Home > The Pursuit For Truth In The Death, And Life, Of Two Iconic Chileans

The Pursuit For Truth In The Death, And Life, Of Two Iconic Chileans

by Open-Publishing - Saturday 25 June 2011

Governments South/Latin America History Brian McAfee

The body of former Chilean President Salvador Allende was exhumed in May in an attempt to determine whether the democratically elected Socialist president was murdered by the Chilean military in the initial stages of the coup or whether he committed suicide as General Augusto claimed on that day, September 11, 1973.

The 65 year old president had been in office for three years. An official investigation has also been opened in the death of World renown Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who died on September 23, 1973. His death, the junta reported, was from prostate cancer but the newly released military files indicate he too may have been murdered by the Pinochet regime.

Neruda was 69 at the time of his death. Neruda’s driver has said that he (Neruda) had been poisoned by Pinochet’s henchmen. Judge Mario Carroza ordered investigations into both deaths. While most appear to support the investigations some say they will "open up old wounds". While Pinochet continues to have supporters in the Chilean right most want to see the truth, and perhaps justice.

The wanton nature of Pinochet’s regime and their foreign backers, particularly U.S. President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger have always called into question the true nature of the oft self proclaimed "greatest democracy in the World" and it’s foreign policy. Even prior to Salvador Allende’s election to the presidency in 1970 the U.S. government was at work interfering with Chile’s internal affairs and sovereignty. Nixon and Kissinger had funneled in several million dollars to candidates opposing Allende before the election and continued funding opposition figures after the election.

Allende’s first act as president was to make sure all school children had milk, this was done because he as a medical doctor saw developmental deficiencies in many poor children and he felt the inclusion of milk in their diet would greatly improve their health and well being (anti-milk people bear in mind this is 1970).

Allende’s and his Popular Unity Party allies were prevalent among the copper miners, union people in general and shantytown dwellers, The political right, rich and foreign corporate interests, particularly Kennecott Copper, Anaconda and ITT were all set in opposition to Allende particularly as he nationalized most major corporations in the belief that the revenue from a nations resources should be directed towards the common good, development and poverty alleviation rather then to enrich the already wealthy or foreign corporations.

Nixon and Kissinger were very active in attempting to manipulate Chile’s internal affairs immediately after the election of Salvador Allende. The first act was the assassination of General Rene Schneider on October 22, 1970. People should not forget that the First 9/11 took place in 1973 and was an act of state terrorism against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile. The assassination of Rene Schneider, who was sympathetic to Chilean democracy, opened the door for Pinochet to then lead the military.

60 Minutes aired an episode outlining the Schneider story just a few days before the second 9/11 occurred. Throughout the Allende presidency as he was implementing programs to achieve the realization of his social and domestic policies The U.S. is running constant interference with Chile’s trade relations and international banking relations. The reality is with Chile, because of the constant interference and ultimately violent U.S. lead opposition to a democratically elected socialist president, we were never allowed to see what a free, socialist Chile would have looked like.

After the coup, with the U.S.’s darling, Pinochet in power Kennecott and Anaconda were free to extract Chile’s mineral wealth with no concern for the society or land they see around them unlike the vision of the man Chile had chosen president forty years ago.

Chile’s willingness to take an honest look at her past is commendable and exemplary as the pursuit of truth, and often justice is what is most needed and Chile’s example has yet to be emulated by many other countries.

A close but almost totally ignored parallel to Chile’s resource wealth is West Papua, Indonesia. West Papua is possibly the most resource rich places on Earth with large amounts of gold and copper. Despite the resource wealth most of the people living there live in poverty. West Papua was taken over by Indonesia during the time of the Suharto dictatorship and with the blessing of the U.S.. The primary beneficiary has been the U.S. based mining company Freeport. In a partnership with the Indonesian military, with its ongoing human rights abuses, as security U.S. corporate interests continue to reap the resource wealth of the World while showing little or no concern of the populations or environment of those places and their resources that are making them rich. As a major player in both sides of the Pacific Kissinger killed for Kennecott and is on the board of directors of Freeport. West Papua is and has been for over 40 years under occupation by the Indonesian military that is in turn supported by the U.S. with arms and periodic training arrangements. As we wait for finding out the truth concerning our old friends bear in mind it is all part of our ongoing struggle for truth and justce.

Suggested Reading-

Chile’s Road to Socialism by Salvador Allende

Salvador Allende Reader

The Black Book of American Intervention In Chile by Armando Uribe

Allende’s Chile by Edward Boorstein

The United States And Chile by David R. Mares and Francisco Rojas Aravena

Nothing Is As It Should Be by Carol Andreas

Storm Over Chile by Samuel Chavkin

The Condor Years by John Dinges

Weavers Of Revolution by Peter Winn

Democracy and Poverty in Chile by James Petras and Fernando Ignacio Leiva

The Murder Of Allende by Robinson Rojas Sandford

A Nation Of Enemies by Pamela Constable and Arturo Valenzuela

The Pinochet File -Peter Kornbluh

The Dictator’s Shadow by Heraldo Munoz

Websites for West Papua-