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An Interview The Fall

An Interview The Fall image An Interview The Fall image An Interview The Fall image
Parent Issue
Day
15
Month
October
Year
1975
OCR Text

Reprinted fron, On ïcpicmher 11. 1973, Salvador Allende Gwïëia. the democrntically i'li'fti'il nri'xiilt'iit n Chile, periíJicd in a hail of gun flrc in the l'rcsidcntial Palace in Santiago. Later reponed as a "suicide" by the trininphani military unta, the dea I li i f Allende culmina ted onè of the baldest displays of imperial power of recent years. A conspiracy of the CIA, big business, international financia! organizations, and righi-wine clements in the lean military uinlcr (lateral Augusto Pinochel (who once portraved himselfas a loyal Allende supporter) eulminated in bloody reprisals against men, women, and children who were SUSpeCted ofbeing to the left of the newlv insiallcd junta. Tlie presiden t's wife, Mrs. Hortensia Bussi de Allende, and her daugliters were able to escape death only hecause they were nol in the palace during the coup. Late last year, Mrs. Allende visited the United States with an entourage of Chilean women, including Mrs. Mor de Toha, wife of the skin Chilean Minister o) Déjense, .lose de Toha. SUN Consulting Editor Ken Kelley began talking to Mrs. Allende wlien she paid a risit to the United Nations. "have constant nightmares. " shc said. "I imagine my door is being broken down by machine guns. I feel the helicopters hoveling over my house. I hear the butts of revolvers and rifles on the door. Such is the reality for thousands ofmy countrymen. " At the United Nations, Mrs. Allende was instrumental in getting the General Assembly to condemn the military junta for its violations of human rights and to appeal for the release of all poitical prisoners. The resolution passed ninety to eight, with twentv-fiveabstentions, including the United States. "The resolution has great impórtame for the people of Chile - it marks a great victory for us, and ofcourse, a defeat for the junta, " said Mrs. Allende. Tlie Allende entourage then spent several days in Washington lobbying Congress for a eutoffin U.X au u Int Í7Í2 Mfor help in discovering the whereabouts oj the more iban 20,000 Chilean politica! pnsüneZ. Vl tl ui was jar tess receptive tlum the UN. Pat Holt, the chief of sta))' for the' Señale toréign Hé'tZtiS! Committee, who had previously urged normalization of U.S. -Cuban relations, tolJ Mrs. Allende that Iw could do nothing aboul the Chilean situation hecause "it is not U.S. potícy to intafere in the internat affairs ofanother country. " "In our risit this time wc haven 't come to denounce, but rather to complain and demand, "Mrs. Allende told interviewer Kclley. 'Now we are not only spatting of our 20,000 imprisoned, but ubout the open intervention oftke CIA and ITT, about the international plot confessed to by Colby, Kissinger, and President Ford. " SUN: Referring to Chile, Henry Kissinger once said. "I don 't see why we have to stand by and watch a government go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people." What is your reaction to this? Allende: Bcsides its stupidity, it is very honest. Mr. Kissinger's words reflect not only hts opinions, but those of the rulers of this "democracy." They reflect what he thinks of international treaties and a country's right to self-determination. SUN: Do you think the Chilean people hold the American people responsible for the actions of the CIA and the United States government in Chile? And do you think that the people of the United States fully realize and understand just what happened in Chile in 1973? Allende: I believe the Chilean people distinguish very clearly between the polides which led to the overthrow of President Allende and the opinions of the American people. But you must understand that the Chilean people don't really have any information. They only know what the government wants them to read in the newspapers. But the people of North America now know that a lot of money was spent by this country to overthrow President Allende's government. They know that, in addition to the S8 militan spent by the CIA, there were the $400 million assets of ITT and other multinational corporations. Senator Kennedy has revealed Kissinger's approval of this intervention-which Kissinger had denied under oath to Congress. On September 1 2, ll)74, Kennedy aecused Kissinger of perjury, and ofhaving acted. along with other members of the State Department, in a tendentious and deceitful manner in swearing that the United States had maintained an attitude of nonintervention in Chilean affairs. It is interesting to note that, as a direct result of this "nonintervention," the junta returned to private ownership all the United States companies which had been nationalized by Allende's government. This list included Anaconda, organized in 1899 by Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and presently dominated by the Rockefeller family banks. And Nelson Rockefeller was appointed to head the administration's "investigation" of the CIA! It is ridiculous. SUN: If you had been fully aware of the CIA's plans or of the extent of what the CIA was dí):ne could there have been a wav t0 avert what haPPened? Allende: I don't kiiow ifyou caiï compi'ctely Í!'fu?.r?íanu !h? ÉÍSmciíoGüS poer öi & CIA. lts strength is so great that it would have been very difficult to defend ourselves trom the avalanche that was approaching. Perliaps the only thing we could have done was to have a struggle that lasted years instead of a coup that lasted fout hours. And I can't teil you what the outcome of that struggle might have been. You must realize that all the ai nis the CIA had given to modemize the military were suddenly turned against the Chilean people to kill us. SUN: Last September. President Ford said that S8 million had been given to Chile because an effort was made by the Allende regime to destroy opposition political parties and opposition media. At the sanie time, CIA Director William Colby stated, "The CIA had no connection with the military coup in Chile in 1973. We did look forward to a change in government, but in the elections of 1976 by democratie political forces." What is your reaction to these statements? Allende: The assertions of the president of the United States and the director of the CIA are absolutely false. Our Popular Unity government never limited liberties or the activities of political parties. Very few countrïes have had as much freedom of the press as we had in Chile, and the government wasn't even supported by a majority of the newspapers. We were a multiparty eovemment and never thought of establishing a one-party state. So the pretext of the CIA for intervenine in Chile- to defend . democracy- is absolutely false. I wonder if Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Ford are concerned by the lack of liberty in Chile now that there is a military tatorship there. There is no liberty in Chile now-the congress is closed and there are no unions. The coup was brought off by the most reactionary forces in the country, mainly the upper bourgeoisie anc the armed forces. Many of the military men were trained in the United States, in the Pentagon and the Panama Canal Zone. SUN: Who do you think received the CIA s S8 million? Allende: ing to Mr. Colby, the moiicy financed i the dio stations and press, especially Ei Mercurio, of the opposition. Hl Mercurio is the ing lïght-wing newspaper in Chile. lts owner, Augustin "Donny" Edwards, took up residence in Miami, where he was vice-president of Cola, duiing the Allende years. Its editor in chief, Rene Silva Espejo, was one of the leaders of the Chilean Nazi Party Movemieiito Nacional cialista) in the 193O's;and its business manager, Fernando Leniz, has been made the juina s Minister or tconomics. Much money also went to finance the truck owners' and men's strikes. They paid the businessmen and truck owners, not the drivers, because otherwise, the strikes couldn't have lasted two months. What's more, the CIA money was multiplied several times over by being sold on tlie black market. But it wasn t just the ClA-there was also the economie bloekade. This was when the international the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc, on which the dependent countries depcml-cul Chile's credit so that we couldn't count on sufficient means to develop a normal economie policy. SUN. There have been some charges that your government's mishandling of the ultraleft Movement of the Revolutionary Left [ Movemiento Instituciones Revolucionaries, MIR] , rather than the CIA, was responsible for the fall of the Allende government. A lende: The problem of the MIR is a problem that any democratie country which allows all politica] torces to express themselves would face. This would never have led to The violent r overthmw of the Allende government in C 'hile and the position offascism m tliaí heretofore democratie nation are only one examplc of the enormous power exercised, botli witliin the U.S. and worldwide, by iiistitutkms nng cjjectively outsulc the tiition-and in fact, outside legal. moral, or nolitical strwtions ofany kind The intelligente agencies. multinational corpora tions, and organizad crime have ated bevond the reach of the Presidency, Congress, and the amrts. and all are adept at manipulatine the media in order to camouflage this versión. In order lo increasc public awarencss of the activities of sucli institutions, the extení of tlieir power, and thcir dus operanqi, and to organiza tive opposition, au ad hoc group called the Aun Arbor Teach-ín lias organizad a major ference at Aun Arbor's HUI Auditorium on November 2, 3 and 4. The conference is titlcd "The Bicentennial Dilemma: Who's in Control''" A series ?ƒ seven momirig, aftemooh, and evening programs will bring . together such kiunvn experts as Mark miic on the JI'K sination, DonaU breed on the der of Roben Kennedy, Jeremy , Rifkm (director yeoCi culminan distila vs of imperia Sources . . . . Informed Sonrces . . . . Informed Sources. . . . Informed Som 1 i u i i i i I I ..InformedSources....InformedS(nirces...Informed Sources. . . . Infffl & SS $ X. i $ s J& M tf TT ÍA ' W me,. i m 1 w f A 0 kv & w withMrs. Allende: OF CHILE Penthouse Magazine the overthrow of the government and it is very naive to say so. The Chilean government relied on the maturity of the proletariat and on its great democratie tradition. With respect to the mismanagement of the government, 1 have to differ fundamentally. Any government, faced with the artificial difficultieswe faced, that was able to increase its electoral support from 36 to 44 percent-which we won in the last election- wasn't mismanaged. Chilean political parties usually fose rather than gain support in off-year coneressional elections. No power in the world would intervene in another country if they believed that that country 's policies alone would lead to its downfall. The United States had to intervene in Chile because it knew otherwise. SUN: What is the current situation of the politica! prisoners in Chile? Allende: Tliere is a permanent body of prisoners who wcre taken during the first four months aftcr the coup. Tliese are political leaders, union leaders. and public employees- persons who liad positións of confidence and offis. cials elected by the people. There must be some 1 5.000 oí these people in the entire country. But dien there is a changing prisonoi population that circula tes jmone the various places of deten tion. Their numbers are luid to estímate; ihey are picked un, held tor toen or tweniy days. released, and t Men picked up again. li's really very hard lo calcúlate how many there are, because . generally they are peonle wlio have n particuiai politica) preference and tlicy are picked up on any pret ex t. Their families are terrified and don't dare notify national authorities. Observéis who liave gone to Chile have returncd slunned by the conditions. SUN: What is the status of resistance to the junta in Chile now? Allende: Our stiuggle is long, hard, and tlitïicult. There is a broad tance movement, an anti-taseist V trimt rancine f mm C'liristians. Marxists. and non-Marxists tn many peuple in the ian Democratie parly who now know th:il iliey were mistaken. S. Ycu have to . stand thal destine work, v under the conditions i creaica I:C mili t ai . is very lilficult. The resistance consisls ot sabotage. work stoppages, and slowdowns. l"i oxamplc, there wus a trate workcrs' strike ' and t heve wüs the workers' lloodiag of tlie coal mines at Lota. There's also the sabotage ot the Hawker-Hunter jeu. i oelicve the resistance is creating a party program in wliich the fundamental aim is to attuck fascism on a broad front to attack the common enemy: military tascism. On the eleventh ot each month people r mase a pocket strike and retrain trom buying at stores. The junta was further isolated wlien a mectiim ot twenty-eiglit bishops in Santiago denined thcm and above all, their economie policy of niaking the rich richer and the poor poorer. Bul the tree anti democratie nconles ot' the world must also be aware that every dollar or gun given to the junta increases terrorism and crimes against the Chilean people. We don't pretend t ha t those of us abroad can créate some ereat ating army to free tlie Chilean people. We believe the Chilean peoplc will seek their own way. They need international solidarity -the support t)t the international comniunity. And, as I ve said, we want this to take the concrete form of denying aid to the junta, denying them credit and military aid. The junta couldn't last without international support; there isn't any magie supporting their govemment- only the power of arms. From the moment tli.it all military aid is withdrawn, the junta will begin to fall. SUN: During the three years of the Allende regime Chile had the highest rate of IllklIVkll ft 1 V ■ ' ■ III flation in its history. Many observers thought t ha t civil war was threatening the try , and the middle class in particular was very iinhappy. Weren't these conditions as sponsible for the coup as the ictions of the United States? Allende: No, I don't think so and l'll plain why. We liad a high ralo of inflation, but wages and pnces were adjusted to accord wiih riset in the cost of living so i hut the mass of workers nevei lost theii buying power. Just the opposite, in fací never had so much been sold in Chile. Now, the rniddle class was unhappy, but nut because they lacked anything. I hoy liad tlie buying power to aecumulate things; theii liouses were t'ull of all kinds of things, bul they were defending their class interests. Moveover, ihey had foreign support. The Popula) Unity government did nol feil; there would never have been .1 coup without foreign inteivention. Nortli American imperialism, the ('IA. and international companies I ikc ITT and Kennecott ('opper are the principal pames responsible loi the coup in ('hile. SUN: What is the present economie situation in Chile today, under the junta? Allende: The junta has been returning everything that has been nalionalied that is. compensating or returning the mines, the monopolies, the landholdings. There is a very high uite of inflation, which the junta has been unable to control, and a high rate of unemployinen!. reaching a milhon peisons. Some 500.000 public employees are threutened with the loss of their jobs by the decisión ol the junta, which says that they will be absorbed by private industry. But there are no new rttajoi investments in industry none. visiting Italian businessman reeen tl y described the Chilean situation very well when he saul that the prices are on a pai with 1 i ank lm: . the salaries with Saigon, and that in addition there is great unemploymènt. SUN: Why do you think the junta cracked down in such a repressive manner after the coup? Allende: Because General Pinochet and the rest ol the Chilean militar) is unable to govern. We could only compare it with the Nais. In fact, I think i ha t m Chile, "'- portionaüy, the massacre has been more bloody. SUN. Every socialist government in history. in its tirst stages, has had to make an effort to consolídate the army and to form a centralied government. Some of Allende'] critics have said that he put humanitarian sentimeiits above socialism. and they sa that Allende's t'all is proof that socialism cannot be elected. What are your reactions to these criticisms? Allende: President Allende was well aware of these opinions when he took office, But he never attempted t transform the government into a dictatorship ol' the proletaria t. I ie was elected on the basis of a program, and he t'ulfilled that program, lic was preparing the people to advance to socialism. And he didn't expect tliat a foreign power would unleash its might againsi bis government. The term "destabilization," as it is used by the CIA, by Mr Kissinger, and by others in the United States, is quite although it would never have occured to me to use the word "destabilize" for "overthrow." Our government was stable. It relied on the maturity of the proletauat. It was a government that counted on an army that called itsell constitutionahsi. I don'l see. then, from an internal point of view, that the Allende government cummitted any error. Some people keep trying to apply a pattern to the Allende government they say it was a Marxist government. But it wasn 7 a Marxist government; it was a i'ovemment composed of some Marxists and of other progressives who supported il bul were not Marxists. I think this is an error of international magnitude, one that is eommonly made by our enemies. Instead of looking lor the errors outside. wheie they really were, they place them inside. Of course. we had dilficulties. How could we avoid them when we weren't receiving credils from abroad, when we were trying to incorpórate hungry people into the system of cpnsumption? But despite all this, the electoral support for the Popular Unity party grew at each election. and ibis was what made our foreign enemies desperate. It was obvious that to get rid of Allende they were going to need something more than an economie conspiracy. They needed a conspiracy of arms and the support of a foreign power in order to commit this crime. SUN: What are the principal lessons to be drawn from the Chilean experience? Allende: Well, we believed that, given our traditions, the forms of political participation, and the existence of a workers' organization in Chile, ours was the only country in which there could be a legal road to socialism, the so-called Chilean way. But continued on page 23 of the People's Bicentennitil mission), Black Panther editor David DuBois, and a host i))' otilen, in cluding Rep. Midiacl Harrington of setts, attorncy William Kunstier, and John Murks, coauthor oj The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. Tlwrc will bc sions on rions, corpora ie inunipulailon, pólice rcnrcs sion, surveillance, and nilnd control "Wc have been tremendously encouraged by the widespread iiafinnal interest in the teach-in, " Marty Lee, one oj lts principal organizers, tokt the SUN. "We sec the ference as an initial step in revttalizing the movement which twepi ; nariori in rcspoiise !( the war in Vietnam, and wc liopc ! begin lo put together the basis of a natiqnel netwerk of avtivists and concerned individuáis. " Tickets for individual evening sessions will be avaifable at the door. Admission for the enlire conference is $3. 00. Tickets mul I un her matton are avaiiable front the Aun Árbol Teach-In, 332 South State Street, Ami Arbur. MI 48108 (endose a self-addresseú stamncil envetope). The Teacli-Jn 's telephone ber is (313) -995-0404. For ti complete sel lal il Ie of the Tcacli-ln 's program, sec pase IS of the calendar ces .... Informeel Sources ... Informed Sources .... Informed Sources .. o med Sources....Informed Sources . . . . Inf ormed Sources . . . . Inf ormed & &% irL or st Ny T l#v " x x TO w N & fe A S7 c 'n w m vfc Z Ïk7 4 - JL v os '& S r Mrs. Allende continuad from page 7 lutfoftunately, l have to s;i now that it isn't cnougli lo win with votes it isn't enough to win the elections. One also needs an array at the service ol the peopie. because the professionalism of the military, to teil the truth, is a myth. And it isn'i enough just to win victories Ui elections, one ;ilso needs a congress at the service of the people, really elected by the people and not, as happened in Chile, bought with money and influence. Also. I don't believe that the selfdetermincí011 6Í ,70,",'.; ÍMÍ 5 BOJ ; luí Codes oí iiuernaíK.MiaJ law, of iniernational rights. All these formulatiuhs tliat they talk so nuich about in the international organiationsare fheoretical, even though they are supposed to govern relations between nations. The reality is rich countries and poor counlries and the rich countries always end up dominating the poor countries, whatever their politics may be. SUN: Do y ou think back with much bitterness on the past two years? Allende: Well, one has to draw distinctions. I. fortunately, am unable to hate which isn't to tay tliat ilus is right. I have only one desire and I would die happily it I could sec it l'ulrïlled: I want to st' the ( Inlcan military live our own niartyrdoni. My great satisfaction would be to see them wander around the world, just as the Nazi torturers did, ashained of their identities, ashamed of the historica! role they played. anonymous, hiding themselves in the shadows of a night which they themselves created.