Detention of Pinochet

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Dec 20 08:32:00 MST 1999



>cases is to sign an oath of fealty - even in the case of Pinochet. That
>Pinochet retains so much influence in the Chilean political process, is
>depressing and regretabble, but is something that we should leave to be
>solved *by the Chilean people only*.
>
>Carlos Rebello

It amazes me that everybody has so much to say about this case except the
concrete specifics of the legal process that was launched by a grass roots
organization with solid credentials on the left. Peter Kornbluh of the
Chile Documentation Project, who practically got labeled as an imperialist
running-dog here, is the person most singularly responsible for exposing
the CIA's criminal role in Nicaragua. He was affiliated with a nonprofit
investigative body in Washington, DC that produced most of the evidence
about contra drug-smuggling and other illegal activities. That evidence was
critical in landing jail terms for top officials under Reagan and relieving
pressure on the Sandinista government. In fact, if the USSR had not
betrayed Nicaragua in 1989, the FSLN might have remained in power. It was
the work of people like Peter Kornbluh and grass roots activists that
nearly helped to lead to the first socialist victory in this hemisphere
since 1959.

There is just an appalling lack of familiarity with the specifics of what
is going on in Great Britain around the Pinochet case itself. We hear about
Brazil. We hear about Argentina. But doesn't anybody want to speak about
the concrete situation that should be the focus of our attention?

For example, Phil Ferguson wonders why the reactionary House of Lords would
vote for Pinochet's extradition. If our discussion was based on the
material available in reputable bourgeois newspapers, we'd at least be able
to have a discussion based on the real situation and not one of our
imagination:

"The ... Lords' complicated and controversial judgment - which was also
cheered by Pinochet's supporters - does not assure that he will be
extradited to Madrid to stand trial. The 6-to-1 decision by the Lords, who
are Britain's equivalent of the US Supreme Court, narrows the scope of
Pinochet's extraditable crimes of torture, disappearance and assassination
to offenses his regime committed after 1988, when Britain signed the
International Convention against Torture." (The Boston Globe, March 28, 1999)

Louis Proyect

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