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Washington Bullets Again

The 9-11 attack resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, shook the foundations of a free society, and caused people to live in fear. Some never saw their loved ones again. Many live with scars that will never heal…

 

September 11,1973 Gloucester, Massachusetts/Santiago, Chile

I had just returned from school when I heard the news that the Chilean military had overthrown Salvador Allende, their democratically elected President. The coup, orchestrated by the CIA and the multinational corporation I.T.T  would impose a brutal dictatorship upon the Chilean people and result in the murder of over 60,000 people. It would take decades for international pressure from human rights organizations, solidarity groups, and the Catholic Church to end the reign of terror the coup unleashed.

Until that time I had experienced countless arguments with classmates and a few older relatives who would confront my socialist views and say I was opposed to democracy. I would respond that elections were only one piece of democracy and were only legitimate if parties representing poor and working people had an equal voice. The fact that the intelligence agency of a rich country could destabilize and nullify the electoral will of a poorer country drove home the fact that bourgeois democracy was an oxymoron.

Fourteen years later I would meet Marjorie Agosin, a Chilean Author/Activist who published an extraordinary book called “Scraps Of Life: Chilean Arpilleras”, an account of how women used thread and an ancient folk art to tell the story of the horror and repression of Augusto Pinochet’s fascist regime. Tapestry like pictures told their individual stories, many personalized with fabrics that had belonged to children, friends, husbands, lovers; the people who disappeared at the hands of the murderous right wing dictatorship. After hearing her story, I purchased a copy of her book, shared it with friends, and continued to do solidarity work with the local chapters of Amnesty International and Peace Brigades International, knowing that one day Pinochet would fall and be brought to trial for his horrific crimes. Ultimately a court in Spain would extradite him and seek justice for his crimes.

What do you think?

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  1. More “leaders” need to be held responsible for their actions, all the way around… Until that time, they continue to do what they want, not what is in the best interest of humanity 🙁 Take the “authorities” centered around the recent Parkland school shootings for example. They knew and they just stood there and let children be murdered… WTH? My mind is BLOWN.

    • Without economic democracy there is no real social or political democracy. In 1973 the CIA used a variety of psychological operations to impact the populace before the actual military coup took place. Stories were planted in print media saying that the Virgin Mary had appeared near Santiago, Chile “crying tears of blood because the country was turning communist”. The exact same story had appeared in Guatemalan media in 1953 except The location was changed, and in 1981 it was recycled and used in Nicaragua to drum up support for the Contra mercenaries who were trying to restore a rightwing regime there. In 1990 the USA spent 10 million dollars to influence the outcome of that country’s presidential election. That was an astronomical amount of money for a small country, and it had a profound effect on the electoral process.

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