10/17/ Chile's 911: From Pinochet to Pintera US Rescue Effort in its 'Southern Backyard'

10/13/10 digest note:
A couple of days into increasingly grotesque wall-to-wall rescue world coverage, it was clear something beyond an amazing humanitarian rescue was at stake. Emotionally, at least, was grossly exploitative of the miners and their families who eventually complained of being overwhelmed by media, political pundits and psychological experts 'training' them how to survive, how to talk to the media and turn their criminal nightmare into commercial deals.
It was also strange the U.S. stayed in the background, for once not playing #1 world humanitarian' rescuer. The media circus, as well as the rescue, a brilliantly choreographed, welcome good-news human -interest story, was even managed to appear non-political. Until it was over. Oct. 13 the eve. news finale jolted us awake: a WP 'reporter', claimed to be the only journalist - out of nearly 2000 from Chile and the rest of the world - to stay overnight with the miners in the hospital. Mouthing the by-now familiar singsong litany about hope and heroism, he ended a weirdly robotic report with the non-sequitur declaration to the effect that 'the dark days of Pinochet were finally buried in that sealed mine'.... shifting gears that put the show in its geopolitical context... reminding us of another made-in-usa 911. Since the 'miracle', US media mentions some previously suppressed news that hints at what was going on... for ex. how Pinera, the US' new Pincohet, was here with north american 'mentors' while 'his' rescue was going on:

While his rescue team was working to reach the miners, Pinera met in the United States with Microsoft's Bill Gates and Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Flawless rescue raises Chile's stature as developed country
While his rescue team was working to reach the miners, Pinera met in the United States with Microsoft's Bill Gates and Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oct.16 Pinera began a weeklong European tour with plans to meet Monday with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth, as well as the leaders of France and Germany. Chile's celebrated rescue of 33 miners has bolstered the fortunes of new President Sebastian Pinera as well as the country's image as the most stable and efficient economy in Latin America, potentially attracting more foreign investment and tourism.
Pinera emerged as more than just a president who oversaw a flawless rescue watched by millions worldwide. He has become a potentially transformational figure who could change the political landscape of Chile and bring the South American nation closer to the developed status it deeply covets.
Pinera was not shy about laying out this vision moments after the first miner was pulled out. "Chile is not the same country today as it was 69 days ago," he said Wednesday. The nation is "more united and strong than ever, and I believe that today Chile is a country more respected and valued in the entire world."
Pinera made good on a central campaign promise: to govern with the obsessive efficiency of a business. More important, he showed the model can work.Indeed, Pinera was sounding very much like his populist South American neighbors in rousing speeches as the miners were being pulled out, promising his government would bring about a "radical change" in how Chile enforces workplace-safety regulations. "Business executives must take better care of their employees because the principal wealth of our country isn't copper, it's the miners. It isn't natural resources, it's the Chileans," he said."We are going to adopt completely the standards of developed countries. If Chile wants to be a developed country, it's not just to be able to sit down at the same table with European countries. It's also to treat our workers as if we were a developed country."

ABC lies by omission continue: TV news 10/17 briefly mentioned other miners and families held a protest against the San Jose Mining Co. demanding 'rescue' for 300 miners still trapped by unemployment and no benefits since mine closed, and big changes be made by govt and the industry.
Some (emphasis added) of the 33 Chilean miners attend a mass at the San Jose mine.

...The lone foreigner among them, Carlos Mamani of Bolivia, was visited at a nearby clinic by Pinera and Bolivian President Evo Morales
They're all out: 33 miners raised safely in Chile
...The lone foreigner among them, Carlos Mamani of Bolivia, was visited at a nearby clinic by Pinera and Bolivian President Evo Morales
Mining is Chile's lifeblood, providing 40 percent of state earnings, and Pinera put his mining minister and the operations chief of state-owned Codelco, the country's biggest company, in charge of the rescue.U.S. President Barack Obama said the rescue had "inspired the world." The crews included many Americans, including a driller operator from Denver and a team from Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, Pa., that built and managed the piston-driven hammers that pounded the hole through rock laced with quartzite, some of the hardest and most abrasive rock.

Chilean President Sebastion Pinera, whose popularity has soared since the mine collapse, is avowedly anti-union. His political roots are linked to the Pinochet dictatorship which in 1973 overthrew Chile’s democratically-elected president, Salvador Allende. ...


10-17 Seattle Times hardcopy 'the newspaper's view': "Deliverance in Copiapo" has completely disappeared, as if it never existed. Maybe it hit too close to home:
"The San Jose Mine in Copiapo produces copper and gold. China and Chile, the world's biggest consumer of copper and biggest producer, respectively, signed a broad trade pact in 2006.
The rescue effort was an extraordinary melding of talent and technology. A Chinese heavy-equipment company provided the massive construction crane for the operation..."

China, Chile Pledge to Further Bilateral Ties
5/31/05 http://www.china.org.cn/english/international/130527.htm
Vice President Zeng Qinghong told visiting Chilean Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker the Chinese government is ready to further strengthen Sino-Chilean ties. Zeng spoke highly of the development of Sino-Chilean relations. He noted that among South American nations, Chile is the first to forge diplomatic ties with China, the first to render support to China's resumption of its lawful seat in the United Nations, the first to recognize China's full market economy status and the first to start free trade negotiations with China. Chile is also the first Latin American nation to sign bilateral agreement with China on its admission into the World Trade Organization, he added. The five "firsts" demonstrated the continuous growth of Sino-Chilean relations, he said...the two countries kept frequent high-level visits in recent years, the bilateral trade progressed rapidly. Besides, China and Chile cooperate closely with the other in international affairs.

China's Four-point Plan on Economic Cooperation with Chile
9/7/06 http://www.china.org.cn/english/2006/Sep/180399.htm

Trapped 68 Days, First Chilean Miners Taste Freedom
The decision by Mr. Piñera, Chile’s first right-wing leader in 20 years, to make such an unbridled push to rescue the miners was an extraordinary political calculation. But it has paid big dividends, bolstering his popularity at home and propelling him onto an international stage often dominated by other large personalities in the region.
President Sebastián Piñera has staked his presidency on rescuing the miners...The race to save the miners has thrust Chile into a spotlight it has often sought but rarely experienced. While lauded for its economic management and austerity, the nation found the world’s attention trained more on its human rights violations and natural disasters than on uplifting moments....
Alejandro Pino, regional manager of an insurance company for work-related accidents, has given the miners media training on how to speak and express themselves, even sending a rolled-up copy of his guidebook through the borehole.

u.s. media reports deleted this
Evo Morales meets with rescued Bolivian miner
Copiapo, Chile - Bolivian President Evo Morales met Wednesday with compatriot Carlos Mamani, 23, the only non-Chilean trapped underground since August 5, at the mine from which the worker had been rescued hours earlier. This is a historic event. We Bolivian authorities are grateful for the effort that Chileans made,' Morales said. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Health Minister Jaime Manalich and Mamani's family were present at the meeting.Morales offered Mamani a job and a home in Bolivia in case he wants to return to his native country, and said he was willing to take the miner home immediately if he wished to go. Mamani made it clear he wants to stay in Chile, at least for a few days. He plans to meet up with the other 32 miners on the surface, once the ordeal is over for all of them.

economic promise but fascist political problems remain
Tycoon Pinera promises rapid growth for Chile
By Gideon Long, 8 January 2010, BBC News, Santiago
Having won Chile's presidential election by a narrow margin, billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera must now chart the country's future for the next four years... Just this month, Chile became the first country in South America to join the OECD, the club of the world's wealthiest, most developed states.
Mr Pinera also has the benefit of cash in the bank. Between 2005 and 2008, when money was pouring into the country from the sale of its chief commodity, copper, Chile racked up combined fiscal surpluses of $42bn (£26bn) - equivalent to a remarkable 26% of GDP. Mrs Bachelet spent some of that money to offset the impact of the global economic crisis but there is plenty left over, and with the all important copper price creeping back up towards historic highs thanks to incessant demand from Asia, the prospects for the Chilean economy are bright. [Analysis: Copper's Surge, 10-14-10, outpaced gold, 2 yr. high after report of industry's gains in China]. Mr Pinera has vowed to deliver an annual growth rate of 6% over the next four years and one million new jobs - bold promises in a country with a work force of less than nine million. Chile economy relies heavily on the export of copper Whether he is able to keep those promises will depend largely on the price of copper, which accounts for more than half of Chile's export revenue.
The most immediate challenge Mr Pinera faces is what to do with his personal wealth, estimated at around $1.2bn. Most of that money is held in shares in national airline LAN, and Mr Pinera has vowed to sell them before he takes office in order to avoid a conflict of interest. If he handles that process with anything less than full transparency the centre-left opposition will pounce on it as proof of what they have alleged all along - that Mr Pinera is a voracious businessman who is not to be trusted with the public purse. Aside from his LAN shares, Mr Pinera also owns important stakes in a Chilean TV channel and the country's most successful football club, prompting many to compare him to Italy's Silvio Berlusconi....
The very fact that Chileans were prepared to elect Mr Pinera suggests the Chilean right is finally emerging from the long shadow cast by the Pinochet era, when more than 3,000 people were killed in political violence and 28,000 were tortured...But as memories of those dark days fade and a new generation of Chileans emerges, the electorate is gradually overcoming its fear of the political right. ...Mr Pinera was studying in Harvard at the time of Gen Pinochet's coup in 1973, but came back to Chile three years later, making his fortune by pioneering the sale of credit cards. He opposed the Pinochet regime [SIC], but his brother was a minister in it and, in the election of 1989, Mr Pinera campaigned for Pinochet's candidate.That has led some to question his commitment to democracy... On foreign policy, Mr Pinera faces a lonely four years in office. Much of Latin America has swung to the left in the past decade and he will find few natural allies in the region. Relations with Chile's northern neighbours Peru and Bolivia - already dismal - are unlikely to improve.

Chile’s Ghosts Are Not Being Rescued
by John Pilger / October 15th, 2010
The rescue of 33 miners in Chile is an extraordinary drama filled with pathos and heroism. It is also a media windfall for the Chilean government, whose every beneficence is recorded by a forest of cameras. One cannot fail to be impressed. However, like all great media events, it is a façade.
The accident that trapped the miners is not unusual in Chile and the inevitable consequence of a ruthless economic system that has barely changed since the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Copper is Chile’s gold, and the frequency of mining disasters keeps pace with prices and profits. There are, on average, 39 fatal accidents every year in Chile’s privatised mines. The San Jose mine, where the men work, became so unsafe in 2007 it had to be closed – but not for long. On 30 July last, a labour department report warned again of “serious safety deficiencies ”, but the minister took no action. Six days later, the men were entombed.
For all the media circus at the rescue site, contemporary Chile is a country of the unspoken. At the Villa Grimaldi, in the suburbs of the capital Santiago, a sign says: “The forgotten past is full of memory.” This was the torture centre where hundreds of people were murdered and disappeared for opposing the fascism that General Augusto Pinochet and his business allies brought to Chile.... In 1990, Pinochet bequeathed a constitutionally compromised system as a condition of his retirement and the military’s withdrawal to the political shadows. This ensures that the broadly reformist parties, known as Concertacion, are permanently divided or drawn into legitimising the economic designs of the heirs of the dictator. At the last election, the right-wing Coalition for Change, the creation of Pinochet’s ideologue Jaime Guzman, took power under president Sebastian Piñera. The bloody extinction of true democracy that began with the death of Allende was, by stealth, complete.
Piñera is a billionaire who controls a slice of the mining, energy and retail industries. He made his fortune in the aftermath of Pinochet’s coup and during the free-market “experiments” of the zealots from the University of Chicago, known as the Chicago Boys. His brother and former business partner, Jose Piñera, a labour minister under Pinochet, privatised mining and state pensions and all but destroyed the trade unions. This was applauded in Washington as an “economic miracle”, a model of the new cult of neo-liberalism that would sweep the continent and ensure control from the north.
Today Chile is critical to [ED: critical to the U.S. imperialist global agenda Obama serves well] President Barack Obama’s rollback of the independent democracies in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. Piñera’s closest ally is Washington’s main man, Juan Manuel Santos, the new president of Colombia, home to seven US bases and an infamous human rights record familiar to Chileans who suffered under Pinochet’s terror.
Post-Pinochet Chile has kept its enduring abuses in shadow. The families still attempting to recover from the torture or disappearance of a loved bear the prejudice of the state and employers. Those not silent are the Mapuche people, the only indigenous nation the Spanish conquistadors could not defeat. In the late 19th century, the European settlers of an independent Chile waged their racist War of Extermination against the Mapuche who were left as impoverished outsiders. During Allende’s thousand days in power this began to change. Some Mapuche lands were returned and a debt of justice was recognised. Since then, a vicious, largely unreported war has been waged against the Mapuche. Forestry corporations have been allowed to take their land, and their resistance has been met with murders, disappearances and arbitrary prosecutions under “anti terrorism” laws enacted by the dictatorship. In their campaigns of civil disobedience, none of the Mapuche has harmed anyone. The mere accusation of a landowner or businessman that the Mapuche “might” trespass on their own ancestral lands is often enough for the police to charge them with offences that lead to Kafkaesque trials with faceless witnesses and prison sentences of up to 20 years. They are, in effect, political prisoners.
While the world rejoices at the spectacle of the miners’ rescue, 38 Mapuche hunger strikers have not been news. They are demanding an end to the Pinochet laws used against them, such as “terrorist arson”, and the justice of a real democracy. On 9 October, all but one of the hunger strikers ended their protest after 90 days without food. A young Mapuche, Luis Marileo, says he will go on. On 18 October, President Piñera is due to give a lecture on “current events” at the London School of Economics. He should be reminded of their ordeal and why.

Sebastian Pinera sees Chile plans jolted by earthquake
Sebastian Pinera will face one of the most daunting challenges ever confronted by a Chilean president when he takes office on Thursday, less than two weeks after the country was hit by a massive earthquake. He has already acknowledged that his pre-election plans have largely gone up in smoke, and he will have to reassess everything in the light of the catastrophe.
Despite the enormity of the challenge, the earthquake and its aftermath could well play into Mr Pinera's hands... Raul Sohr, a Chilean political analyst said "Suddenly people want someone in charge with a firm hand and that's what Pinera is offering." Mr Sohr also said that to some extent, the quake "lets Pinera off the hook". "If he meets his targets he can take the credit for it and if he doesn't he can always blame it on the impact of the earthquake."

Pinera applies US model of govt./NGO " aid"
Chileans bitter about quake response
For days, we have seen trucks loaded with drinking water, basic food and mattresses on their way to the city, yet there was scant evidence of any major aid distribution on the ground. Some four-and-a-half days after one of the largest earthquakes in recent history struck the province of Concepcion, and several nearby fishing villages were swept away by the subsequent tsunami, aid is beginning to reach the affected region. Guarded at every entrance by armed soldiers, the car park of a shopping mall in Concepcion is the main distribution point for the regional aid effort..."The next stage will be getting these items to the people..."... the people living in the most precarious conditions in Concepcion - those who are camping in the streets in tents for fear of re-entering their quake-damaged houses - feel abandoned by the authorities in the wake of the disaster....Col Ramirez, has no time for the suggestion that the reaction has been too slow...."This is exemplary, a model of the kind of co-operation between the military and civil society we must repeat everywhere to overcome this catastrophe." ....

Venezuela breaks ties with U.S.-allied Colombia
07/23/2010 http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organization+of+American+States
Venezuelan President Chavez has broken diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia, accusing its close U.S. ally of fabricating reports that Colombian rebels find safe haven inside Venezuela.

Venezuela flip-flopping
Hemispheric Brief: A Pan-Latin America Politics and Policy Brief
The Commander of U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, presented his first annual “Posture Statement” to the House Armed Services Committee yesterday, a week doing the same in the Senate. This document (PDF), presented to the oversight committees every year, explains how the regional unified command views threats in the region, and how it plans to address them. This was the first such testimony for Gen. Fraser, who assumed command in July. (Video of his House testimony is here, and video of his Senate testimony is here.)
The two testimonies were most notable for a flip-flop on Venezuela — only mentioned in 2 paragraphs in Gen. Fraser’s entire 42-page testimony — during the hearings’ question-and-answer phases. Asked about Venezuelan support for Colombia’s FARC and Spain’s ETA in the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 11, the general responded that there was no solid evidence indicating that Caracas is, as a matter of official policy, supporting the two groups, both on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations...
Yesterday, however, [a]ccording to Reuters, “Fraser said Venezuela continues to provide the FARC a safe haven and ‘financial logistical support’ based on information found on a laptop computer of a FARC commander seized by Colombian soldiers during a raid on a guerrilla camp in Ecuador in 2008.” A week earlier, the general had dismissed the laptop files as “old evidence.”
Fraser’s words matter because of the seriousness of the allegation. If the U.S. government signals that it believes it is Venezuelan government policy is to fund a group that kills large numbers of people in neighboring Colombia, then the U.S. government is effectively signaling that Colombia has a casus belli. That is why both U.S. and Colombian officials have generally avoided stating publicly that Hugo Chávez is backing the FARC. (It is undeniable that Venezuela has not been at all aggressive in clearing the FARC out of its border zones, but the same can be said about Colombian narcotraffickers and “new” paramilitary groups that also operate across the border.)
In addition to a lengthy section about Haiti relief efforts, Gen. Fraser’s written testimony puts a strong emphasis on “trafficking” as a principal threat to U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere. He uses the term to describe more than just narcotics, encompassing organized crime and gangs as corollary challenges to be confronted.
More than his predecessors, the general directly links organized-crime activity with a potential terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland: “the same routes and networks by which illicit traffickers smuggle 1,250-1,500 metric tons of cocaine per year around the region could be used wittingly or unwittingly to smuggle weapons, cash, fissile material or terrorists.” (also notable because it clashes strongly with State Department estimates, presented March 1 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, that the entire region produced only 705 tons of cocaine in 2008.)


Rescue May Redeem a Troubled Past for Chilean City
COPIAPÓ, Chile — Though the vuvuzelas have quieted down, this desert city is still basking in the daring rescue of the 33 men trapped deep in a copper and gold mine nearby for more than two months. And for some, the triumph was a striking contrast to another set of events here in Copiapó — also involving its miners — from a much darker time in Chile’s history.The year was 1973, in the weeks after the coup by Gen. Augusto Pinochet that ended the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. In the predawn hours of Oct. 17, 1973 — 37 years before the mine rescue, almost to the day — military personnel murdered 16 men near here, including some who worked for Chile’s state mining company.A squad operating under Brig. Gen. Sergio Arellano Stark executed the men using weapons that included military knives called corvos. Altogether, the unit, which came to be called the Caravan of Death, killed more than 70 Chileans suspected of leftist activities that month...For the relatives of those killed by the Caravan of Death, which flew from city to city on Puma helicopters to carry out the killings using powers that General Pinochet given it under martial law, the rescue of the miners this week shows how much Chile has evolved since General Pinochet’s rule ended in 1990...
But the emotional reactions to the rescue still mingled with memories of the massacre, and Chile’s political shifts over the years served as a backdrop.President Sebastián Piñera, a conservative billionaire, is the first right-wing leader the country has had in the 20 years since General Pinochet left power, and the nation’s past complicates the way he is viewed here. “March 11, 2010, the right wing is back at the scene of the crime,” reads a line of graffiti on one of Copiapó’s walls, referring to Mr. Piñera’s inauguration date — presumably spray-painted before his popularity was bolstered by the rescue. Despite the broad admiration here for the handling of the rescue by Mr. Piñera’s government, some here noted that those responsible for the killings in 1973 had not answered for their crime...Relatives of the victims have planned a procession to take place in Copiapó this weekend, making its way from the city’s cathedral to the cemetery. “It is our historical duty to keep this memory alive and to dishonor the officers responsible for these crimes.”

December 19, 2006 http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/061219_born_in_usa.php
[following examples of UK media complicity by silence]... A theme is emerging, is it not?
Jonathan Kandell in the New York Times trotted safely with the media herd in his 2,600-word piece: “General Pinochet initially led a four-man junta in the 1973 military coup that brought him to power, with the support of the United States government...” (Kandell, ‘Augusto Pinochet - Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91,’ New York Times, December 11, 2006) “... the coup was launched on September 1, 1973, with the support of the US which had played an active role in supporting the anti-Allende opposition”. (‘General Augusto Pinochet, November 25, 1915 - December 10, 2006,’ The Times, December 11, 2006)
The theme, then? US “backed”, “supported”, “fomented” and “assisted” the coup, and cut off aid. But the active, central role played by the United States is simply not described....
The vast political sabotage of Chilean democracy and the fierce US determination to destroy Allende’s regime militarily were buried out of sight ...as was the general trend in Latin America (and the Third World more generally) of which these horrors form one tiny part. A media database search showed that the words ‘Pinochet’ and ‘CIA’ have been mentioned in only seven articles in the UK national press since Pinochet’s death.

Not Acceptable To The United States
...The rationale for overthrowing Allende was outlined in a CIA report dated November 12, 1970: "Dr. Salvador Allende became the first democratically-elected Marxist head of state in the history of Latin America - despite the opposition of the U.S. Government. As a result, U.S. prestige and interests are being affected materially at a time when the U.S. can ill afford problems in an area that has been traditionally accepted as the U.S. 'backyard'." (Quoted, Kornbluh, op. cit)
The US was concerned, Kissinger’s aides recall, because “Allende was a living example of democratic social reform in Latin America.” (Quoted, Curtis, p.130) Kissinger stated that the “contagious example” of Chile would “infect” not only Latin America but also Southern Europe. (Ibid)...
October 16, a secret cable from CIA headquarters to the CIA station chief in Santiago, read: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup... prior to October 24. But efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [U.S. government] and American hand be well hidden." (Quoted, Kornbluh, op. cit)...
Only 19 days after Allende‘s death, a secret briefing paper prepared for Kissinger - entitled "Chilean Executions" - put the "total dead" from the coup at 1,500. The paper reported that the junta had summarily executed 320 individuals - three times more than publicly acknowledged. After three months, 11,000 people had been killed. Between 1994-1997 a further 2,400 people disappeared. According to the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR): “... the single-minded ferocity of the coup and the subsequent deliberate use of torture, ‘disappearances’ and murder had at that time no parallel in the history of Chile or Latin America, a continent with a long experience of dictatorship and military brutality”. (Quoted, Curtis, op. cit, p.130) CIIR described how the Pinochet regime instigated a “policy of permanent terror.” (Ibid, p.131)
When Kissinger was told of initial reports of massacres following the coup he responded: "I think we should understand our policy - that however unpleasant they act, the [military] government is better for us than Allende was." (Kornbluh, ‘The Pinochet File,’ www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ NSAEBB/NSAEBB110/index.htm)
Peter Kornbluh is director of the National Security Archive's Chile Documentation Project at George Washington University. In an October 1998 article, Kornbluh described how the CIA “laid the ground work for the coup d'etat” in Chile. (Kornbluh, ‘The Chile Coup - The U.S. Hand,’ iF magazine, October 25, 1998; www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Terrorism/Chile%20Coup_USHand.html) [...]

The Other 9/11: The United States and Chile, 1973
Kenneth Maxwell, Director of Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nov-Dec. 2003
...Kornbluh, who has put together several collections of declassified documents on key U.S. foreign policy crises, led the campaign to declassify more than 25,000 closely held records on U.S.-Chilean relations through the National Security Archives, a nonprofit nongovernmental organization that he helped establish with the support of several U.S. foundations. This effort, he says, is part of an ongoing international campaign "to hold Pinochet and his military responsible for the murder, torture and terrorism committed during his regime."..
Kornbluh's bill of particulars and the supporting documents he has uncovered confirm the deep involvement of the U.S. intelligence services in Chile prior to and after the coup. In outline, this story has been known for many years and will be no surprise to Chileans. ...documents include: transcripts of top-secret discussions among President Nixon, Kissinger, and other cabinet members on how "to bring Allende down"; minutes of secret meetings chaired by Kissinger to plan covert operations in Chile; new documentation of the notorious case of Charles Horman, an American murdered by the Chilean military and subject of the movie Missing; comprehensive documentation of the Letelier case and the extensive CIA, National Security Council, and State Department reports surrounding it; and U.S. intelligence reporting on Operation Condor....
Kissinger's response to Kornbluh's charges will undoubtedly be twofold. On the general level, he will argue that Chile and its problems were marginal to the larger concerns the Nixon administration was facing in the Middle East and South Vietnam, not to mention Watergate: Nixon and his would-be Metternich were fully engaged elsewhere with "big" events....
On Kornbluh's side, what is lacking in the forensic approach (and it is a weakness of much writing on U.S. diplomatic history) is location in time and space. We see only the U.S. side of a story that is at least two-sided, if not multifaceted. Very little of the complex political and social history of Chile in the 1970s enters here; nor do we see the roles of many other actors beyond the Chilean military, U.S. clandestine operatives, and their political masters. Chilean society was at the time highly mobilized on the left as well as the right. All the Chilean political parties -- from Communist to Christian Democrat -- received and welcomed outside support, much of it clandestine.The Soviets and the Cubans had their own involvements, and the international left held Chile as a potential model. So it was not only Nixon and Kissinger who looked into the Chilean mirror and saw what they wanted to see; others did too, and from different angles.If anything, both sides were guilty of knee-jerk reactions prompted by Cold War phobias.
U.S. methodology in Chile was not that different from the tactics used to remove regimes from Guatemala City to Tehran deemed dangerous to the geopolitical status quo. Kissinger defenders may be right in asserting that this was not high on his agenda. But the outcome might have been better if he had paid greater attention to the details instead of leaving them to "old hands." In the end, what have persisted through the decades to haunt him are the "marginal" cases: Timor, Angola, and Chile; the old triumphs against the Soviet Union are barely remembered by a generation for whom the days of Cold War threats are long gone.But what is very clear in all of this is that the coup in Chile is exactly what Kissinger's boss wanted. As Nixon put it in his ineffable style, "It's that son of a bitch Allende. We're going to smash him." As early as October of 1970, the CIA had warned of possible consequences: "you have asked us to provoke chaos in Chile. ... We provide you with a formula for chaos which is unlikely to be bloodless. To dissimulate the U.S. involvement will be clearly impossible." ...

Kissinger's 1976 Cable Sheds More Light on 'Operation Condor'
Letelier was among the most effective opponents of Pinochet, who seized power in Chile during a bloody military coup on Sept. 11, 1973. A former economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, Letelier served as socialist president Salvador Allende's first ambassador to Washington, D.C.; he had also held the post of foreign minister, and at the time of the coup, was minister of defense -- Pinochet's boss. Living in exile in Washington, Letelier led an international campaign to ostracize the Pinochet regime...

UN Says Latin American Democracy Still Vulnerable
(AP) MEXICO CITY (AP) - Democracy has taken root in Latin America, but remains fragile three decades since coup-imposed military regimes were replaced by freely elected governments, a U.N. report warned Tuesday. It says drug violence, weak states with corrupt police and inefficient courts, and wealth concentrated in few hands threaten representative government across the region. The new assessment of Latin America's democratic gains and weaknesses comes amid dramatic political events in the region....
"There is a problem in the quality of our democracies," said U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Heraldo Munoz, director of the United Nations Development Program's regional bureau for Latin America, who helped oversee the report. "We need to strengthen institutions and the rule of law" so even those in power are held to account, he said. "We need to stimulate a culture of democracy that goes beyond free elections."...despite free elections and widespread limits on presidential re-election, most countries still have strong presidents and lack the independent courts and legislatures necessary to check executive power. In Venezuela, democratically elected President Hugo Chavez has effectively stacked the courts and congress in his favor, and changed the constitution to be re-elected in perpetuity...
The [ED: US led UN Development Program]UNDP and the Organization of American States worked together on "Our Democracy: Second Report on Democracy in Latin America," to be discussed in Mexico City at an international forum attended by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and U.N. and OAS officials. The report builds on a similar one conducted in 2004, and consulted hundreds of leading figures during debates and meetings around the region....
Above all, the report says, the organization of power in Latin American countries must change.It calls for an end to the region's tendency toward strong presidents, which lessen the power of their government's judiciaries and legislatures, and improved participation by, and increased power for, citizens."Governments shouldn't only be formed democratically, but govern democratically as well,"

US/UN timely meeting
Latin American Democracy Forum Highlights Economic, Social and Tax Challenges in Advancing Democracy in the Region
October 13, 2010 http://www.oas.org/OASpage/press_releases/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-38...
Promoting Democracy Defending Human Rights Ensuring a Multidimensional Approach to Security
The Latin American Democracy Forum being held October 12 to 14 in the Mexican capital opened today with a debate on the state of democracy in the region in the 21st century
The Latin American Democracy Forum is the outcome of a joint initiative of the OAS, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico that seeks to provide a space for dialogue and exchange of ideas on political electoral and academic subjects that concern Latin America.
http://www.isria.com/pages/13_October_2010_78.php original source:http://www.oas.org/OASpage/press_releases/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-378/10

"Monroe Doctrine" still operative in US global domination agenda: Venezuela, Haiti, Honduras, Chile, now Ecuador
US media silent over CIA/ School of the Americas backed failed coup in Ecuador
Wayne Madsen http://upge.wn.com/?query=u.s.+implicated+in+ecuador+coup+attempt&templa...

Obama Administration and Coups and Coup Attempts in Latin America
Eva Golanger

Latin America Rising
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times Correspondent, http://upge.wn.com/?query=u.s.+implicated+in+ecuador+coup+attempt&templa...
USAID, NED collaborate with Latin Americans to overthrow 'uncooperative' regimes