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Volume 6, Issue 1.
Richard Nixon's image of the United States as a "pitiful, helpless giant" illustrates the paradox of a great power frustrated by its limited ability to control events abroad. In this article, David R. Sands looks at one case in which, despite extensive American aid to a liberal, progressive regime in a traditional ally, US interests suffered a major ... read moresetback. Eduardo Frei Montalva and his progressive Christian Democratic Party received great material and moral aid from US administrators during the years of the Alliance for Progress. But American policymakers misunderstood both the complexities of Chilean politics and the enormous stake of private US commercial interests in Latin America. The end result was the decisive defeat of Frei's party in 1970 and the election of Salvador Allende. The author discusses the difficulties a superpower faces in using its resources to influence political developments overseas.