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Chile’s Boric wasted an opportunity for Palestine at the UN General Assembly

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | September 24, 2022

Chilean President Gabriel Boric may currently be the most outspoken leader in Latin America on Palestinian rights and Israeli violations. However, his rhetoric leaves much to be desired. It, in turn, raises questions about how Chile – the country with the largest Palestinian community in the region – can differentiate itself from other countries to become a model to follow, rather than following international consensus over the two-state compromise and Israel’s security narrative.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Boric spoke about Palestine’s right to freedom and sovereignty while mangling his message by including a false equivalence with Israel that eliminates the colonial context. “[Palestinian people] should yield to their inalienable right to establish their own free and sovereign state. In the same way, [let’s] guarantee Israel’s legitimate right to live within secure and internationally recognised borders,” Boric asserted.

Boric’s speech was pronounced “politically correct”, while noting that Chile’s stance has always advocated for the recognition of Palestinian people’s rights and Israel’s rights while promoting the two-state compromise, like the rest of the international community. In which case, Boric’s activist stances as president are unlikely to leave any impact on Chilean diplomacy. Under Boric, the Chilean government is advocating for the same stance that his predecessor Sebastian Pinera adhered to, which is a bonus for Israel, despite the grievances Israeli media aired upon Boric’s electoral victory.

Days before his UNGA speech, Boric postponed accepting the credentials of the new Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, in response to the Israeli forces’ killing of 17-year-old Palestinian Odai Trad Salah in Kufr Dan near Jenin. However, his stance, which made headline news in major media outlets worldwide, was diminished by the UNGA speech that attempted equivalence between the coloniser and the colonised while simplifying, to the point of obliteration, the reason why Palestinians are deprived of a state, possibly permanently.

Boric is not unaware of the Palestinian plight as a result of Zionist colonisation. Neither is he oblivious to the fact that Palestinians and the indigenous people of Chile – the Mapuche – have suffered similar forms of aggression because of governments criminalising their struggle for land reclamation and political autonomy. Yet, it is possible that, as president, Boric’s activist stances will be mellowed by diplomatic requirements, such as abiding by the two-state compromise, which has failed Palestinians and become defunct in all but international rhetoric.

Prior to the presidency, Boric stood out as one of the most vocal activists in Chile. As president, Boric is navigating a complex reality that includes the legacy of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and ties to Israel during that period, as well as the country’s reliance on securing military and surveillance equipment from Palestine’s oppressors.

To cast Israel and legitimacy together is an aberration, particularly when using such descriptions to balance advocating for Palestinian rights. Boric wasted an opportunity at his first UNGA speech to call out Israel’s colonial violence and how it invalidates legitimacy. It is not up to the international community to guarantee Israel’s existence, but Boric knows that Chile can play a pivotal role in ensuring that the international community gravitates towards the legitimacy of the Palestinian people’s political demands.

September 25, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel finds 4 Pfizer jabs ‘not good enough’ against Omicron

RT | January 18, 2022

A fourth dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine showed dwindling effectiveness against the Omicron variant, according to a trial conducted in Israel, with one of its lead researchers saying the immunization is simply “not good enough.”

A study involving 154 medical staffers at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv found that a fourth shot gave only marginal protection against the Omicron strain compared to previous mutations.

“We see an increase in antibodies, higher than after the third dose. However, we see many infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose,” said Gili Regev-Yochay, one of the head researchers on the trial, adding that while “the vaccine is excellent against the Alpha and Delta [variants],” for Omicron “it’s not good enough.”

Despite the new findings, Israeli health officials already moved ahead with fourth doses for the elderly, the immunocompromised and medical workers beginning earlier this month, with some 500,000 receiving a second booster on top of an initial two-dose regimen as of Sunday.

Though the trial is still in an early phase and the hospital did not offer specific figures, Regev-Yochay said she made its preliminary conclusions public as boosters are a matter of “high public interest,” according to the Times of Israel. She noted that giving fourth doses to high-risk residents is “probably” still the best approach, but suggested the booster campaign should be limited to an even older age group than the current over-60 guideline.

Both the World Health Organization and the EU’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, have cautioned against the over-use of boosters, though for different reasons. The WHO has called for a more even distribution of vaccine doses around the world, observing that some nations are moving ahead with third and fourth shots before many in poorer countries receive their first. The EMA, meanwhile, pointed to potential adverse effects of booster shots last week, warning that repeated vaccinations in a short period of time could result in “problems with immune response.”

One of the most vaccinated countries in the world, Israel was the first to roll out fourth vaccine doses as it saw a significant spike in coronavirus infections linked to the Omicron strain. Deaths and hospitalizations have only seen a slight uptick in recent months, however, in line with findings suggesting the latest ‘variant of concern’ produces milder symptoms than previous mutations. Despite the misgivings of world health bodies, Chile, Denmark and Hungary have since followed suit in administering fourth shots, while officials in Austria have recommended them on an “off-label” basis for healthcare personnel.

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | 1 Comment

Australia Refuses to Reveal Additional Proof of Its Role in Chile’s CIA-Backed Coup

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 16, 2021

The U.S. has declassified thousands of documents relating to its involvement in the ousting of Chile’s socialist President Salvador Allende and the installing of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Australia, on the other hand, continues to guard its classified documents on the pretext of security, drawing a discrepancy between its purported democratic principles and obstructing the public’s right to knowledge. As a country which welcomed Chileans fleeing the horrors of Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, as well as harbouring Chilean agents – the most notable case being that of Adriana Rivas – Australia’s political and moral obligation should not be played down.

This month, the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled that releasing documents relating to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service’s (ASIS) role in Chile would damage Commonwealth relations. “Protecting our ability to keep secrets – and being seen to do that – may require us to continue suppressing documents containing what may appear to be benign or uncontroversial information about events that occurred long ago,” the ruling partly stated.

In September this year, heavily redacted documents were declassified which confirmed ASIS working with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), following petitions signed by a former Australian intelligence officer, Clinton Fernandes, calling upon the government to clarify its role in Cambodia, Indonesia and Chile.

Fernandes had described Australia’s foreign policy complicity with the U.S. as “a profoundly undemocratic, unfriendly act.” Allende, after all, was democratically elected. U.S. interference to bring about the right-wing dictatorship was a strategy to impede other countries from following Chile’s example in democratic revolutionary socialism.

In 1971, ASIS was tasked to open a radio station in Santiago by the CIA through which spy operations were conducted. Australia’s involvement ceased when the newly-elected Labour Prime Minister Gough Whitlam ordered the closing down of operations, fearing that any public disclosure would make things difficult in terms of explaining ASIS’s presence. At the same time, Australia was also concerned that its decision would be interpreted as anti-American.

Australia’s decision is baffling, considering the amount of declassification which the U.S., as the main instigator of violence in Latin America, has undertaken. The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal did not make its proceedings public, thus Fernandes and his lawyer could not counter-argue the decision.

To state that not a sufficient passage of time has passed since Australia’s involvement in the coup stands in contrast with how Chile has proceeded since the democratic transition, where the rewriting of a new constitution spells the possibility of a thorough reckoning with the dictatorship legacy. While the Chilean military still holds on to its files and upholds its secret pact which National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) agents are bound to, thus refusing to collaborate with the courts for justice when it comes to locating the disappeared, for example, the Chilean government has been coerced to respond to the people’s call for change, thus ushering in an era where Pinochet’s legacy can be challenged and toppled.

There exists speculation that the Australian government would request permission from the CIA to reveal its role, based upon an agreement between the CIA and ASIS. In the early 90s, Chileans in Australia requested the expulsion of DINA agents living in Australia but were told that the government did not have permission from the CIA to heed the request.

Almost 50 years have passed since Pinochet took power, so what exactly is Australia afraid of? The petition was not calling for a revelation of names, but rather the actions which would shed light on Australia’s role in Chile at the behest of the CIA. Considering the exiled Chileans living in Australia, refusing declassification is a political infringement on their right to memory.

November 17, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Pinochet’s Caravan of Death and Its Significance for Chilean Memory

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 12, 2021

Chile’s September 11, in 1973, brought a brutal end to Salvador Allende’s socialist rule. In its wake, violence permeated Chilean society, through the U.S.-backed military coup which was to provide gruesome inspiration for the later regional systematic surveillance and elimination of socialists and communists known as Operation Condor, in which several Latin American countries were involved.

The mass arrests of Chileans loyal to Allende and socialist politics became a long purge in the country. The Caravan of Death – one of the earlier dictatorship operations aimed at instilling terror within the country – was carried out in the coup’s aftermath, between September 30 and October 22, 1973, after securing Santiago by means of brutal suppression, torture and killings. Dictator Augusto Pinochet’s purge was aimed at silencing dissent throughout the country, and also to ensure the military’s loyalty towards the dictatorship – any negligence or lenience exhibited by any individual would be punished by methods used against dissenting Chileans. The ultimate aim, according to retired Lieutenant Colonel Marcos Herrera Aracena, was “to bring an end to the remaining legal processes… In other words, finish with them once and for all.”

The Caravan of Death massacres are considered to be among the most brutal not only due to the extermination methods involved – at times the corpses were unrecognizable due to bludgeoning – but also because many Chileans willingly turned themselves in for interrogation.

Army officers travelled in Puma helicopters throughout Chile, inspecting detention centres and giving orders for execution, or carrying out the executions themselves. Testimony from La Serena indicates that 15 prisoners were executed by firing squad and their bodies buried in a mass grave. To prevent any possible dissemination of knowledge, at least in the immediate aftermath, the official version publicized by the dictatorship was that the prisoners had attempted an escape.

While at first the dictatorship seemed adamant on making its brutality known to quash any resistance, the more refined methods of disappearance and secret extermination sites hastened a culture of impunity and oblivion. The Calama massacres – the last stop in the Caravan of Death – was such an example. Relatives of the disappeared sought information about the whereabouts of their loved ones to no avail. It was the female relatives of the disappeared in Calama who took matters into their own hands and started physically searching for the bodies of their loved ones in the Atacama Desert. The dictatorship had forbidden any leaking of information due to the extent of mutilations the victims had been subjected to by the execution squads. As the women’s resilience increased, so did the dictatorship’s efforts to prevent any discovery of the bodies through exhumation and reburial of remains.

The Rettig Commission established that 75 Chileans were killed and their bodies disappeared throughout the operation, headed by Brigadier General Sergio Arellano Stark, and with the participation of agents Manuel Contreras, Marcelo Moren Brito, Sergio Arredondo Gonzalez, Armando Fernandez Larios and Pedro Espinoza Bravo – all of who played prominent roles in the torture and disappearances of dictatorship opponents throughout Pinochet’s rule. Contreras headed the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), Brito oversaw torture at Villa Grimaldi, while Fernandez Larios was involved in the assassination of Chilean economist and diplomat Orlando Letelier in Washington, carried out by double agent for DINA and the CIA, Michael Townley.

Although indicted by Judge Juan Guzman Tapia on December 1, 2000 for ordering the Caravan of Death killings, dictator Pinochet escaped justice on account of purported health reasons. In relation to dictatorship memory and rupture, the Caravan of Death stands as a forewarning of what was to be unleashed in Chile throughout Pinochet’s rule and its aftermath. Particularly in Calama, the women’s resilience against the dictatorship can be seen as one of the earliest expressions against the nationwide oblivion through which Pinochet attempted to crush any questioning, let alone investigations, into dictatorship-era crimes.

September 12, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Jews enlist US govt to intervene in Chile as Palestinian-descendant rises to presidential election frontrunner

By Eric Striker | National Justice | July 15, 2021

Jews in America are demanding the United States intervene in Chile’s internal politics in the run up to their presidential election next November.

Daniel Jadue, a descendant of Palestinian refugees and member of the Chilean Communist Party, is currently the frontrunner in polls. Jadue is an unapologetic anti-Zionist who has in the past directly confronted the Jewish power structure of his country.

Gerardo Gorodischer, president of Chilean Jewish lobby, has successfully recruited Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress to call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken — a Jew himself — to meddle in Chile’s internal affairs and prevent Jadue from becoming president.

Jadue has in the past called attention to Jewish control of the media in his country. Last year, he was listed as one of the top 10 anti-Semites in the world by the Simon Wiesenthal Center after he passed a strict Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) law as mayor of the city of Recoleta. He is currently supporting a law in the parliament that would make Chile the first nation in the world to officially institute a total boycott of Israel.

With 400,000 descendants, Chile is home to the world’s largest Palestinian diaspora outside of the Middle East. Chilean-Palestinians are overwhelmingly Christians who were forced to flee their homeland after being ethnically cleansed by Israel. Chile’s Jewish population is much smaller, currently estimated at 150,000 people. Jews in the country have started immigrating to Israel in larger than usual numbers out of fear of Jadue potentially becoming the nation’s next leader.

So far, Jewish attempts at “Corbyning” Jadue have failed. Complaints from Zionist organizations in Latin America and the US to stop Jadue have largely been ignored by the local population. Their trump card appears to be using the United States to intimidate the Chilean government with threats of economic retaliation or more.

In her letter to Blinken, Democratic congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz made a collective racial attack on the entire Chilean Palestinian community for protesting against Israel’s attacks on Arabs last May:

“Militant leaders of the 400,000-strong Chilean Palestinian community, and their partners, from a variety of political parties, were quite aggressive during and after the Gaza crisis, burning Israeli and U.S. flags, brandishing Nazi symbols and accusing Israel of apartheid and Chilean Jews of controlling the media. This dangerous climate has been intensifying for many years and has already affected Chile’s social fabric despite alarms sounded by the local Jewish community and U.S. Jewish organizations like the American Jewish Committee.”

The billionaire neo-conservative president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, also received the letter. His allies in the parliament have started grilling Jadue over his 1983 high school yearbook entry, where he declared himself an “anti-Semite” and vowed revenge against Jews for what they did to his family. Jadue, a 54-years-old man, responded by making fun of Chilean conservatives asking him to “clarify” comments he made as a teenager as the country suffers through an economic crisis.

Jews have been encountering resistance from all across the political spectrum and diverse countries in recent months. Earlier this month, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko gave a speech suggesting that Jews use the “Holocaust” to intimidate and control people. Yesterday in Poland, local nationalists crashed a Jewish ceremony racially defaming Poles as genocidal killers.

July 16, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 9 Comments

Chile: Elderly Woman Denied Entry to Supermarket After Failing to Obtain Government Permission to Buy Food

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | April 12, 2021

A video out of Chile shows an elderly woman being refused entry to a supermarket because she didn’t obtain the necessary government permission to buy groceries under the country’s lockdown rules.

The clip shows the woman, who is apparently 100-years-old, appearing to be confused as she is denied access by security guards in uniform.

“Unfortunately government measures are not intended for the most vulnerable, not everyone handles the technology, not everyone has access to the internet,” tweeted Radio Villa Francia along with the video.

In Chile, people have to apply for a “safe conduct pass” online, which only allows them to buy essential food items twice a week between the hours of 5am and 9pm.

Under the country’s ‘sanitary quarantine’, citizens must request “temporary instruments that authorize people to carry out fundamental activities and stock up on essential goods and services” in their communes.

The elderly lady’s failure to obtain the pass may have been related to her presumed inability to navigate the Internet.

The video serves as a chilling reminder as to what could be introduced in the west once vaccine passports and Chinese-style social credit score programs are implemented.

In the UK, vaccine passports won’t initially be required to enter venues like pubs, restaurants and grocery stores, but the government refused to rule it out longer term in their planning document.

In China, citizens who allow their social credit score to dip as a result of committing relatively minor infractions are denied the right to purchase things like plane and train tickets.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

Papers reveal US-backed Brazil’s role in installing and supporting Pinochet in Chile

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | April 1, 2021

Washington’s involvement in the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile in September 1973 is by this point well known. The pivotal role played by Brazil has not been as clear until now.

On the anniversary of the 1964 US-backed coup that led to Brazilian President Joao Goulart being replaced by a military junta, the National Security Archive has published a trove of previously classified documents showing the role that junta later played in subverting democracy in Chile, and its subsequent support of General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal repression of political opponents.

The file trail begins September 22, 1970, 18 days after Salvador Allende of the Popular Unity alliance narrowly won the Chilean presidency. A document, prepared for General Emilio Garrastazu Medici – then the third president of Brazil’s military dictatorship – summarizes a recent meeting between the US ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry, and his Brazilian counterpart.

Following Allende’s victory, Korry, a veteran diplomat during the administrations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, vowed that “not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile” under the socialist’s rule, and if and when he took office in November that year, the US would “do all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty.”

Accordingly, the summary makes clear US plans to undermine Allende were well underway by the time the two ambassadors met.

“Following direct orders from the White House,” Korry was said to be “insinuating to all relevant sectors” that Chile would have “difficulties” – including a shortage of foreign credit and military aid – should the country’s Congress confirm Allende as leader. He also noted the US Embassy was distributing written material warning of the dangers of an Allende government to Chilean military commanders, the very elements that would brutally take power three years later.

Korry’s message was clearly received loud and clear, for in March the next year – five months after Allende’s confirmation – Chilean ambassador to Brasilia Raul Rettig submitted a troubling report to his foreign ministry, titled ‘Brazilian Army possibly conducting studies on guerrillas being introduced into Chile’.

Rettig – who, two decades later, chaired the country’s first ‘truth commission’, which investigated human rights abuses during Pinochet’s rule – had heard from multiple sources that the Brazilian regime was extensively evaluating how to instigate violent insurrection in Chile and overthrow the Allende government via an “armed movement.”

Plans were well developed already, with the military having established a dedicated ‘war room’, with maps and models of the Andean mountain range along the Chilean border, to plan infiltration operations. A number of Brazilian secret agents had also reportedly “entered the country as tourists, with the intention of gathering more background on possible regions where a guerrilla movement might operate,” Rettig’s report revealed.

Brasilia was highly confident of success. In a November 1971 meeting at the White House, President Medici assured Richard Nixon that Allende “would be overthrown for very much the same reasons that Goulart had been,” and Chile’s military was up to the task. He added that Brazil had been “exchanging many officers with the Chileans, and made clear that Brazil was working towards this end.”

In return, the US president pledged “to be helpful in this area,” such as providing “discreet aid,” on the basis that “we must try and prevent new Allendes and Castros and try, where possible, to reverse these trends.” A contemporary CIA intelligence memorandum noted that, to Brazilian military top brass, Washington “obviously” wanted Brasilia to “do the dirty work” in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America.

By July the next year, Brazil had established back-channel communications with Chilean army officers, covertly flying them into the country to meet with high-ranking authorities and begin plotting the downfall of Allende. An August 1973 Brazilian intelligence report details a summit at an airbase in Santiago, at which high-level Chilean military officials were given extensive briefings on Brazil’s own military coup nine years earlier, in the process learning “useful” lessons for their own impending action.

So, it was that, on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military stormed the presidential palace and took power by force. Ground troops were assisted by British-made Hawker Hunter aircraft, which bombed the building and suppressed rooftop snipers. Allende also died in the fighting, and while investigators have ruled it was suicide, some still question that conclusion, arguing that he was in fact murdered.

In the process, Chile – hitherto an aberrant beacon of democracy and stability in a region typified by dictatorships – became a military junta, led by General Pinochet. Death squads immediately set about rounding up thousands of known or suspected Chilean leftists in the country, imprisoning up to 40,000 people in the country’s National Stadium.

The new files make it clear that Brazil moved very quickly to legitimize the new regime, racing to become the first country to officially recognize Pinochet’s despotism, and drafting speeches for the government’s representatives at the United Nations General Assembly to palliate the bloodshed unfolding in Santiago.

Plainclothes Brazilian intelligence agents also secretly assisted Chilean officials in conducting interrogations, torture, and executions at the National Stadium. Among those detained were US citizens, and Brazilians residing in Chile, at least three of whom were of such interest to Brasilia that officials were attempting to arrange their return home.

Comparable hands-on support persisted for many years thereafter. In August 1974, Colonel Manuel Contreras, chief of Chile’s Direccion de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA), requested official passports for 12 officers for a trip to Sao Paulo, in order that they might receive training from their Brazilian counterparts.

Humberto Gordon, who later headed DINA, is named among the officers, as are individuals later involved in the assassination of Orlando Letelier in Washington DC, which was directly ordered by Pinochet.

In the wake of the coup, Letelier – a Chilean economist, politician, and diplomat during Allende’s presidency – was held for 12 months in several concentration camps, along the way being severely tortured, being released only due to international diplomatic pressure. He fled the country and took refuge in the US, becoming Pinochet’s most prominent overseas critic.

On September 21, 1976, Letelier was killed via car bomb – much of his lower torso was blown away and his legs severed. Documents previously unearthed by the National Security Archive indicate that US officials had foreknowledge of the assassination, but transmission of a State Department communiqué warning the Chilean government against carrying it out was blocked by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. … Full article

April 1, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chile Convicts Dictatorship’s Ex-Agents for Poisoning Prisoners

teleSUR | February 3, 2021

Santiago’s Court of Appeals on Tuesday convicted five ex-officials of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship for poisoning seven inmates at the former Chilean Public Prison in December 1981.

Retired Army officers Eduardo Arriagada, Sergio Rosende, Joaquin Larrain, and Jaime Fuenzalida were sentenced to 15 years in prison for Victor Corvalan and Hector Pacheco’s murder.

The victims, who were common prisoners, received lethal doses of botulinum toxin, one of the most powerful venoms produced by humans. The officers will also face jail for the attempt of murder of another five captives.

Justice authorities proved that the ex-agents’ real intentions were to poison the Revolutionary Leftist Movement (MIR) militant Guillermo Rodriguez and his followers Adalberto Muñoz, Ricardo Antonio, and Elizardo Aguilera.

The revolutionaries, who shared cell and meals with Corvalan and Pacheco, overcame the serious injuries produced by poisoned food.

The former prison warden Ronald Bennett was sentenced to 10 years for being an accomplice in crimes against humanity.

The substance that killed the inmates was introduced into the prison as part of a secret maneuver led by the Army Intelligence Directorate (DINE).

According to the court’s ruling, the operation sought to “imperceptibly eliminate opponents of Pinochet’s military regime.”

February 3, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Felony Murder and Gen. Rene Schneider

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | January 14, 2021

Some legal experts are speculating about the possibility that people who participated in the January 6 Capitol melee could be charged with murdering Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, even though they did not participate in his killing. The felony-murder rule holds that if a person is involved in the commission of a felony in a conspiracy with others, he can be charged with murder even though others in the conspiracy did the killing.

When I read that, I immediately thought about the kidnapping and murder of Chilean General Rene Schneider, who was killed in 1970. In fact, it’s interesting that while the members of Congress and the mainstream press express shock and outrage over recent events in the Capitol, they have long been non-plussed by the shocking and outrageous violence that U.S. government officials instigated and in which they participated in 1970.

Schneider was the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces. He was a man of deep integrity, had a family, and believed that it was the duty of the military to support and defend the constitution of the country.

In the 1970 presidential election, the Chilean people delivered a plurality of votes to a man named Salvador Allende, who U.S. officials reviled because he was a socialist. Like President Kennedy ten years before, Allende was interested in establishing friendly relations with the communist world, including the Soviet Union and Cuba, two official Cold War enemies of the U.S. national-security establishment. Keep in mind that in 1970, the Cold War was still continuing and that the communists were defeating U.S. military and CIA forces in the Vietnam War.

U.S. officials determined that Allende posed a grave threat to “national security” — not only the “national security” of the United States but also the “national security” of Chile. They decided to prevent his accession to the presidency, either through bribes to the Chilean congress or through a U.S.-supported coup that would install a right-wing military dictatorship in the country.

There was one big obstacle to a coup: Gen. Rene Schneider.

The Chilean constitution provided for only two ways to remove a duly elected president from office: by impeachment (and conviction) or through the next election. The Chilean constitution did not provide for a coup as a third way to remove a president from office.

The Chilean congress had been unable to secure enough votes to remove Allende from office through impeachment. That left the next election, which would have meant that Allende would stay in office for the next 6 years.

Schneider’s position was very simple: Since the Constitution did not provide for a coup to remove the president, the military could not act to remove him.

The U.S. national-security establishment’s position was different: While it too favored supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution, it held that there was an implicit exception to the rule, which was: Whenever a country’s president is determined to be a grave threat to the “national security” of his own country, it becomes the the moral duty of the national-security establishment to protect “national security” by removing the president from office. (As I point out in an upcoming article in FFF’s monthly journal Future of Freedom, this mindset has clear ramifications in the Kennedy assassination, which occurred ten years prior to Allende’s election.)

In order to achieve the coup, it was necessary to remove Schneider as an obstacle. Thus, U.S. officials within the CIA and other parts of the U.S. government entered into a conspiracy to kidnap Schneider.

Now, before a go further, I know what some of you are thinking: “Conspiracy theory, Jacob! Conspiracy theory! There is no way that officials of the U.S. government would ever conspire to violently kidnap an innocent man! It’s outrageous that you would even suggest such a thing about our government!”

But the fact is that that this conspiracy did in fact occur, notwithstanding the fervent mindset that some might have to deny its existence. The CIA secretly hired the kidnappers, paid them money, including hush money after the fact, and even smuggled high-powered weapons into the country, which they gave to their Chilean co-conspirators.

When the kidnappers attempted to kidnap Schneider on the streets of Santiago, he was armed and fought back. The kidnappers shot him and Schneider died three days later from his wounds.

The CIA claimed that it never intended to murder Schneider. It said that it just wanted to kidnap him. However, that claim has the word “lie” written all over it. After all, what could they have done with him after kidnapping him? They couldn’t return him, given that would have restored him as the obstacle to the coup. Moreover, if they returned him, he might have been able to lead law-enforcement personnel to the kidnappers and ultimately to the CIA. Thus, it is a virtual certainty that Schneider would have been killed by one of the kidnappers and that the CIA would have dutifully expressed shock.

Nonetheless, enter the felony-murder rule. Kidnapping is a felony. So is conspiracy to kidnap. Under the felony-murder rule, the U.S. conspirators were as responsible for Schneider’s murders as the actual killers.

The CIA and other U.S. officials who participated in the conspiracy tried desperately to keep their involvement in the conspiracy secret. People who suspected their complicity in the plot were undoubtedly labeled “conspiracy theorists.” But investigators in the private sector kept pushing and ultimately the truth came out: The CIA and other U.S. officials had participated in a felony, with the conspiracy taking place in both Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Nonetheless, the Justice Department has never charged any of the conspirators with kidnapping or murder or conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder. Keep in mind that there is no statute of limitations for murder. But even if a federal grand jury were to return a criminal indictment, it is a virtual certainty that the federal judiciary would immediately dismiss it on grounds of “national security.”

It’s probably worth mentioning that when the family of Rene Schneider sued in federal district court for Schneider’s wrongful death, the federal courts threw them out on their ears, without even permitting them to take depositions that could have determined the full extent of the conspiracy. When it comes to extraordinary measures to protect “national security,” including kidnapping and assassination, secrecy in a national-security state is always paramount.

But that’s the nature of any national-security state: omnipotent power to inflict violence on innocent people with immunity and impunity, even while decrying violence committed by others.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education.

January 14, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Chile vote is a blow to corporate Canada and Trudeau

By Yves Engler · October 26, 2020

With Chileans voting overwhelming to rewrite the country’s Pinochet era constitution it’s a good moment to reflect on Ottawa’s support for his coup against Salvador Allende. It’s also worth looking at Canadian companies’ opposition to the popular uprising that lead to the referendum on reforming the dictatorship’s neoliberal constitution.

On Sunday nearly 8 in 10 Chileans voted to rewrite the country’s Augusto Pinochet era constitution. The vote was the culmination of months of antigovernment protests that began against a hike in transit fares last October and morphed into a broader challenge to economic inequality and other injustices. The dictatorship’s constitution entrenches pro-capitalist policies and was widely seen as contributing to the country’s large economic divide.

The Pierre Trudeau government was hostile to Allende’s elected government and predisposed to supporting Pinochet’s dictatorship. Days after the September 11 1973 coup against Allende, Andrew Ross, Canada’s ambassador to Chile cabled External Affairs: “Reprisals and searches have created panic atmosphere affecting particularly expatriates including the riffraff of the Latin American Left to whom Allende gave asylum … the country has been on a prolonged political binge under the elected Allende government and the junta has assumed the probably thankless task of sobering Chile up.” Thousands were incarcerated, tortured and killed in “sobering Chile up”.

Within three weeks of the coup, Canada recognized Pinochet’s military junta. Diplomatic support for Pinochet led to economic assistance. Just after the coup Canada voted for a $22 million Inter American Development Bank loan “rushed through the bank with embarrassing haste.” Ottawa immediately endorsed sending $95 million from the International Monetary Fund to Chile and supported renegotiating the country’s debt held by the Paris Club. After refusing to provide credits to the elected government, on October 2nd, 1973, Export Development Canada announced it was granting $5 million in credit to Chile’s central bank to purchase six Twin Otter aircraft from De Havilland, which could carry troops to and from short makeshift strips.

By 1978, Canadian support for the coup d’etat was significant. It included:

  • Support for $810 million in multilateral loans with Canada’s share amounting to about $40 million.
  • Five EDC facilities worth between $15 and $30 million.
  • Two Canadian debt re-schedulings for Chile, equivalent to additional loans of approximately $5 million.
  • Twenty loans by Canadian chartered banks worth more than $100 million, including a 1977 loan by Toronto Dominion to DINA (Pinochet’s secret police) to purchase equipment.
  • Direct investments by Canadian companies valued at nearly $1 billion.

Prominent Canadian capitalists such as Peter Munk and Conrad Black were supporters of Pinochet.

When the recent protests began against billionaire president Sebastián Piñera in October, Trudeau supported the embattled right-wing leader. Two weeks into massive demonstrations against Piñera’s government, the PM held a phone conversation with the Chilean president who had a 14% approval rating. According to Amnesty International, 19 people had already died and dozens more were seriously injured in protests. A couple thousand were also arrested by a government that declared martial law and sent the army onto the streets for the first time since Pinochet. A Canadian Press story on the conversation noted, “a summary from the Prime Minister’s Office of Trudeau’s phone call with Pinera made no direct mention of the ongoing turmoil in Chile, a thriving country with which Canada has negotiated a free trade agreement.”

Rather than express concern about state-backed repression in Chile, the Prime Minister criticized “election irregularities in Bolivia” during his October conversation with Piñera. The false claims of “election irregularities” were then being used to justify ousting leftist indigenous president Evo Morales.

Amidst the massive demonstrations against Piñera in October, Trudeau also discussed Venezuela. In another phone conversation with Piñera two months ago Trudeau again raised “the situation in Venezuela”, according to the official readout, as he did in February 2018 and previously.

Chile is the top destination for Canadian investment in Latin America at over $20 billion. Over 50% of Chile’s large mining industry is Canadian owned and Canadian firms are major players in the country’s infrastructure. Scotiabank is one of the country’s biggest banks.

A number of stories highlighted Scotiabank’s concerns about the protests against inequality that ultimately lead to Sunday’s constitutional referendum. The Financial Post noted, “Scotiabank’s strategic foray into Latin America hits a snag with Chile unrest” and “Riots, state of emergency in Chile force Scotiabank to postpone investor day.” The CEO of the world’s 40th largest bank blamed the protests on an “intelligence breakdown” with people outside Chile “that came in with an intention of creating havoc.” In a January story titled “Why Brian Porter is doubling down on Scotiabank’s Latin American expansion”, he told the Financial Post that Twitter accounts tied to Russia sparked the unrest against Piñera!

Canadian companies, with Ottawa’s support, have led a number of environmentally and socially destructive projects in Chile. In the mid 2000s Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management led a consortium, with US $700 million invested by the Canadian Pension Plan and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, pushing to build a massive power line and dams in Chile’s Patagonia region, one of the planet’s greatest environmental treasures. “This kind of project could never be implemented in a full-fledged democracy,” explained Juan Pablo Orrego, a prominent Chilean environmentalist, to the Georgia Straight. “Our country is still under a constitutional, political, and financial checkmate to democracy which was put in place during the [Pinochet] military dictatorship and empowers the private sector.”

Sunday’s referendum is a blow to Canadian corporations operating in Chile and the Trudeau government’s alliance with right-wing governments in the Hemisphere.

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Chilean government agrees with new constitution, but vetoes new Constituent Assembly

By Lucas Leiroz | October 19, 2020

Chile has been experiencing violent popular protests for over a year. The general dissatisfaction with the government of Sebastián Piñera and his allies has generated strong unrest in the country, which has worried the Chilean political elite. In this sense, fear of the consequences of the rebellions has led government officials to propose an agreement to stop the violence, but, apparently, the proposal is intended only to serve the interests of the government itself.

The Agreement for Social Peace and the New Constitution was then signed, celebrated between the political parties allied with the government and a large part of the opposition. This agreement provides for a plebiscite – scheduled for October 25th – in which Chileans must define whether they want a new Constitution and whether it should be elaborated by means of a Mixed Convention or a Constitutional Convention. These conditions are generating rejection in several social, political and territorial organizations that consider it lacking in popular legitimacy.

This pact does not include an original and sovereign Constituent Assembly as an option, but two mechanisms, which differ in integration. In the case of the Mixed Convention, it would be composed of 50% of representatives of the Congress and 50% of elected citizens; on the other hand, the Constitutional Convention would be 100% composed of representatives expressly chosen for that instance. The total impossibility of calling for a new Constituent Assembly demonstrates how it seeks to implement reforms that do not fully meet popular interests but prioritize the agendas of the government and the current congressmen.

The current Chilean Constitution does not allow a new Assembly to be convened, because this constitution is the same as it was during the military dictatorship. This means that the transition to a democratic regime has not been completed in Chile, which still has a dictatorial constitution. For the country to become a democratic nation, it is necessary to change the constitution and the government must agree to do so. The purpose of calling an Assembly is precisely to change the Constitution, so the excuse that the formation of the Assembly is “unconstitutional” cannot be evoked: if the government agrees to change the Constitution, it must do so democratically.

Faced with this scenario, many popular leaders pointed out that the agreement does not allow a true popular participation or citizenship, and is therefore insufficient to meet the demands of people, representing nothing more than a political maneuver to deceive the Chileans and contain the protests. It was also emphasized that the agreement remains silent about the several cases of abuse of authority and violation of human rights reportedly perpetrated by the Chilean police during the demonstrations. Obviously, the most correct thing to do on this issue would be to establish a committee to investigate such crimes, with judgment and punishment of those responsible, but this is not mentioned in the “agreement” proposed by the government.

Although the opinions of participants from different organizations are similar with regard to the constitutional process, the way of facing the plebiscite differs among them. There are many assemblies that campaign for the population to ignore this process, abdicating from voting in the referendum and focusing on direct action calling for the Constituent Assembly, but there are other organizations that allow freedom of action for its members, not openly opposing the vote in the referendum. This neutral attitude towards voting happens mainly because of a “despair” that has been seen in the population: in the absence of other means and in the hope of improvement, people tend to vote, even if everything indicates that there will be no changes, regardless the result. Still, there is a strong media campaign in favor of the referendum. The main Chilean news agencies maintain agreements with the government and campaign to support the referendum as a “peaceful resolution” measure. As a result, many people are deluded and decide to vote.

In fact, there is no possibility that the referendum will guarantee real changes in the life of the Chilean population, simply because the “agreement” was imposed unilaterally, without any popular endorsement. The only way to really achieve a more just society is by calling for a new Constituent Assembly, which will completely change the Chilean political structure, prioritizing popular interests, such as the social principles of work, citizenship and democratic participation. In addition, it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the crimes allegedly committed by the Chilean police against the demonstrators.

But there is no institutional way to achieve these goals. The government obviously has a privileged situation in relation to the protesters, as it is in power and can unilaterally decide the conditions of peace. Therefore, it only remains for popular organizations to continue protesting. However, many organizations tend to capitulate and adhere to the “agreement” for the reasons explained. Apparently, the referendum will take place, the protests will continue, but they will decrease significantly and, in short, there will be no real change in Chilean society.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Meddling in Chile’s 1964 Presidential Election

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | August 31, 2020

Given the U.S. government’s meddling in Chile’s 1964 presidential election, I can’t help but wonder whether that has contributed to the major obsession that U.S. officials have with supposed Russian meddling in U.S. presidential elections. When one does bad things to others, oftentimes this causes the malefactor to think that others are doing the same thing to him.

Americans didn’t learn about the full extent of the CIA’s meddling in the 1964 election until 2004, when U.S. officials decided to declassify records relating to what they had done.

Why that 40-year period of secrecy? Why, “national security” course. If the American people had found out what the CIA had done before that, the United States might have fallen into the ocean or maybe even been taken over by communists, Muslims, illegal immigrants, or drug dealers.

The purpose of the CIA’s intervention was to help presidential candidate Eduardo Frei defeat his opponent Salvador Allende, a Chilean physician.

Why the preoccupation with defeating Allende? Because Allende was more than just a doctor. He was also an avowed socialist. A democratically elected president with socialist proclivities was considered a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”

Keep in mind, after all, that this was 1964, during the period when the U.S. national-security establishment was convinced that the communists were coming to get us. The idea was that ever since the end of World War II, there supposedly existed a vast, worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the world that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia. (Yes, that Russia!) If Allende were to be democratically elected president, that could accelerate, the notion went, the communist conquest of the United States, especially given the continued existence of the communist regime in Cuba.

In the process of helping Frei win the election, the CIA became a major factor in the election, albeit secretly and surreptitiously. According to an article on the meddling on the website of the National Security Archive,

[C]overt support for Frei’s Christian Democrats began in April 1962, at the suggestion of Kennedy aide Richard Goodwin and the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, with a series of secret payments on “a non-attributable basis”–meaning that the source of the funds was kept a secret from Frei and his party officials. In preparation for the 1964 campaign, in December 1963 the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division proposed a concrete “political action program in Chile” to bolster the Christian Democrats chances of winning. The CIA’s Chief of Western Hemisphere Division, J.C. King, recommended that funds for the campaign “be provided in a fashion causing Frei to infer United States origin of funds and yet permitting plausible denial,” so that the CIA could “achieve a measure of influence over [the] Christian Democratic Party.”

The documents record that on March 26, 1964, Frei’s campaign managers met with U.S. embassy officials to go over their campaign budget of $1.5 million for which the party only had $500,000. A memorandum recording the meeting noted that “The Chileans suggested that the U.S. government make up this difference which amounts to one million dollars for the period from now to election time.” The “Special Group” which approved covert actions met on April 2 in the White House situation room and authorized CIA financing of the campaign and a compromise with the CIA in which the U.S. source of the secret funding “would be inferred” but with “no evidence of proof.”

On May 14, the Special Group approved an increase in covert spending to $1.25 million to allow the Christian Democrats to “campaign at its full potential.” On July 23, the Johnson administration approved another $500,000 for Frei to “maintain the pace and rhythm of his campaign effort.”

The CIA ended up spending $2.6 million to underwrite Frei’s campaign. Another $3 million was spent on an anti-Allende propaganda campaign.

Frei won  the election. It was also a grand victory for the CIA.

Six years later, however, the U.S. government’s meddling in the 1970 Chilean presidential election ended up in failure. This time, Allende ended up winning the election. That then motivated the CIA to engage in such sordid, dark-side practices as bribery, kidnapping, assassination, transportation strikes, and, finally, a military coup that succeeded in ousting Allende from office. Let’s just hope that Russia doesn’t go that far.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment