Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Salvador Allende

Lethal CIA military Interventions in Latin America: We are against coup d’états?

The latest ones were in Turkey (failed), Guatemala…

To celebrate the recent anniversary of the founding of the CIA, the State Dept reasserts its “long-standing” policy against coup d’ etats…or not

While the dates most associated with the Central Intelligence Agency are the 1953 coup against Iran’s Mohammed Mossadeq and the following year against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz, the world’s most notorious spy agency actually was chartered on this day in 1947

Since then, the CIA has played a role in hundreds of assassinations, military coups, and rebellions around the globe, from Argentina to Zaire.

IN DEPTH:
CIA in Ecuador

Despites it’s championing of freedom, the CIA’s true objective has always been imperialist in nature. Whether oil in Iran or bananas in Guatemala, the U.S. has a material interest in every country in whose affairs it has meddled.

In order to meet its goals, the CIA recruits influential, intellectual and charismatic personalities. The agency also resorts to threats, kidnapping, torture, enforced disappearances and assassinations. The organization incites violence, uprisings and military rebellion, and causes economic chaos and misery to the people through scarcity of basic foods and so on.

The CIA has been exposed on a number of occasions through documented evidence, leaks of information and whistleblowing by active and former agents.


1. 1954 in Guatemala

In 1944, the violent U.S.-backed dictatorship of Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a popular uprising. The people of Guatemala were sick and tired of the brutal injustices of his regime, although in reality Ubico was merely a puppet of The United Fruit Company, which obeyed Washington’s orders.

They basically enslaved the population. They stripped campesinos and Indigenous people of their lands and forced them to work their own parcels and paid them bread crumbs. Those who dared to disobey were brutally punished by a police force working for the U.S. agricultural company.

The victory of the uprising brought peace to the country but it only took 10 years for U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower to implement a plan to overthrow the government.

In 1954, the CIA launched the so-called PBSuccess operation. The country’s capital Guatemala City was bombed by U.S. warplanes. The young Ernesto “Che” Guevara was there and witnessed the ordeal first hand. Hundreds of campesinos leaders were executed and many campesino and Mayan Indigenous communities were completely wiped out.

The brutal CIA intervention wasn’t complete until 200,000 had been killed. U.S. companies were again enjoying huge profits in the Central American country and Washington was happy.

2. 1959 in Haiti

Haiti is equally strategic to the United States as are the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

So, Washington doesn’t hesitate when their brutal control appears to wane in the Caribbean. Under no circumstance, would the U.S. allow governments in the region to lean to the left, and if they dare to, the CIA steps in to push them back to the right. Of course, Cuba is a rare example of resilience to U.S. efforts to achieve hegemony in the area. Since 1959, the Cuban revolution of Fidel Castro has repealed the relentless U.S. attacks.

OPINION:
US Court Dismisses 8,700 Haitian Lives

But in Haiti, the story is different. In 1959 as well, popular discontent rose against the brutal puppet of the U.S., Francois Duvalier. The CIA stepped in and stomped it immediately. With the help of the intelligence agency, Duvalier wasted no time and created an army to violently repress all those who rose up against him.

He and his heir to the regime, Jean Claude Duvalier, ordered massacres that were so horrendous they defy words. Over 100,000 people were murdered. And in 1986, when a new but uncontrollable rebellion took over, a U.S. Air Force plane rescued Jean Claude and took him to France so he could live in peaceful luxury.

3. 1964 in Brazil

The year of 1964 was one of incredible transformation in Brazil. Democratically-elected President Joao Goulart implemented his “Plan of Basic Reforms.” Even though the U.S. had exerted much of its power through ensuring people weren’t lifted from ignorance and illiteracy, Brazil implemented real changes that made Washington very uncomfortable.

Firstly, a tax reform was put in place that would hugely carve into the profits of the multinational corporations of the United States and its allies. Washington was also very unhappy with a reform by which land would be given back to their legitimate owners and would redistribute other lands to poor people.

It was now time to send in the CIA to take action against the government of Goulart, which they did in 1964. They put in power a brutal dictatorship that lasted 19 years. During this regime, thousands were tortured and hundreds executed. The CIA also made sure all those leaders who had leftist tendencies were eliminated, specially Marxists.

4. 1969 in Uruguay

During the sixties, revolutionary movements spread through Latin America. Uruguay was drowned in crises. United States saw influential socialist leaders emerge in this South American nation. For example the urban revolutionary guerrilla known as the Tupamaros. Jose “Pepe” Mujica was part of it and so was his wife Lucia Topolansky. Washington became obsessed with eliminating them, fearing the influence and power they were achieving.

ANALYSIS:
Marking Brazil’s Brutal US-Backed Military Coup 52 Years Later

Nelson Rockefeller went to Uruguay to observe first hand how they were, generating a growing anti-Yankee sentiment. He returned to Washington to alert authorities that something needed to be done urgently. Of course, the CIA responded immediately.

They sent their special agent Dan Mitrione. He trained security forces in the art of torture and other highly macabre practices that are indescribable in nature. And then the CIA put in power Juan Maria Bordaberry and his military dictatorship. He ruled under direct order from Washington the next 12 years, during which he killed hundreds of people and tortured tens of thousands more. Repression was so brutal and Uruguayans were so traumatized and fearful they no longer carried out their traditional dances, which symbolize happiness and victory.

5. 1971 in Bolivia

The vast Latin American natural resources are the envy of the greedy and powerful politicians of the United States, who resort to any means to control them for their own benefit, and never for the people and countries they brutally exploit.

For decades, U.S. multinational corporations enslaved people in vast regions of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. When those living under slavery conditions dared to rebel against their oppressors, they were annihilated in bulk. Che Guevara felt compelled to go to Bolivia and help the people rise in revolution.

This was 1967. By then, U.S. mining companies had enslaved entire communities, including children, who they banned from school. Two years later, Che Guevara was murdered by the CIA. Once out of their way, CIA officials established a military regime.

However, the people again turned on Washington. General Juan Jose Torres took power and implemented reforms to benefit workers and those living in poverty. Hope returned to Bolivia and its people, but the CIA would not allow this to continue.

The agency recruited General Hugo Banzer. He led the coup against Torres and in 1971, he kicked off his violent dictatorship. He ordered the torture of a number of opposition leaders and the execution of hundreds of influential political leaders. He sent about 8,000 other leaders to jail. Washington was happy.

6. 1973 in Chile

Chile was another country brutally exploited by U.S. corporations. Washington made sure the people lived in utter misery. The CIA used different tactics but the results were the same. The agency led a smear campaign against the government of Chile, as it is currently doing in Venezuela. They used national and international media to demonize President Salvador Allende. They made sure people who had once been loyal to him because of his benevolent way of governing turned on him.

RELATED:
Chile Asks US to Extradite Pinochet-Era Killers of UN Diplomat

How you ask? The same way they’re doing it in Venezuela. By causing scarcity through extortion, through torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearances and by assassinating all those who refused to bow to them. Washington was irritated beyond control after Allende nationalized natural resources. They were also annoyed because Allende built houses for those who couldn’t afford homes. He made sure his people had access to education. When Allende’s popularity was successfully undermined, the next step was to plan a coup against him. It would now be easy. And Sep. 11, 1973, Gen. Augusto Pinochet led the military all the way to the presidential palace with the backing of the CIA, who provided him with all the necessary weapons and armored vehicles.

War planes dropped bombs on the palace. Before he died, Allende told his people: “I will not give up! Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for the loyalty of the people with my life. And I tell you with certainty that the which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. They are strong and they may be able to dominate us, but the social processes cannot be halted nor with crime nor by force.”

Pinochet ruled for 17 years. He jailed 80,000 people, tortured 30,000 and murdered 3,200.

7. 1976 in Argentina

Argentines endured arguably the bloodiest dictatorship of South America. It was so terrible that reading about it can be traumatic. Concentration camps, torture centers, massacres, massive rape of women and children, the beating of pregnant women, and the execution of boys and girls. In total, 30,000 people were executed. Behind it all: the CIA.

In 1973, Argentina was going through a political crisis so grave that President Juan Peron collapsed and ultimately died of a heart attack in 1974. His wife, Eva Peron, took power only to confront conflicts everywhere, even within her own Peronist party.

The CIA waited like a cat hunting its prey until 1976, when the situation they themselves provoked was so bad their intervention would be a walk in the park. Of course, as usual, a key recruitment was in order. The name, Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla.

The next step, a coup d’etat in yet another Latin American nation, and again another dictatorship at the service of the United States. This time, the nefarious Henry Kissinger would be in charge of supervising the brutal regime.

The rest is history: genocide, massive human rights violations, enforced disappearances, child theft, among other heinous crimes. All this, with the approval of the hypocritical and shameless owners of power in Washington.


8. 1980 in El Salvador

The people of this Central American country suffered no less than Argentina under the U.S. intervention that was carried out by you know who: the CIA. Washington had already backed a brutal dictatorship that lasted 50 years from 1931 to 1981. Campesinos and Indigenous were smashed without mercy. More than 40,000 were massacred.

ANALYSIS:
Bay of Pigs, the CIA’s Biggest Fiasco, 55 Years Later

Things were so bad a rare incident occurred. The Catholic church tried to intervene in favor of the poor and oppressed. At this point in time, El Salvador was controlled by 13 mafia-style families who had expropriated about half of the national territory. The 13 families were closely linked to, guess who? That’s right! Washington. And the CIA, just in case, made sure the military was very well trained in everything horrific.

They were provided with all the right lethal equipment. And when the CIA found out that Jesuits were helping out the masses, they made sure they were killed. They also asked Pope John Paul II to speak to Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero to try to persuade him to desist. Romero refused to comply and so they murdered him when he was officiating mass in 1980. When the U.S. intervention was over, 75,000 people were reported murdered, but the U.S. was at peace

9. 1989 in Panama

Another unprecedented incident occurs in this Central American country. A CIA agent rises to power as a dictator in the form of Manuel “Pineapple Face” Noriega. Washington’s interest here, among others, is the inter-oceanic canal.

When President Omar Torrijos tried to take over control of the Panama Canal, the CIA planted a bomb on his plane and that was the end of that.

In 1983, Noriega took power. He was a drug trafficker for the CIA. He had been for some 30 years. That was fine with Washington. He was of huge service to them. In fact, he was instrumental in the Iran-Contra affair, by which the CIA circumvented Congress’ prohibition to provide the Nicaraguan contras with weapons to be used against the leftist Sandinista movement.

Noriega helped with cocaine to be sent mainly to the Los Angeles, California, where it was sold in form of crack and served to poison vast Black communities, another of the devious objectives of the CIA. The proceedings were used to buy arms in Iran to provide the contras with them.

Money and power transforms the weak and devious. Noriega wasn’t exempt. It went to his head. He now believed he was untouchable and felt he could ignore Washington’s orders and instead of helping the U.S. place Guillermo Endara in power in Nicaragua, he decided he would impose a president of his own choosing: Francisco Rodriguez. Noriega also began harassing U.S. military bases in Panama. The U.S. was not about to put up his unruly behavior. Washington deployed troops to invade Panama in December 1989.

They captured Noriega and locked him up in a Miami jail, but before that, they killed 3,500 innocent civilians and displaced 20,000 more. Fair? Not for CIA’s operation against Panama dubbed “Just Cause.”

10. 1990 in Peru

Finally, we arrive at Peru. First we need to understand this is the end to this list but by no means the end of U.S. interventions worldwide.

The CIA continues to cause havoc across the Latin America and the rest of the world. However, these 10 cases may enlighten those who refuse to believe that the United States is responsible for death and destruction. It also serves to show how they operate and can be easily detected in places where there is instability, hunger and chaos. That’s their specialty.

Peru: another CIA agent rises to power. Alberto Fujimori is elected president in 1990. The reason why his election is highly suspicious is because he was a mediocre person with no education and no charisma, just like the say his daughter Keiko Fujimori is. He had no political influence and he was known to nobody but his family.

Wait, he did show some intelligence when he asked Vladimiro Montesinos to be his associate. Montesinos is a lawyer and a very intelligent person with above average strategic thinking. He is also a CIA man. Fujimori named him National Intelligence Service director. A paramilitary group was created only to murder leftist and Marxist leaders. Fujimori dissolved Congress and locked up all the members of the Supreme Court of Justice. The CIA helped him with his plan, they financed him and supervised all his atrocities. Today, Fujimori is in jail

From Argentina to the former Zaire, the CIA has been meddling in other countries’ affairs for 69 years.
telesurtv.net|By Olivier Acuña
Note: History of U.S. Military Interventions since 1890:
Among sources used, beside news reports, are the Congressional Record (23 June 1969), 180 Landings by the U.S. Marine Corp History Division, Ege & Makhijani in Counterspy (July-Aug, 1982), “Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798-1993” by Ellen C. Collier of the Library of Congress…

academic.evergreen.edu

 

The TPP Will Finish What Chile’s Dictatorship Started

Late Chili President Salvador Allende said at the UN in1972, a speech given less than a year before the US masterminded a military coup d’état that overthrew him and killed him:
“We are faced by a direct confrontation between the large transnational corporations and the states. The corporations are interfering in the fundamental political, economic and military decisions of the states.
The corporations are global organizations that do not depend on any state and whose activities are not controlled by, nor are they accountable to any parliament or any other institution representative of the collective interest. In short, all the world political structure is being undermined.”

Neoliberalism is hard to define. It could refer to intensified resource extraction, financialization, austerity, or something more ephemeral, a way of life, in which collective ideals of citizenship give out to marketized individualism and consumerism.

This September 11th will be the forty-second anniversary of the US-backed coup against the democratically-elected Chilean government, led by the Socialist Salvador Allende, kicking off a battle that is still being fought: in Chile, protests led…

Like rust, neoliberalism never sleeps.

The global rentier class that enriches itself off the neoliberal property-rights regime had, a decade ago, hoped to lock down Latin America under the hemisphere-wide Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).

In its original version, the FTAA was meant to be a special carve-out for Washington and Wall Street, as global “free trade” advanced under the umbrella of the Doha round of the WTO.

Kind of an economic Monroe Doctrine, whereby the United States could maintain its regional hegemony over Latin America while still promoting, when it suited, globalization.

But that scheme fell apart with the return of Latin America’s post–“Washington consensus” left, led at the time by Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina. And the Doha round stalled.

So Washington came back with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country treaty—including Chile, Peru, and Mexico—vigorously promoted by the Obama administration.

It’s been described nicely by Lori Wallach as NAFTA on steroids.

As others have pointed out, the TPP isn’t really about trade. Rather, it’s a supra-national regulatory straitjacket that institutionalizes Allende’s 1972 warning.

Among other things, the TPP has the effect of hiving off Brazil and Argentina from Latin America’s Pacific Rim countries. South America’s governing left is weakened and defensive, and the vitality with which Lula, Chávez, and Kirchner pushed back on any number of US initiatives—war on Iraq, trade, intellectual property, and so on—is dissipated.

In Brazil, Dilma has recently capitulated on a number of issues she had long resisted, including surveillance and the adoption of Patriot Act–like “anti-terror” legislation (not to mention her recent visit to NYC to genuflect before Henry Kissinger).

The divide-and-rule TPP would, by creating a divergent set of economic interests among neighboring countries, further limit the possibility of political solidarity against economic and security policies pushed by Washington (as this pro-TPP op-ed implies).

The TPP includes one provision that will, if activated, complete the 1973 coup against Allende:

its Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) that allows corporations and investors to “sue governments directly before tribunals of three private sector lawyers operating under World Bank and UN rules to demand taxpayer compensation for any domestic law that investors believe will diminish their ‘expected future profits.’”

You can read James Surowiecki, in The New Yorker, here on the ISDS. And here is Elizabeth Warren. And Public Citizen and The Atlantic.

The principle behind the ISDS—that corporations have an inherent right to demand compensation for any regulation that might impinge on their “expected future profits”—is a perfect negation of a major principle of Allende’s socialist program: that poor nations not only had a right to nationalize foreign property but could also deduct past “excess profit” from compensation for that property, calculated as anything above 12 percent of a company’s value.

Allende and his Popular Unity coalition not only seized the operations of the Anaconda and Kennecott mining companies but, once the sums were done, handed them overdue bills for even more money.

On September 28, 1971, Allende signed a decree that tallied the “excess profit” owed by these companies to be $774,000,000. (as might be expected, US and Canadian mining companies, including the current version of Anaconda, are strong for the TPP.)

This decree was a turning point in the history of international property rights, when Washington (which, since the Mexican Revolution, had grudgingly accepted the idea of nationalization) decided that its tolerance of Third World economic nationalism had gone on long enough.

In an October 5, 1971, meeting in the Oval Office, Treasury Secretary John Connally complained to Nixon: “He’s [Allende] gone back and said that the copper companies owe $700 million. It’s obviously a farce, and obviously, he’s a—he doesn’t intend to compensate for the expropriated properties. He’s thrown down—He’s thrown the gauntlet to us. Now, it’s our move.”

Nixon then said he had “decided we’re going to give Allende the hook.”

Connally: “The only thing you can ever hope is to have him overthrown.”

In the 1970s, socialism was, for many, on the horizon of the possible, with the principle of “excess profit” seen as a way for exploited countries to, in Allende’s words, “correct historic wrongs.”

Today, forget nationalization, much less socialism. If the TPP is ratified and ISDS put into effect, countries won’t be able to limit mining to protect their water supply or even enforce anti-tobacco regulation.

This September 11, as the Obama administration makes its final push for the TPP, it’s worth taking a moment to realize why all those people in Chile—and in Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, and throughout Latin America—died and were tortured: to protect the “future profits” of multinational corporations.

 

 

 

 

 

Winning an Election Does Not Mean Winning Power

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias on Syriza and the struggle for a better Europe.

Alexis Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias at a Syriza rally this month. Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

Alexis Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias at a Syriza rally this month. Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

Syriza’s expected victory in tomorrow’s Greek elections is part of a crescendo of anti-austerity movements across Europe. Throughout the upsurge, many formations have connected with one another, secure in the knowledge that they’re fighting the same enemy.

Though the approaches of the two parties differ, Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras has developed a particularly close relationship with his counterpart in Spain, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, appearing at demonstrations together and conferring in private.

The following, translated by Dan DiMaggio and edited for clarity, is a speech Iglesias delivered at a Syriza event in October.


Good evening. Change is in the air in Greece. Change is in the air in Southern Europe. Brothers and sisters, it’s an honor to speak in front of you today.

It’s an honor to be in Athens just a few months before this country will finally have a popular government headed by Alexis Tsipras. This government will be the first in a series of governments which are destined to recover the sovereignty and dignity of the people of Southern Europe.

Brothers and sisters, we are called upon to reconstruct democracy — European democracy — against the totalitarianism of the market.

Some will want to call us euroskeptics. To all those hypocrites, I want to remind them today, from Greece, from a country that was a model of anti-Nazi resistance, that the best of the European democratic tradition is antifascism.

And that our program to recover our social benefits and our sovereignty is inspired by the example of our grandparents who confronted this horror and fought for a democratic Europe that could only be based on social justice and liberty.

Many things unite the Greek and Spanish people to lead a new European project. But today I want to highlight the historic example of our populations in the antifascist resistance and the struggle for liberty and democracy.

They’ve wanted to look down on us as “Mediterraneans.”

They’ve called us “PIGS.” They’ve wanted to turn us into a periphery.

They want us to be countries of cheap labor forces.

They want our young people to be the servants of rich tourists.

Today we say that we are proud to be from the South, and that from the South we are going to return to Europe and to all its peoples the dignity that they deserve.

But I don’t want my speech today to be a compendium of sterile encouragement. We are among comrades, and it’s time now to accept responsibility for the difficulty of the tasks confronting us.

I just got back from Latin America.

There I was able to meet with Evo Morales, with Rafael Correa, and with Pepe Mujica. I am sure that many of you were excited when you saw State of Siege by Costas Gavras and learned about the Tupamaros. Today, an ex-guerrilla, a Tupamaro, is president of Uruguay.

I also met with many government ministers and political leaders. Among them was the son of Miguel Enriquez, leader of the MIR, who died in combat in 1974 in Chile. It was moving to remember the Chilean experience — the experience of democratic socialism to which we also aspire.

But upon seeing the son of Enriquez, I remembered what Salvador Allende said to the young members of the MIR: “We haven’t chosen the terrain. We have inherited it.

We have the government, but we don’t have power.” That bitter clarity of Allende is something I also found among our brother-presidents in Latin America.

What we have ahead of us is not going to be an easy road. We first have to win the elections — and only afterwards will the real difficulties begin.

The polls say that in Greece Syriza will win the next election. In Spain the polls say that we have already passed the Socialist Party, that we are competing to become the second strongest electoral force in the country, and that every day we are seen more and more as the real opposition force.

We already have more than 130,000 members, and we will leave our constituent assembly next month with our organizational muscle ready. It will be hard, but it’s entirely possible that Podemos in Spain, like Syriza in Greece and Sinn Fein in Ireland, will lead a political change. But it is essential that we understand that winning an election does not mean winning power.

To speak of fiscal reform, an audit of the national debt, of collective control over the strategic sectors of the economy, of defense and improvement of public services, of the recovery of sovereign powers and our industrial fabric, of employment policies through investment, of favoring consumption, and of ensuring that public financial entities protect small and medium enterprises and families is what any social democrat in Western Europe would have talked about thirty or 40 years ago.

But today, a program like this means a threat to the global financial powers. There is a worldwide party that is much stronger than the Third International was. It’s the party of Wall Street, which has functionaries everywhere. These functionaries have many ID cards.

Some have cards from New Democracy, others from Pasok, others from Merkel’s CDU, others from the Socialist Party in Spain or France. Juncker, Merkel, Rajoy, Samaras, Hollande, and Renzi are all members of the same party — the party of Wall Street. They are the Finance International.

This is why, no matter how modest our objectives are, no matter how wide the consensus in our societies regarding them is, we must not lose sight that we are confronting a minority with a lot of power, with very few scruples, and fearful of the electoral results when their parties don’t win. Don’t forget that the powerful almost never accept the results of elections when they don’t like them.

Brothers and sisters, we have a historic task of enormous dimensions ahead of us. What we have to do goes far beyond getting electoral support. We are called upon to defend democracy and sovereignty, but what’s more, we have to defend them on a terrain, like Allende said, that we ourselves have not chosen.

That’s why we have to deal with sectarians strictly. Revolutionaries are not defined by the t-shirts that they wear. They are not defined by converting theoretical tools into a religion. The duty of a revolutionary is not to take pictures of themselves with a hammer and sickle — the duty of a revolutionary is to win.

That’s why our duty is to get closer to civil society. We need the best with us. We need the best economists, the best scientists, the best public sector workers, in order to manage the administration and carry out viable and effective public policies.

Patriotism is not threatening someone, or believing you are better because you have another skin color, or because you speak a language, or because you were born where your mother’s water broke.

The true patriots know that to be proud of your country is to see that all the children — no matter where they come from — go to schools clean, clothed, well-fed, and with shoes on their feet. To love your country is to defend that your grandparents have a pension and that if they get sick that they are attended to in the best public hospitals.

We also need to strengthen our ties with workers in the public finance office, and all other public offices. Some believe that it’s the leaders who make the hospitals, schools, media, and transportation work. They are not the ones who make sure that public facilities are clean, so that they can be used — it’s a lie.

It’s workers who take countries forward. And I know that many who work in public administration wish that people like us were governing, so that they could do their jobs, and that they are sick of corrupt and useless leaders, like we have had up until now.

We must finally work together — in Europe and for Europe. It’s not necessary to read Karl Marx to know that there are no definitive solutions within the framework of the nation-state. For that reason we must help each other and make ourselves be seen as an alternative for all of Europe.

Winning elections is far from winning power. That’s why we must bring together everyone who is committed to change and decency, which is nothing more than turning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into a manual for government.

Our aim today, unfortunately, is not the withering away of the state, or the disappearance of prisons, or that Earth become a paradise.

But we do aim, as I said, to make it so that all children go to public schools clean and well-fed; that all the elderly receive a pension and be taken care of in the best hospitals; that any young person — independently of who their parents are — be able to go to college; that nobody have their heat turned off in the winter because they can’t pay their bill; that no bank be allowed to leave a family in the street without alternative housing; that everyone be able to work in decent conditions without having to accept shameful wages or conditions; that the production of information in newspapers and on television not be a privilege of multi-millionaires; that a country not have to kneel down before foreign speculators.

In one word: that a society be able to provide the basic material conditions that make happiness and dignity possible.

These modest objectives that today seem so radical simply represent democracy. Tomorrow is ours, brothers and sisters.

–>

      

 

 

Story of a Death Foretold by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera review –

And how Democratically elected Salvador Allende was toppled by the US of Nixon

This study of Chile’s 1973 military coup is a heartbreaking but necessary read
Augusto Pinochet in 1973

Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Photograph: AKG

There was another anniversary on 11 September, of an event whose consequences were just as insidious as those of 2001’s calamity.

The Chilean victims were chosen deliberately, however, rather than as random collateral damage.

I’m talking, of course, about the military coup that removed President Salvador Allende from power in Chile in 1973, the 40th anniversary of which was marked by the publication of this book in hardback.

These days, the coup is a touchstone. Some on the right claim that Allende did not have a widespread mandate, he was bankrupting the country and who knew what would happen if communism was allowed to spread through South America?


  1. , the CIA and the Coup against Salvador Allende, 11 September 1973

  2. by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
  1. Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book

This book, written by a London-based Colombian academic, demolishes such assertions punctiliously and without polemic.

Firstly: Allende’s mandate was comparable to, but stronger than David Cameron‘s now. It was a coalition government with the important difference that Allende’s partners, the Christian Democrats, were in many respects as reform-minded as his own Popular Unity party.

Note: “reform” here means “drive to egalitarianism”. It was about nationalising, or removing key industries from private hands to public ones.

Second, the effects that Allende’s policies had included the slashing of unemployment and inflation, the redistribution of wealth and the feel-good knock-ons such results produce.

Third: the election was fair, democratic and constitutional. General René Schneider, leader of the armed forces, was a sworn constitutionalist, pointing out, when the question arose earlier, that any military assault on the elected government would be treason.

Which, if you accept such a statement, would make General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, formerly in charge of the Pisagua concentration camp for leftist political activists, a particularly egregious traitor.

Even if you are familiar with what happened, this is a book you ought to read.

As Guardiola-Rivera is at pains to point out, Chile’s problems started much earlier.

As well as taking a long view of South American politics, the book takes us back to Allende’s teenage years, when he would visit a radicalised cobbler after finishing his studies for the day.

(An unfamiliarity with the nuances of English and possibly a weak editorial hand mean this first chapter is unfortunately called “Outlaws and Political Cobblers“.) The proximate causes of the end of democracy in Chile were the decisions made by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger: to assassinate Schneider, to mobilise the vested interests who stood to lose most from nationalisation and to make the country ungovernable.

The whole story is heartbreaking but necessary to read, especially if you are involved in any movement for popular justice and underestimate the power, paranoia and ruthlessness of the vested interests of capital.

(I confess, though, to some surprise that the election result that first brought Allende to power was allowed by these interests at all. You would think that they would have rigged another outcome.)

It is rare for history to appear in such black-and-white terms: Allende was honourable to the end, as his broadcasts urging non-violence from his supporters from the besieged presidential palace attest; whereas the tally of assassinations, kidnappings, and tortures comes from one side only and is disgustingly large.

So where injustice remains, the struggle continues: here is one of its handbooks.

• To order Story of a Death Foretold for £10.39 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846 or go to guardianbookshop.co.uk.

Voices of the time: In very short stories by Eduardo Galeano

1) It is in a course of intensive care, at a Buenos Aires hospital, that Ruben Omar Sosa studied the case of the patient Maximiliana. This case would be the most important lesson that Ruben learned in his medical career.

Every day, and at every encounter with Ruben, Maximiliana would ask him to take her pulse.  Ruben would hold Maximiliana wrist for a couple of seconds, just faking of taking her pulse, and say: “Your pulse is 78. Excellent”   Maximiliana would instantly forget that Ruben has taken her pulse and repeat the demand, and Ruben would oblige.  Ruben got convinced that Maximiliana is a mental case.

It was years later that it dawned on Ruben that Maximiliana wanted someone to touch her.

2) Trees of golden fruits.  Black hands collect the white grains in large green leaves.  The grains are spread in the sun to ferment and acquire the color of copper.

The cocoa grains are dispatched to European and US factories for treatment.  Cadbury, Mars, Nestle, Hershey…sell the chocolate bars to supermarkets around the world.  For every dollar of chocolate sold, less than 4 cents are paid to African villages that little hands gathered the cocoa, grain by grain.

I was covering Ghana as correspondent to a European daily and I visited one of the cocoa plantations.  I was eating a chocolate bar and the kids were curious how it tasted.

They loved chocolate: It never crossed their mind that they were in the chocolate business.  They have never tasted chocolate.

3) Muhammad Ashraf never set foot in school. Up before dawn, he has been working since the age of 6.  Muhammad is 11 year-old, cutting, perforating, patching, and sewing soccer balls.

Soccer balls are produced in the Pakistani village of Umarkot and seen in every soccer field around the world.  Muhammad also has to glue a sticker that read “This soccer ball was not made by kids

4) It is 1984 in the prison of Lurigancho at Lima (Chili).  Luis Nino is inspecting the prison for the count of a human rights organization.  Luis is crossing sick prisoners, vomiting blood, agonizing, open wounds, with fever…Luis meets the chief medical staff and ask why the physicians are not making any routine health rounds…

The physician replies: “We, physicians, intervene at the calls of nurses…”  And where are the nurses? The chief retorts: “The budget for the prison didn’t allocate funds for nurses…”

5) It is 1964.  US capitalism propaganda are frightening the citizens of Chili of the Communist hydra, its seven mouths ready to devour them.  Salvador Allende lost the election that year and explained: “In the poor quarter of Providencia, a maid hid a suitcase of her cloths and utensils in the garden of her employer. She had never owned any land or houses, and her comprehension of private properties was very limited”

6) A few months after 9/11 attack on twin Towers, Ariel Sharon PM of Israel entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Jennine in the West Bank (under Israel occupation forces) that crowded ten of thousands of civilians. Israel pounded the cordoned-off camp with canons, and tanks overran live bodies.

This genocide opened a crater in the camp deeper and larger than Twin Towers, and killed many folds the number of victims in Twin Towers.  The Towers went down within an hour, the civilians in the camp had to suffer genocide for an entire week. Where was this global information network?

Can anyone claim he witnessed or saw what happened in Jenine?

(This same Sharon who committed the genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut (1982).  Instead of facing international court for crimes against humanity, Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel, to repeat his series of genocides he committed in his life.  When Sharon went into coma in 2005, and still is, hideous voices proclaimed “Here goes the last Prophet of Israel”)

Note: Eduardo Galeano is an author and poet from Urugway

Virgin wilderness, Pablo Neruda, blood, wind, libertad, Americana; (July 23, 2009)

Two huasos (Argentine cow-boys gauchos), ride with fury; they rear up in front of the garden.  With one hand, one of the uncles carries little Pablo Neruda behind him on the rump of the horse (ride pillion); the other uncle is carrying a tied up sheep.  They gallop full wind to the sun set, to the shadow of a large tree with a crackling bonfire.  The muchachos fire their guns in the air; an uncle slid the sheep’s throat; the creamy blood is collected; Pablo drinks a cup full.  Songs on love, corazon, and guitar strumming fill the air.

I saw shadows, faces sprouting

Like plants around our roots, parents

Singing romance in the shadow of a tree

Running among the wet horses.

Women hidden in the shadow

Of masculine towers,

Galops whipping the light,

Rare nights of anger, dogs barking.

Chili is a continent in longitude, spanning a length as vast as from Norway to Senegal in Africa. Chili extends from the tropics all the way down to Antarctica and squeezed naturally between the Andes mountain chains to the Pacific. All kinds of climates can be experienced when riding the rail from north to south.  Chili was never subjugated by any king or a colonial power.

Whitman, Thoreau, and Melville chanted the wilderness of North America: the background of these chants was a world already made, in a state of exploitation for profit.

Neruda is chanting a wilderness with peasants and workers toiling on a savage world to be made. White, black, and Indian, in utter poverty, have no time to compare the color of their skins; they want to get out of the same life of misery. The South Americans chant liberty and freedom in every moment and at every occasion. Neruda is the son of “a silent, mother of clay“:

What I saw first were the trees,

Ravines adorned in flowers, wild beauty,

Humid territory, forest ablaze,

And winter behind the world, overflowed.

My childhood, those wet shoes,

Tree trunks broken,

Fallen in the jungle, devoured by lichen.

Pablo was born in 1904 as Ricardo Neftali Reyes Morales; he used his pen name (pseudo name) Pablo Neruda because of the Check poet Jan Neruda. His mother died of tuberculosis shortly after he was given birth.  Pablo’s dad Jose remarried Rosa Opazo who took care of Pablo as his real mother.  Jose Reyes constructed railways:

My dad sneaks out in the obscure dawn.

Toward what lost archipelagos these trains are howling?

Later, I liked the smell of coal in the fume;

The burned oil, and the precise frozen axes.

Suddenly, the doors rattled. It is my dad.

The centurions of the railway surround him:

Their wet coats inundate the house with steam.

Reports invade the dining room; wine bottles are emptied.

I capture the suffering, the crying, the dark scars, men with no money,

The mineral claws of poverty.

This part is a short biography for anyone interested.

Pablo moved to Santiago in 1921 and studied French literature. Since 1927 he was successively appointed consul in Rangoon, in Sirilanka, then Batavia (Java) where he married the first time with Marie-Antoinette Vogelzanz (Maruca; a Dutch).  Pablo was then consul in Singapore, Barcelona in 1934. His daughter Malva Marina was born in Madrid. Pablo is consul in Madrid in 1935. The Spanish civil started and Garcia Lorca is assassinated. Neruda writes his first political poem “Chant to mothers of assassinated militiamen” and was relieved of his official functions.

In 1937, Neruda founded in Paris the Hispanic American Group to aiding the Spanish republicans. By 1938, Neruda’s father died and he started “Chant to Chili”. Neruda is dispatched to Paris in 1939 to facilitate the transfer of 2,000 Spanish refugees to Chili.  Neruda is again appointed consul in Mexico.

In 1945 Neruda is elected Senator to the mining northern region and he adhered to the Communist Party. President Videla persecuted Neruda who had to flee into exile in 1949 through the Andes mountains.   Neruda travels to the Soviet Union, Poland, and Mexico. He  receive the medal of Peace.  Neruda is back to Santiago in 1952 and built his house “The Chascona“. Neruda marries a third time with Matilde Urrutia and they went in a long trip to Europe. In 1960 Neruda is in Cuba after the success of the revolution of Fidel Castro and writes “Songs of gesture”.

In 1966 Neruda is invited in the USA for a series of reading; the Cuban poets and writers sign a letter proclaiming that Neruda has sided with the imperialist enemies. Neruda is candidate to be President in 1969 but withdrew in favor of Salvador Allende; he is appointed Ambassador in Paris and receive the Nobel Prize of literature in 1972.

A military putsch kills Allende in September 1973; Neruda dies three days later at the age of 69, most probably assassinated .


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2020
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