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InvisibleEdame
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America's role in the Chilean coup
    #1902102 - 09/10/03 02:08 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

From the Guardian:

Quote:

The Pinochet files

A series of declassified US documents have revealed the extent of America's role in the Chilean coup, reports Jonathan Franklin

Jonathan Franklin
Wednesday September 10, 2003
The Guardian

September 11 1973 was a day of terror and bloodshed in Chile. After months of rising tension, army troops stormed the presidential palace, leaving President Salvador Allende dead and thousands prisoners throughout this previously democratic nation.

Now, on the 30th anniversary of the coup, professors, journalists and citizen activists around the world are continuing to expose the full role of the US government in financing and promoting this bloody coup, which ushered in the 17-year military dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet.

Thousands of top secret documents which were declassified over the past five years have now been synthesized in a new book, The Pinochet File, by investigative reporter Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archives, a Washington-based investigative centre. "The US created a climate of a coup in Chile, a situation of chaos and agitation," said Kornbluh. "The CIA and state department were worried that the [Chilean] military ... were not ready for a coup."

The top secret documents accumulatively detail the crude workings of Washington during the Cold War. "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup," reads a CIA document from October 1970. "It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden."

Two days after this document was written, top CIA officials proposed a terrorist campaign to stun the Chilean people into accepting a military regime.

"Concur giving tear gas cannisters and gas masks ... working on obtaining machine guns," reads a CIA memo dated October 18 1970.

"Use good officers ... Some low-level overflights of Santiago and bomb drops in areas not likely to cause casualties could have great psychological effect and might swing balance as they have so many times in past in similar circumstances."

While conservative Chileans argue that the coup was a home-grown affair, the current Chilean minister of education, Sergio Bitar, says: "That internal crisis was activated by the North American policies against it. We see how they energetically obstructed all types of credit from the World Bank and the InterAmerican Bank ... these were decisive actions. This were political and financial pressures that were very relevant [to the ensuing coup.]"

The US effort to destabilise Chile was led by a policy of massively funding and bribing non-leftwing Chilean politicians.

Throughout the 1960s, the US secretly spent millions funding political parties of their choosing - usually the moderate Christian Democrats led by Eduardo Frei Montalva. By the early 1970s, Chilean society had become so leftwing that Washington decided to change tactics. First, President Nixon authorised $10m to be spent "to make the economy scream".

He also authorised pro-coup initiatives designed to destroy the traditional reluctance of Chilean military men to take over civilian government.

"Pinochet will not be a stumbling block to coup plans", reads one memo written six months before the coup, in which the American government looks to build a veritable Dream Team of coup plotters. "The navy and air force are ready ... the military is getting ready to move."

As part of a particularly crude effort to remove army officers who supported democratic rule, the CIA organised to kidnap Rene Schneider, a Chilean army general.

That plot was botched; Schneider died, and today his family is suing the US government and Henry Kissinger in particular for playing a role in his murder.

Citing documents declassified in the past few years, the lawsuit alleges that the US government paid $35,000 to the men who plotted the actions against Schneider.

"I don't want revenge, I want the truth to be established," said a son of the murdered general, also named Rene, who now lives in Santiago and works for a television station.

Immediately after the coup, US officials worked hard to ease international criticism of the human rights record of the Pinochet regime. Rather than fear Washington?s reproach, the military regime repeatedly sought help and advice.

Just weeks after the coup, the US ambassador in Chile sent a memo to Henry Kissinger noting that "the military government of Chile requires adviser assistance of a person qualified in establishing a detention centre for the detainees ... adviser must have knowledge in the establishment and operation of a detention centre".

Even when the full extent of the torture and executions in Chile were well known, the US government sought to integrate the Pinochet regime into international business circles.

Probably no figure more personalised the cruelty of the Pinochet regime than the head of its secret DINA police force, Manuel Contreras.

Previously classified documents now confirm that, not only was Contreras on the CIA payroll, but that when he came to Washington during the height of human rights abuses, the US state department had specific tasks for him.

"Contreras was also asked to check in with Anaconda [Copper] and General Motors to encourage them to resume operations in Chile."

? A documentary, The Other 9/11, is broadcast at 11pm on Thursday September 11 on BBC Four




--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Edame]
    #1902116 - 09/10/03 02:13 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Interesting story Edame. I always felt Allende was one of the good guys. I guess that's why the US needed him killed.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Xlea321]
    #1902460 - 09/10/03 04:29 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

that and his party was socialist...

read 'The Trial of Henry Kissinger'

there is a detailed section on the intimate relationship
between kissinger, the CIA and pinochet's goon squad.

on a related note, France attempted to supbeona
Kissinger for his role and/or knowledge of the kidnap
of 6 (I believe) French nationals that were caught up
in the coup and never seen again.

The last time he was in france, they served him with
documents at which time he promptly left the country.

he has yet to return.

It's an interesting case: The French government seeks
to question an American politician for his role in the
disappearance and assumed murder of French nationals
in a third country, namely Chile.

needless to say, Kissinger isn't safe in many countries
outside the US anymore without fear of detainment.


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: afoaf]
    #1902479 - 09/10/03 04:33 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

I think I will pick up that book and read it. I am assuming it is a book.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: shakta]
    #1903033 - 09/10/03 11:08 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

yes, it's a pretty interesting behind the scenes account
of the us involvement in Indonesia's East Timor massacres,
the coups in Chile and Argentina as well as the Vietnam
war.

Christopher Hitchens is a pretty interesting guy.

while generally left, he's also got a pro war polemic titled
"A Long Short War", it's a decent read as well.


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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Offlinezeronio
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: afoaf]
    #1903861 - 09/11/03 03:14 AM (14 years, 12 days ago)



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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: afoaf]
    #1904150 - 09/11/03 05:23 AM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Allende was elected president with 36.2% of the votes in 1970, and his party coalition got 43% of the votes in 1973. That's only slightly more than the percentages that got Hitler voted into power in 1932 and 1933, but still less than a majority of the voters. With hindsight it's easy to see that the intervention in Chile only replaced one criminal regime with another (Pinochet), but on the other hand the prospect of having Allende's marxist regime turn Chile into yet another Soviet Union, China, North Korea, or Cuba, with all the destruction, starvation and gulags that follow, was not something that could be dismissed lightly.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1904780 - 09/11/03 11:44 AM (14 years, 12 days ago)

How many votes did Pinochet get?

And what exactly was "criminal" about Allende? Compared to the average US backed south american dictator he was a saint.

You are not seriously comparing Allende to the nightmarish Pinochet are you?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Offlinest0nedphucker
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Xlea321]
    #1904829 - 09/11/03 12:03 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

I think he's simply pointing out the reasons for US intevention. To prevent yet another country turning to communism....


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The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #1904836 - 09/11/03 12:08 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

which was a weak argument at best to begin
with when you consider that Allende's party
merely had socialist leanings.

there was no reason to believe it was going
to become little russia and thus had to be nipped
in the bud.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #1904838 - 09/11/03 12:09 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

So instead of letting a moderate guy on the left like Allende who seemed to actually care for the welfare of his people, you install a puppet like Pinochet who'se secret police's pastime was training alsations to attack pregnant women?

Good call.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Offlinest0nedphucker
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Xlea321]
    #1904845 - 09/11/03 12:11 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

I didn't support the reason I simply pointed it out.


--------------------
The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in government, is to live under the government of worse men.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #1904852 - 09/11/03 12:14 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

I don't think that was the reason, it had more to do with opening Chile up to exploitation by american corporations. God bless him, Allende put the chilean people first.


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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Xlea321]
    #1904860 - 09/11/03 12:19 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

had more to do with opening Chile up to exploitation
by american corporations...


such is the history of american intervention in central
and south america.

too bad fox and cnn don't cover the topic...people might
be interested to know where their tax dollars went in
the 70's and 80's.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1904871 - 09/11/03 12:22 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Allende was a democratic socialist, hardly some sort of Chilean Castro or Stalin.

Also, look into the role of the Chicago School in post-Pinochet Chile.


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As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Xlea321]
    #1904961 - 09/11/03 01:01 PM (14 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

How many votes did Pinochet get?

And what exactly was "criminal" about Allende? Compared to the average US backed south american dictator he was a saint.




My point was that democracy is never fail-safe. It is possible for a minority to vote a destructive extremist regime into power, which both the Hitler and Allende examples illustrate. The dilemma is, should the outside world intervene or not? In the case of Hitler there was no intervention until Germany invaded Poland. In the case of Allende the intervention turned out to be a catastrophe as it brought Pinochet to power.

What was criminal about Allende? I didn't think that needed explaining. Any regime that tries to implement marxism is criminal.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: America's role in the Chilean coup [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1905443 - 09/11/03 03:00 PM (14 years, 11 days ago)

Allende was "extremist" and "destructive"?  :confused:

Are we talking about the same Allende here?

The coup did not really come as a surprise to me. The rich people of Chile were not happy because President Allende said that they had to share with the poor and stop making money only for themselves. Allende said that everyone had the right to a job. He was amazing, doing so many things for the Chilean people. It is important to remember that he was elected democratically. If he was unpopular, it was for the people to decide at election time.
On September 11, everybody was talking about the coup. I remember walking in the streets and seeing so many people shouting. We phoned our friends and family to make sure they were OK, and to tell them to be careful. We were hoping that nothing had happened, that it was a joke. But no, thousands of people suffered so much and many still do.

In 1974, I was expecting Maria, my third child, when my husband - - a student at the time - disappeared for 40 days. One day he did not come home, and the following day the secret police came to see me instead.

"You have to cooperate, they told me, and when I asked why they replied: "We have your husband now."

He was detained by the police along with many others, all of them blindfolded. I did not see my husband for 40 days. When I eventually found him in Santiago, I realised that they had tortured him with electricity on his testicles as well as other parts of his body. They had done so many horrible things to him. It was a horrific experience.

Then he was put in the Puchuncavi concentration camp for nearly two years. I used to go and visit him in this horrible place with my three children. We would all be searched before entering, a very humiliating experience. It was a very frightening situation. We always feared that our lives would be in danger again.

In June 1978, a year after my husband got out of Puchuncavi, we left Chile with the help of the United Nations. Some people found a house for us in Rotherham. We stayed there with our children, but it was very hard because there were not many Chileans living in our neighbourhood, and the people living there were not used to foreigners. My children had some very hard times. It was a bad experience for all of us dealing with racism and not being able to communicate.

The current Chilean president, Ricardo Lagos, is not really dealing with the Pinochet dictatorship and the issue of human rights. In Argentina, they have just revoked the amnesty law that protected the secret police. But in Chile, the sons and daughters of missing people still have to go on a hunger strike to demand justice. Thousands of people disappeared, but just a few cases are being investigated. So there is no justice, even after 30 years. They are offering money for what happened under Pinochet, but people do not want money, they want justice and peace.

When Pinochet was arrested in London, I felt wonderful. I went to London to demonstrate, to show the anger I felt towards him. But Pinochet was sent back to Chile and again no justice was done. It was a huge disappointment for Chileans, and especially the exiles in this country.

The most horrible thing for us to accept was the CIA involvement. The future of our country was decided in an office in the US. It is the same in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador. In all the Latin American countries, the CIA always gets involved if they do not like the government. But they do not consider the interests of the people living there.

I never thought that I was going to leave my home country. Chile is so beautiful. But then you experience these things, and your only choice is to save your life. I wish people would understand that many people who are refugees really do not have any choice except to leave everything, even your family, behind.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/chile/story/0,13755,1037940,00.html


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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