El Salvador? And I was very enthusiastic about that. With Ambassador Cole resigning I got word, “That's off, we need an orderly transition there, you're going to be charg� until they select a new guy, and you have to break the new guy in, assist the new guy as much as possible. We're withdrawing your name.” I said, “Opportunity knocks but once.” “No, no, you're well thought of, and this will be your contribution. You'll get it again.” But you know, it doesn't happen.
Q: All these promises mean nothing.