British government conspired against Allende in Chile


A crowd of people marching to support the election of Salvador Allende for president in Santiago, Chile, in 1964

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 September 2020:

Documents reveal British government’s covert role in bringing down Allende

Harold Wilson’s Labour government helped the US to meddle in the 1964 and 1970 elections, investigative website Declassified UK reveals

THE British government interfered in two elections in Chile to prevent socialist leader Salvador Allende winning power, declassified Foreign Office papers have revealed.

The documents unveil for the first time Britain’s covert role in preparing the ground for General Augusto Pinochet’s bloody military coup in 1973, according to a report published today by investigative website Declassified UK.

They show that Harold Wilson’s Labour government

Officially, Labour. But helping the far right in Chile.

helped the US to meddle in the 1964 and 1970 elections in an effort to prevent Mr Allende, Chile’s leading socialist, from coming to power.

A secret unit within the Foreign Office called the information research department (IRD) launched a propaganda offensive to smear Mr Allende and lend legitimacy to his main opponent, Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei.

The socialist candidate lost to Mr Frei in 1964 but won the 1970 election.

The report states that the Labour government considered Mr Frei’s election success in 1964 a “landmark victory”, with a minister at the time describing it as a “victory against the communists to press home.”

As support for Mr Allende grew in the run-up to the 1970 election, the Foreign Office escalated its propaganda offensive, deploying a specialist field officer to Santiago who was tasked with thwarting a socialist victory.

A few weeks before voters went to the polls, an IRD officer told British ambassador David Hildyard that “the IRD operation … has been concentrating on preventing an extreme-left alliance from gaining power in the 1970 presidential elections.”

The Chilean military’s overthrow of Allende’s government – with US support – ushered in 17 years of brutal dictatorship under Gen Pinochet, during which 40,000 people were tortured, 3,200 killed or “disappeared” and more than 200,000 forced into exile.

Humpback whales off Chile


This 21 March 2020 video says about itself:

Humpback whales thrive off the tip of Chile

Humpback whales have found a safe haven on the tip of Chile. Bad weather means the region is relatively untouched by humans. Humpback whale populations have grown five-fold in Francisco Coloane Marine Park. Almost 20 years ago biologists only counted 40 individuals in the park. Now, they’ve counted 190.

Globally there are around 87 cetacean species, and conservation efforts to protect humpback whales have been among the most successful. Hunting humpback whales has been banned since the ‘60s.

Read more here.

Researchers recommend new guidelines for noise levels from whale-watching boats after having carried out experiments with humpback whales. They exposed the whales to different levels of boat-engine noises while observing the current guidelines for whale-watching — keeping 100 meters distance, for instance — while monitoring the whales’ behavior closely with a drone camera. The researchers concluded that the noise level from a boat’s engine should stay below 150 decibels: here.

Chilean government violence against demonstrators


This 10 March 2020 video says about itself:

Chile: Women clash with police and block streets during feminist strike *EXPLICIT*

After the massive march during the International Women’s Day, thousands of women took to the streets of Santiago on Monday as part of the call to join a feminist strike.

People take part in a street performance to protest a ceremony marking Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's second year in office, outside La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, on Wednesday

By Steve Sweeney:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Chilean authorities respond with violence amid renewed calls for President to resign

CHILEAN authorities responded violently to mass protests yesterday.

The protests came amid renewed calls for the resignation of right-wing President Sebastian Pinera as the country marked 30 years since the fall of the Pinochet regime.

Police used tear gas against the crowds, which consisted of large numbers of students who hold Mr Pinera responsible for human rights abuses and the torture of opponents committed during last year’s anti-government mobilisations.

The protests were marked by violence with at least 34 killed and 30,000 injured as Mr Pinera mobilised the army on the streets of Chile for the first time since democracy was restored bringing an end to 17 years of military dictatorship.

In January authorities announced that investigations had opened into security forces for allegedly violating the human rights of 5,558 people since demonstrations started in October.

Mr Pinera issued a warning ahead of Wednesday’s protests, saying that “a violent march is anticipated and we are preparing to watch over public order.”

Those demonstrating anticipated a violent response after footage of police beating an elderly man during Sunday’s million-strong International Women’s Day demonstration went viral.

The president spoke at an event marking the 30th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Chile.

But it was largely boycotted by opposition lawmakers who slammed the hypocrisy of Mr Pinera who they blame for the atrocities committed against peaceful protesters.

A counter-protest organised by Chilean students was addressed by Gustavo Gatica, who was blinded in both eyes by rubber bullets in October’s protests.

He was cheered and joined in chants of “Pinera, guilty, your hands are stained with blood” in what was his first public appearance since being injured.

Schools and universities called for occupations across the country demanding the resignation of Mr Pinera on the second anniversary of his election.

At least nine campuses were occupied by students.

Police responded by firing tear gas in violent attempts to regain control.

Demonstrations were also attacked with the authorities seeking to disperse the crowds.

The growing opposition to Mr Pinera’s rule is calling for amendments to the Chilean constitution and a break with neoliberalism.

Opposition senator Alejandro Navarro announced that a motion was to be tabled in the Chilean parliament declaring Mr Pinera “mentally incapable” of rule.

He explained that a committee meeting had agreed to ask the constitution commission how to proceed in such a case and whether Mr Pinera could be removed from office by this mechanism.

The radical Chilean artist who depicted an America riven by repression and resistance.

Chileans keep opposing government violence


This 2 November 2019 video says about itself:

Silent march in Chile for dozens killed in recent protests | DW News

In Chile, around a thousand women have taken to the streets in the capital Santiago to demand justice for those killed in social unrest triggered by proposed economic reforms. The government says it will now scrap a controversial plan to cut corporate taxes. But demonstrations are continuing, with more violent clashes between police and protesters. The unrest is fueled by a deep sense of anger over inequality in the Latin American nation, where billionaire President Sebastian Pinera has become a symbolic target.

By Andrea Lobo:

More killed as poll shows half of Chile has joined protests

7 February 2019

Three demonstrators have died so far this year in Chile as four months of mass protests against social inequality and the entire capitalist establishment continue.

The killing of a 37-year-old soccer fan run over at high speed by an armored police vehicle led to major new demonstrations over the past week, particularly among the most impoverished and oppressed areas of the country’s capital, Santiago.

After a first division game on January 28, fans remained in the vicinity of the Colo-Colo stadium in Santiago peacefully chanting protest slogans when “the Carabineros [militarized police] of Chile deployed a completely disproportionate operation… provoking incidents that have ended the life of a fan of our Club,” as described in a complaint letter by the Colo-Colo board of directors. The driver has been arrested.

The nights since have been marked by barricades, demonstrations, the burning of buses, police stations and stores across Santiago. The police responded with brutal repression, including random beatings of bystanders, inundating neighborhoods with tear gas for three or four continuous hours and police charges with vehicles.

On Wednesday, a 22-year-old manning a barricade in the San Ramón neighborhood was killed when a hooded driver ran him over with a bus. In the same suburb of southern Santiago, a man was found dead in a looted and burned supermarket at a location where police attacked a demonstration. At least 124 demonstrators were arrested last week.

In December, the National Human Rights Institute (INDH) reported that the repression by the police and military had resulted in 29 dead, 8,812 arrests, 3,449 injuries, 544 lawsuits over torture and four alleged rapes by state officials.

In the face of such state violence, the protests and strikes only radicalized and grew, slowing the Chilean economy to 1.2 percent growth for 2019, the lowest since the Great Recession. The demonstrations last week, as well as the widespread and ongoing walkouts at high schools during the university placement exams to protest inequality in the educational system, signal a still potent social explosion.

… The ruling class in Chile and internationally has responded with a shift toward dictatorship, offering workers nothing but further cuts and greater exploitation.

The January 2020 Barómetro del Trabajo poll provides valuable data on the definitive question of leadership. Fully half of the Chileans polled (adults) have participated in the protests since October, while another 19 percent said they haven’t but would like to participate. The privatized pension system, “abuses and inequalities,” public education, wage increases and health care were the top issues raised by protesters, in that order.

The poll exposes the absurdity of the claims made by the Trump administration and the Chilean right that “Russian trolls” on the internet provoked the upheaval, which included concentrations of over 1 million people and plunged the approval rating of president Sebastián Piñera to an unprecedented 6 percent.

More essentially, however, the demands of protesters in Chile are the same ones being raised by strikers and protesters across the world, proving that the discontent is the result of social conditions rooted in the global capitalist system and cannot be resolved under a nationalist program. Despite its natural wealth and significant industries, Chile’s economy is entirely dependent on global production chains and markets and remains under the yoke of US and European imperialism.

Class tensions are truly on a hair trigger. Only 2 percent of demonstrators polled raised the issue of public transportation fares, even though the incident that unleashed the recent wave of protests was a relatively minor fare hike in the Santiago Metro last October.

According to the Barómetro del Trabajo poll, 83 percent are “dissatisfied with the functioning of democracy in Chile,” and the same percentage indicate the country is “ruled by self-interested, powerful groups.” …

The bulk of the working class sees the establishment for what it is: an instrument of the 20 economic groups that control more than half of the country’s production and their patrons on Wall Street and in Europe.

SHOCKING figures revealed today the scale of the repression in Chile with almost 10,000 people arrested since anti-government protests began last October. Around 1,100 of those held were children and adolescents, Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) said, warning that the number of people being detained was rising: here.

Dog becomes symbol of Chilean anti-government resistance


This 25 December 2019 video says about itself:

“Negro Matapacos” Has Turned Into A Symbol For Social Struggles In Chile

He was a black dog.

PROTESTS and the occupation of schools marked the beginning of the week in Chile, where the University Selection Test (PSU, in Spanish) was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The National Coordinator of High-School Students (CONES) and the Coordinating Assembly of High-School Students (ACES) of Chile, which reject that form of evaluation because it increases inequalities, called to boycott the process: here.

Chileans keep fighting anti-democratic government


This 19 December 2019 video says about itself:

Chileans Demand New Constitution

The present constitution is from the time of the Pinochet dictatorship.

as Protests Continue

For two months, Chileans have been protesting all over the country on a daily basis.

Chileans sing against violent government


This 13 December 2019 live music video by Chilean folk music group Inti-Illimani says about itself, translated:

El pueblo unido jamas será vencido (The united people will never be defeated), by Sergio Ortega.

We sing … [contrary to the right-wing government] we don’t make anyone blind, we don’t rape anyone, we don’t hit or torture anyone …

We sang … and with us tens of thousands … it was very beautiful and hopeful.

In the enormous crowd, flags of Chile, of the Chilean Mapuche indigenous people, and portraits of President Allende, murdered by the 1973 CIA-Pinochet coup.

Big pro-climate demonstrations in Spain, Chile


Climate activist Greta Thunberg (centre) walks at the COP25 climate talks summit in Madrid

This photo shows Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (centre) at the COP25 climate talks summit in Madrid, Spain.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Tens of thousands march for the climate in Madrid

TENS of thousands of people marched in Madrid and Santiago, Chile, today to demand real action on climate change.

Swedish eco-warrior Greta Thunberg joined the mass demo in the Spanish capital, where the COP-25 climate summit has been taking place.

Marchers united behind the slogan “the world has woken up to the climate emergency.”

Greta joined teenagers staging a sit-in in the UN climate summit itself who held hands, sang Power to the People and waved Fridays for Future banners.

Chilean groups on the march carried banners denouncing the neoliberal regime of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, which had been due to host the summit but dropped the idea in the face of mass anti-government demonstrations which have rocked the country for over a month.

Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC) spokeswoman Estefania Gonzalez said: “I come from Chile, a country where an avocado tree has more right to water than a person.”

The mass protests against inequality in Chile were “directly related to the environmental crisis,” she said.

“Today, climate action means social equality, it’s not possible to have social equality without environmental equality.”

SCAC has run a Social Summit for Climate Action alongside the UN summit, with a strong presence from indigenous groups in Latin America who are seeing their rights to land attacked by the Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil.

They have also been victims of a violent terror campaign implemented by Bolivia’s coup government since the military overthrew the country’s elected, and indigenous, president Evo Morales last month.

This September 2019 video says about itself:

Thousands of people joined a global climate strike in the Chilean capital Santiago on Friday.

Schoolchildren and workers marched past La Moneda presidential palace to demand action from government.

Demonstrators dressed in green and brought a series of homemade signs and banners to argue for their cause.

The strike in Chile was one of many taking in Latin American cities and across the world.

The global action follows a series of school strikes initially inspired by Swedish teenage and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The Morning Star report continues:

A march in the Chilean capital Santiago was timed to coincide with the demo in Spain.

An alliance of US states, cities, academic institutions and companies opened its own venue at the climate talks, aiming to show that despite the Donald Trump government’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord, many in the US remain committed to curbing global warming.

Elan Strait, who manages the We Are Still In initiative for the World Wildlife Fund, said the movement was “a short-term band-aid not only to get those carbon dioxide emissions down but also to encourage policymakers to lay the ground for further achievements.”

Fourteen seafaring nations published a study on the likely impact of predicted warming on maritime industries today, saying if emissions were not sharply reduced fisheries will be devastated.