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Chile Coup Opens Door To U.s. Capital

Chile Coup Opens Door To U.s. Capital image
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The Inter-American Development Bank -- after refusing to grant loans to the Allende government in Chile for three years -- has suddenly approved loans totaling $100 million to Chile in the past month.

The loans for agricultural and hydro-electric development were approved by a majority of bank members with a minority strongly disapproving.

The Inter-American Bank was set up among North and South American countries as an international lending institution that allegedly would be free of political influence.

The late Salvadore Allende charged, however, that the United States was using its influence among members to create what Allende called "an invisible blockade" to weaken his government.

Eighteen months ago, Allende applied for a $75 million loan to finance a hydroelectric plant in Chile. The Bank, however, tabled action on the request and never processed the loan.

However, shortly after the violent military coup toppled Allende's government, the loan request was reactivated. Then, last month, the military junta was informed that the Bank had approved the $75 million request.

Just last week, the Bank approved a second loan to Chile -- this one a $22 million agricultural loan. This latest loan, according to Bank officials, was the fastest loan quest ever processed.