Saturday, August 22, 2009

Isabel Allende Seeks Brazil Documents on Chile Coup

Allende Seeks Brazil Documents on '73 Chile Coup


By Bradley Brooks

Associated Press

August 17, 2009




The daughter of overthrown Chilean President Salvador

Allende requested via Twitter on Tuesday that Brazil

open any secret archives that could shed light on any

role it played in the 1973 coup that killed her father.


The request by Isabel Allende, a deputy in Chile's

Congress, follows publication in the U.S. of a

declassified document about a 1971 meeting between U.S.

President Richard Nixon and Brazilian military regime-

era President Emilio Medici.


The two discussed coordinating intervention in Chile to

overthrow the leftist Allende and also possible

intervention in Cuba.


"I reiterate my request to President Lula to declassify

documents and know the true history of intervention in

A. Latina in the 1970s," Isabel Allende wrote on her

Twitter page, referring to Brazilian President Luiz

Inacio Lula da Silva.


A spokeswoman for Allende confirmed the entry.


The formerly top secret account of a Dec. 9, 1971,

meeting between Nixon and Medici at the White House Oval

Office spelled out a desire by the U.S. and Brazilian

presidents to foment the overthrow of leftist governments.


The eventual CIA-supported coup in Chile, led by Gen.

Augusto Pinochet, toppled the Allende government Sept. 11, 1973.


In the 1971 Oval Office meeting, Nixon said that "this

should be held in the greatest confidence. But we must

try and prevent new Allendes and Castros and try where

possible to reverse these trends."


Medici said he was happy to see that the Brazilian and

American positions and views were so close.


Declassified in July, the memo is now part of the

official history of U.S. foreign policy in a State

Department series called "Foreign Relations of The United States."


National Security Archive, a private group, posted the

document on its Web site Sunday.


Paulo Vannuchi, head of Brazil's National Secretariat of

Human Rights, said any such documents may already be in

the public domain among documents already released, or

may be among those still locked up.


"There is also the possibility that any archives about

it were destroyed. No one is going to say that dictators

don't destroy archives - obviously they do," Vannuchi

said in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended an event

officially recognizing the deaths of 500 Brazilians at

the hands of the nation's 1964-85 military regime.


In 2002, then-Brazilian President Fernando Henrique

Cardoso - a leftist who fled into political exile during

the dictatorship - signed a decree to keep military

intelligence files classified for 50 years.


But in 2005, Silva ordered the release of 13 steel

archives and 1,259 boxes with photos, films, pamphlets

and 220,000 microchips relating to the military regime.


Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National

Security Archive who directs the group's Chile and Cuba

documentation project, called on Brazil to release all its archives.


"It seems to me Brazil owes an explanation, if not an

apology, to Chile in the form of a full historical

reckoning of its role in the overthrow of Allende and

the advent of Pinochet," he said.


In another Twitter entry, Allende called the most recent

revelations "another one of Nixon's nefarious

interventions, this time using Brazil."


But she also said times had changed, noting the election

of U.S. President Barack Obama.


"There is a big difference between the Latin American

policy of Obama, who condemned the Honduran coup, and

that of Nixon, and his plot against Salvador Allende," she wrote.



On the Web


Allende's Twitter page:


Copyright c 2009 The Associated Press. All rights



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