Chilean ex-political prisoner writes to British Jeremy Corbyn

This video says about itself:

Uncovering Pinochet’s Secret Death Camps

7 April 2014

Facing the Past: Revealing the truth about Chile’s dirty war.

In Chile, the murderous past under dictator general Augusto Pinochet is slowly coming under scrutiny. With new evidence of extermination camps, the families of the disappeared are yearning for justice.

“I started to testify and began to get rid of those pangs of guilt”, confesses Jorgelino Vergara. Aged only 15, Jorgelino worked as a waiter at the secret Simon Bolivar extermination centre witnessing horrific torture and murder. More than 3000 people were kidnapped and killed after the army general seized power in 1973. After a long investigation, charges are being laid against more than seventy people accused of involvement in the brutality at Simon Bolivar.

One of them is a member of the much-feared Lautaro Brigade, Adriana Rivas. From the safety of her Australian exile, she denies charges but her views on torture remain chilling: “Everyone knew they had to do that in order to break them because Communists would not talk. It was necessary”. The secrets and brutality of the Pinochet regime are laid bare at Santiago’s memory museum. The daughter of one of Rivas’ victims, who was beaten to a pulp and then injected with a lethal poison, is now a curator there. As she fights for remembrance and justice, she wonders: “How can a human being be part of this machinery of exterminating people?”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Jeremy: The people of Chile will never forget your camaraderie

Thursday 11th August 2016

Former prisoner of the Pinochet regime, RICARDO FIGUEROA writes this open letter to the Labour leader


I am one of the many thousands of my compatriots who support you. even if you have no idea of our existence. But you may have read the lines in which our Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda celebrated the Communist Party of Chile in his poem To My Party. The verse — which I have never forgotten — is this: “You have given me fraternity toward the unknown man.”

When reading those words in Spanish I could only feel an echo of their deep meaning, for I was not to experience this human solidarity until many years later; and then it was in reverse — fraternity from those we do not know.

This solidarity came from all over the world after the 1973 military coup — or Chilean September 11 — the day that tanks and aeroplanes attacked La Moneda Palace. Salvador Allende, then president of Chile, lost his life defending his right to be true to the mandate he had received from his people. In response, he and we Chileans received the support of people from all over the world.

In your country, British people came out on to the streets of their cities to express their solidarity with my people, the victims of a fascist coup.

Exiled in Britain, I saw with my own eyes the giant London demonstrations in 1974 when thousands filled Trafalgar Square, while thousands more marched in Hyde Park.

I knew then my people were not alone.

We Chileans came to know of innumerable names from all corners of British society who decried the state terrorism of General Pinochet.

It is not possible to recollect all the names, but we still remember some emblematic ones. It was then that your name began to recur until it became familiar not only to those who met you in Britain, but also to those who met you in Chile, and those who heard your name over the radio while listening to “Escucha Chile!” (Chile, Listen!), which was broadcast daily by exiles denouncing the imprisonments, torture, murders, kidnaps and terrorism unleashed on the population.

So, now, I am writing to thank the British people once more for their solidarity and to remind you that there are still legions of Chileans who remember this and remember your name, Jeremy Corbyn, as one of the staunchest defenders of our cause for freedom, democracy, human rights and internationalism.

We are proud that many years later, your name has again hit the headlines, bringing hope to so many, not only in your own country, but also to many abroad. We Chileans think that you are a true hero of internationalism in our time.

This is because your solidarity never ceased during the 17 years of Pinochet dictatorship. Not only that, you were one of those British people who went to Chile under fascism in order to show camaraderie to our people.

It is not difficult to understand why at present so many Chileans support you. This is not only a token of our gratitude, it is also a token of human hope for the days to come on a planet that seeks not only material welfare for the population of the world but also, and fundamentally, nuclear disarmament in a bid to achieve universal peace and live lives of friendship, love and solidarity.

Those who remember president Allende with love know that Jeremy Corbyn shares his ideals, his stamina and his vision as a leader. We know that you have always been in support not only with us Chileans, but with all the peoples of Latin America and elsewhere who struggle for a better way of life and for a better world. In their name, I salute you, and wish you all the very best in your political and personal life. I embrace you with a very warm hug, the Chilean way.

Your friend,


BBC propagandises in favour of pro-European Union, anti-Corbyn putsch: here.

30 thoughts on “Chilean ex-political prisoner writes to British Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Monday 15th August 2015

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    A MILLIONAIRE donor who sued Labour over its decision to allow Jeremy Corbyn to restand for the leadership was yesterday reported to the party for describing supporters of the party leader to nazi paramilitaries.

    In an article for the Mail on Sunday, former parliamentary candidate and celebrity agent Michael Foster urged Labour members to “reward” the “party secretariat” by “backing Owen Smith against Corbyn and end the civil war brought to Labour’s door by the bullies and arm-twisters of the hard left.”

    He said he had brought the challenge against the Labour executive’s ruling that Mr Corbyn would not have to collect nominations from MPs because “respect for the rule of law is fundamental to a democracy.”

    Mr Foster said the court ruling against him “advantaged Corbyn and his Sturmabteilung (stormtroopers).”

    He wrote: “Once political parties believe they are above the law it ends with all opposition silenced, whether it is my grandparents in Dachau, or the left in Erdogan’s Turkey rounded up and held uncharged in prison.”

    His article was headlined: “Why I despise Jeremy Corbyn and his nazi stormtroopers” and illustrated with a photograph of Adolf Hitler and a mob of brownshirts. Martin Menear, a Labour member from Cornwall, said he had reported Mr Foster to Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, saying his comments were a “disgrace.”

    Shadow lord chancellor Richard Burgon said the article was an example of party members being “disgracefully demonised.”

    When Mr Foster stood as Labour’s candidate in Cambourne and Redruth in last year’s election, he was accused of launching a “vile rant” at Cornish nationalist candidate Loveday Jenkin. When she mentioned the expense of his £1.5 million house, he reportedly said: “You cunt. If you pick on me again I will destroy you.”


  2. Monday 15th August 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    LABOUR members who went to court for the right to vote in the party’s leadership contest announced yesterday that they are reluctantly ending their legal battle.

    Their decision follows the Court of Appeal ruling on Friday that the party’s national executive committee (NEC) was within its rights to ban 130,000 members who joined after January 12 from voting.

    The five members — Christine Evangelou, Edward Leir, Hannah Fordham, Chris Granger and an unnamed teenage member — paid their court costs with money received in public donations.

    More than 5,800 people had given to an online fund by yesterday afternoon, raising over £93,500.

    The plaintiffs’ lawyers had successfully argued in the High Court last week that the “freeze date” imposed by the NEC was a breach of contract.

    After that decision was overturned on Friday by a judge with close links to Tony Blair, many activists poured cash into the fund in the hope that the group would take the case to the Supreme Court tomorrow.

    In a statement on behalf of the group, Ms Fordham wrote: “This has been an odd, emotional rollercoaster of a week for us all.

    “Thank you for supporting us through this. It’s been a huge help to see how many of you care deeply about this unfair and unjust situation.”

    But Ms Fordham added: “Unfortunately, given the costs involved in pursuing the case further [the fee for getting the case even heard at the Supreme Court is around £8,000], we have taken the decision that this is where this particular legal case has to stop.”

    The money raised will cover the £80,000 bill they were ordered to pay on Friday, along with their personal legal fees.

    All five said they would remain in the party and fight to make it more democratic.

    A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign praised the “extraordinary efforts” of the five members and their supporters.

    “The strength of solidarity shown to the five claimants campaigning for the democratic rights of their fellow Labour Party members has been truly remarkable,” they said.

    “It is clear that there exists huge amount of support for Jeremy’s vision of a democratic Labour Party that is open and inclusive for all, so that we can achieve a Labour government that can transform and rebuild Britain so that nowhere and no-one is left behind.”


  3. Monday 15th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    JEREMY CORBYN vowed at the weekend to mobilise the huge crowds attending his re-election rallies to defeat the Tories, writes Luke James.

    The Labour leader’s latest speech, in Milton Keynes on Saturday, was the biggest political meeting in the new town’s history.

    Leadership rival Owen Smith has claimed that the bumper turnouts won’t win the party seats in Milton Keynes, claiming he remains unelectable within the wider public.

    But speaking on Saturday, Mr Corbyn said: “We are using this leadership contest to demonstrate the new and innovative methods the Labour Party will use to run our general election campaign in order to win back seats like Milton Keynes North and South.

    “Using our mass membership we can organise within communities and communicate with voters in a more effective way than ever before.

    “With over half a million members, Labour can be at the heart of every community in Britain and win the next general election. That movement contains new energy, new ideas and it’s a major part of our plan for government.”


  4. Monday 15th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    CHARLEY ALLAN points out why only Corbyn can keep hold of the core Labour vote

    JEREMY CORBYN sparked a firestorm at Thursday’s hustings when he insisted Labour had been ahead in the polls before the palace coup against him.

    Owen “let-me-talk-to-Momentum” Smith immediately accused him of lying and a fierce argument broke out on social media, before mainstream journalists across the political spectrum piled in to pour scorn on Corbyn’s claim.
    So who’s correct? Polls are notoriously easy to manipulate and there are plenty of ways to interpret data, but reputable firms put full results online so people can draw their own conclusions.

    Even sceptics concede that Survation’s poll on June 25 — after the referendum but before the mass resignations — put the two main parties neck and neck, but they insist this is an outlier and that all other surveys that month show a Tory lead.

    Before checking whether this is true, there are a couple of points about polls to bear in mind.

    First, all results are “weighted” to give a more representative sample — if not enough women reply to a survey, for example, pollsters give more weight to the answers of those that do.

    But as well as being asked about voting intention, people are normally asked how likely they are to turn up and vote at all.

    Combining these answers, goes the theory, gives a more accurate prediction of actual vote share than the simple “snapshot” provided by traditional opinion polls.

    This is called “turnout weighting” and pollsters sometimes go even further by only including people they consider certain to vote when working out their “headline figure.”

    The problem with all this is that it’s notoriously tricky to predict turnout, even if people try to answer honestly — which often they don’t.

    Pollsters agree their epic failure to predict the general election and referendum results was partly down to faulty turnout predictions, although they prefer to blame lacklustre Labour support than admit being blindsided by “shy Tories” last year.

    But back to the polls. Survation said that both Labour and the Tories had 26 per cent support among people “likely to vote” under “normal weightings” — disregarding turnout — while 20 per cent didn’t give any preference at all.

    When you ditch these “don’t knows” and “won’t says” and apply the turnout filter on top, we still have a tie — with 32 per cent for both parties.

    A week earlier on June 18, ComRes released its own poll with headline figures of 29 per cent Labour, 34 per cent Tory.

    But without turnout weighting Labour was actually in the lead — with 29 per cent among “likely” voters compared to the Tories’ 26 per cent and 14 per cent undecided.

    What’s going on? Although its methodology is unclear, ComRes seems to assume that many don’t-knows will eventually make up their minds — and that most of them will vote Tory.

    So while the company publicly predicted a Tory win, its snapshot clearly showed Labour in the lead.

    Moving on to Ipsos Mori, which claimed on June 16 that Labour was one point behind the Tories — 34 per cent to 35 — among people absolutely “certain” to vote using full weighting, both normal and turnout.

    The firm didn’t release figures that weren’t already weighted for likelihood to vote, but it did reveal that Labour had a two-point lead — 36 to 34 per cent — after including everyone else who expressed a preference.
    Three days earlier, ICM also put Labour a point behind — 33 per cent to the Tories’ 34 — using full weighting and an “adjustment” for the don’t-knows-won’t-says.

    This opaque algorithm assigns a certain proportion of undecideds to each party, as ComRes does.

    Without this additional adjustment — thereby excluding the don’t-knows instead of predicting who they’re going to vote for — Labour leaps into a four-point lead on 35 per cent to 31.

    And turning off the turnout while still keeping normal weighting sees this increase to five points, with Labour on 30 per cent, Tories 25 and undecideds 16.

    So Labour was indeed ahead in several polls before the coup, if you look beyond the headlines — and no, they weren’t “unweighted” as trolls claim online.

    Unfortunately, Labour leads don’t fit the narrative that Corbyn is electoral poison to be flushed away.
    Smith is supposed to be Labour’s saviour but the evidence suggests otherwise.

    Take his seat of Pontypridd — Labour heartland for practically a century.

    The local party won 53 per cent of the vote in 2005, but with Smith as its candidate this plummeted to 39 per cent in 2010 — its biggest collapse ever.

    This was the year of the Lib Dem surge, which saw support soar to 31 per cent from 20 per cent in 2005. Ukip was nowhere — 3 per cent in both elections.

    But after five years of Smith rule Ukip quadrupled its vote to 13 per cent, in line with the national average and level pegging locally with the plunging Lib Dems.

    Of the 18 points lost by Clegg’s clowns, 10 went to Ukip, five to Plaid Cymru and just two to Labour, which crept up to 41 per cent — the second-lowest share in local party history after Smith’s 2010 performance.
    Strangely, at the Gateshead debate Smith refused to repeat his pledge to hold a second referendum, despite plenty of prompting.

    Perhaps he realises how toxic such talk is to many Labour voters. And even among EU-loving party members, his message stinks of utter contempt for democracy.

    Ukip must be licking its lips at the prospect of a Smith leadership — hoping for a repeat of its rapid rise in Wales under his watch.

    The party is ruthlessly targeting a key constituency across Britain, long-term Labour voters who backed Brexit — plenty of whom are Welsh.

    Corbyn’s constructive criticism of the EU can help his party hold on to its core support but Smith is almost genetically engineered to drive it away.

    His New Labour pedigree left him powerless against the rising tide of nationalism right under his nose.
    And this former Pfizer lobbyist’s reckless referendum promises present Ukip with the electoral equivalent of viagra.

    If Owen Smith really is “Labour’s future” then I’m afraid we’re all screwed.

    Chat to Charley on Twitter: @charleyallan


  5. Monday 15th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    IMAGINE how the media and the Labour Party bureaucracy would have reacted if supporters of Jeremy Corbyn had demeaned those opposing him as nazi stormtroopers.

    Yet former Labour parliamentary candidate and prominent donor Michael Foster, who took the party to the High Court in a bid to keep Corbyn off the ballot paper, does so with impunity.

    He refers in an article in the Mail on Sunday to “Corbyn and his Sturmabteilung (stormtroopers),” which takes inner-party debate to a new low.

    In the course of his piece he maligns the integrity of Shami Chakrabarti, claiming that her “detailed report into anti-semitism in the Labour Party was anything but independent.”

    Foster also seeks to tar Corbyn’s communications executive Seumas Milne as an anti-semite, accusing him of invoking “the ancient racist rhetoric … that Jews don’t act alone, the malevolent Jew always conspires” when he criticises the very real right-wing conspiracy against Corbyn.

    He refers to himself twice in the Mail article as a “Jewish donor” to Labour.

    Since when were there separate categories for donors? His substantial donations to Labour carried no identification by religion, ethnicity or cultural origins.

    Foster’s self-description, allied with utterly ahistorical cross-references, is designed to portray his opponents as not simply wrong but motivated by anti-semitism.

    This is not just shoddy reasoning but a vile calumny against decent Labour Party members.

    Yet there is no word of criticism for this conduct from Labour general secretary Ian McNicol, the national executive committee or the compliance unit.

    When it comes to mud-slinging against Corbyn, anything goes.

    Foster’s self-awareness as a Jew and his tendency to see Labour Party current developments through the prism of 1930s nazi Germany might have been taken more seriously had he chosen another vehicle than Viscount Rothermere’s Mail.

    Rothermere’s great-grandfather wrote the infamous Hurrah for the Blackshirts article in January 1934, urging Mail readers to join Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.

    While the Mail later dropped its overt backing for Mosley, the Tory rag still proclaimed in August 1938: “The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage.”

    Foster may also remind himself that it is just three years since the Mail damned Ralph Miliband, a Belgian Jew who fled the nazis and served in the Royal Navy in the second world war, as a man who hated Britain.

    If he is making common cause with the Rothermere stable against Corbyn, he should stop and think what direction he is taking.

    Labour’s party machinery must ask itself the same question. Is a blind eye turned to Foster’s despicable rant because of the amount of money he donates?

    Tom Watson might ponder why Max Mosley, son of Oswald, coughed up £200,000 to run his private office.

    Mosley is no longer the fascist he was in his younger days, but nor has he presented himself as someone who stands four-square with the social justice agenda of the Labour Party.

    Why do rich individuals and businesses make donations to the party?

    Their tendency to stop giving or to channel gifts to particular individuals as a means of expressing displeasure with such events as Corbyn’s election as leader indicate that donations and policies are linked.

    The Bernie Sanders campaign in the US and the crowd-funding initiative to support the disenfranchised Labour members’ campaign for a leadership vote illustrate a far more democratic alternative.

    Basing a general election campaign on the mass activity of hundreds of thousands of members, as Corbyn proposes, is surely the way forward for Labour.


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