This video is about Pinochet’s crimes in Chile.
From British daily The Morning Star:
(Tuesday 09 September 2008)
EVENT: An evening of Poetry and Song
JOHN GREEN recommends an evening of poetry and music to remember a fateful day in the history of south America.
In 1970, Salvador Allende became the first democratically elected Marxist head of state in the history of Latin America despite the opposition of the US government.
It was 35 years ago that Pinochet, spurred on by the US, toppled Allende’s Popular Unity government in Chile. Tanks rumbled through the streets, terrified civilians were lined up before firing squads at the National Stadium, the elected president was dead.
There were mass arrests – US intelligence put the number at 13,500 – as well as summary executions, torture and “disappearances.”
The coup smashed the hopes of many around the world for social justice and reform in Latin America. It also signalled an eclipse of hope over the whole continent, with military coups in many other countries too.
Yet the events were celebrated at Richard Nixon’s White House. A culmination of three years of covert operations, propaganda and economic sabotage had won the day.
Newly declassified US government records reveal Washington’s role. The documents describe how an angry Nixon demanded a coup, if necessary, to block the inauguration of Salvador Allende following his victory in the 1970 Chilean elections.
The documents also detail what his administration did to make the Chilean economy “scream” and spread “black” propaganda before, finally, goading the Chilean army into the 1973 coup.
Pinochet held power for the next 17 years, relinquishing control in 1990 only after arranging immunity for himself and his top generals.
US secretary of state Henry Kissinger went to great lengths to distance himself from the coup, both in testimony to Congress and in his memoirs. He directed covert funds into Chilean congressional campaigns.
CIA agents stayed close to disgruntled Chilean military officers and planted false propaganda, suggesting that the Chilean left planned to take control of the armed forces. They also poured 1.5 million dollars into Chile’s leading newspaper El Mercurio.
But the CIA covert operation was only one leg of what US officials called “a triad” of actions toward Chile. A second leg was “correct but cool” diplomatic pressure and a third leg was the “invisible blockade” of loans and credits to Chile.
The Nixon administration moved quickly and quietly to shut down multilateral and bilateral foreign aid to Chile. At the World Bank, US officials worked behind the scenes to get Chile disqualified for a pending 21 million-dollar livestock improvement credit, as well as future loans.
The mix of economic sabotage, political propaganda and army prodding worked. Allende found himself confronted by growing disorder and soaring inflation. At every turn, his policies encountered well-funded adversaries.
On September 11 1973, amid the mounting chaos, Chile’s military struck.
Three weeks after the coup, the Nixon administration authorised $24 million in commodity credits to buy wheat – credits that had been denied to Allende.
The US provided a second $24 million in commodity credits to Chile for feed corn and planned to transfer two destroyers to the Chilean navy.
Since the election of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, those hopes dashed in 1973 have been rekindled and we are now seeing a wave of progressive governments sweeping this crucified continent at long last.
The Venezuela Information Centre and the Venezuelan embassy have decided to mark this day with a commemorative and celebratory event – an evening of poetry and music. Harold Pinter will be making one of his rare public appearances to read some new poems.
Together with Pinter will be other well-known poets from around the country as well as two from Chile and Luis Arria from Venezuela. Chilean groups Quimantu and Amigo Artista will be playing alongside blues singer Joe Wilkes and folk singer Andy Smythe as well as RubenH and Landing Sky with their Latin beat.
The event takes place at the Venezuelan embassy’s cultural centre Bolivar Hall in Grafton Way, London WC1, at 7pm on Thursday. Tickets cost £10/£8 concessions on the door. Includes a free glass of wine.