Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In recent visit to Chile Obama elides questions about the U.S. endorsement of the overthrow of Salvador Allende.

In the words (read: command) of Richard Nixon, responding to the election to Salvador Allende in the 1970s: "Make their economy scream."

On the recent visit by Obama to Chile the The Latin American Herald Tribune reports:

Asked by a Chilean reporter about Washington’s role in the 1973 coup that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende, Obama acknowledged that “the history of relations between the United States and Latin America have at times been extremely rocky and have at times been difficult.”

“I think it’s important,” he added, “that we’re not trapped by our history. And the fact of the matter is, is that over the last two decades we’ve seen extraordinary progress here in Chile and that has not been impeded by the United States but, in fact, has been fully supported by the United States.”

In recent days Chilean unions, student organizations and leftist parties asked Obama to use his visit to Chile to apologize for the backing of the then-U.S. government for the coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Looking to the future, Obama proposed, as he repeated in his address later, an alliance of equals between his country and Latin America that would allow cooperation in such fields as student exchanges and the war on drugs.

"Trapped by history" in this understanding = to acknowledge the imperialist incursions on national sovereignty historically committed by the United States and the cavalier attitude with which it has approached Latin America in general?

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