Chilean right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet and Henry Kissinger.
The thing about being of a certain age is that I have been around long enough to have witnessed a half century of history.
It is true that I was only six when the United States orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacob Arbenz. But it is not ancient history.
The land reform movement Arbenz emerged from was disliked by the United Fruit Company. They told the CIA to get rid of him.
A clear case of foreign interference.
In those days corporate CEOs did not often become Secretary of State or Defense. They had to phone in their orders. The practice of direct control became more common after Robert McNamara, President of Ford Motor Company, moved to Secretary of Defense to run the Vietnam War.
John Kennedy picked McNamara. Maybe that is what Bill Gates meant when he said he thought Donald Trump could be the next Kennedy.
A year before the U.S. took out Arbenz, the Eisenhower administration worked with the British to overthrow the leader of Iran, Mohammed Mosaddegh. Mosaddegh had the crazy idea that Iran should control Iranian oil.
Foreign interference in other countries’ business once again.
These are not isolated events. American history is one of nearly non-stop interference in the business of other countries. I bring up Iran and Guatemala because the don’t get mentioned too much these days.
I did want to mention Chile because a big group of Chilean military officials just got tried and found guilty for their role in the U.S.-backed overthrow of (again) the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende.
An Argentine court found 15 military officials guilty Friday for crimes committed under Plan Condor, a program launched in the 1970s designed to eliminate all opposition to right-wing dictatorships in South America.
The South America integration institution UNASUR said in statement this was a step forward to peace and justice in the region.
After three years of hearings, the court charged former military officials, 17 from Argentina and 1 from Uruguay, with kidnapping, torture and forced disappearance. Seven officials, including former dictator Jorge Videla, have been discharged for health reasons or have died during the hearings process.
Former Argentine dictator Reynaldo Bingone was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy and illegal deprivation of liberty of 100 people. Officer Santiago Riveros was charged with 25 years and Uruguayan Manuel Cordero, the only foreigner at trial, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The rest of the military officilas who are accused of crimes against humanity were sentenced to eight through 25 years in prison. Plan Condor involved hundreds of officers who worked in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
The victims’ lawyer Luz Palmas says declassified documents show that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger kept correspondence with an Argentine minister. But controversially, Kissinger and other U.S. officials are not part of the current investigation.
That would be the same Henry Kissinger who was a foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton during this most recent campaign.