Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro


  1. Lower my flag for this marxist piece of dung? No way Nelson!

  2. ‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup Against Salvador Allende’ by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
    By Marie Arana, Published: December 6

    Marie Arana is a writer at large for The Washington Post and the author, most recently, of a biography of Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar.

    ‘I left the woman I really loved — the Great Society,” Lyndon Johnson once rued, “in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the other side of the world.” He meant the Cold War and its all-consuming obsession with the Soviet Union. More emphatically, he meant the military quagmire in Vietnam. But repercussions of the obsession were being felt elsewhere.

    LBJ didn’t live long enough to see what Latin Americans consider the most nefarious detonation of the U.S. war against communism, when on Sept. 11, 1973, bombs from British-made Hawker Hunter jets pounded the presidential palace, La Moneda, in Santiago, Chile, as the CIA’s Operation Fubelt unleashed a fierce coup, ousted a democratically elected government and left President Salvador Allende sprawled on a red couch with part of his skull gone.

    By then, the war on communism, which had swiftly replaced the war on fascism, was well into its 25th year. Washington’s efforts to curb left-wing initiatives in Latin America had already led to a flurry of U.S.-backed military operations. In 1954, Operation PBSuccess, overseen by CIA Director Allen Dulles, had toppled the democratically elected but inconvenient government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. In 1961, Dulles’s deputy for plans, Richard Bissell, mounted the catastrophic Bay of Pigs invasion, an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. When Cuban soldiers foiled the CIA-backed brigade, shaming the United States and embarrassing President John F. Kennedy in the process, Attorney General Robert Kennedy secretly initiated Operation Mongoose, a calculated campaign of terror to assassinate Castro and bring Cuban communism to its knees. Four years later, in Operation Power Pack, LBJ ordered 42,000 U.S. troops into the Dominican Republic to rid the Caribbean of the pesky “revolutionary” regime of President Juan Bosch.

    All these preliminaries to what Latin Americans call “that other September 11” — whose 40th anniversary was quietly, even inconspicuously, marked two months ago — are recounted in Oscar Guardiola-Rivera’s fascinating, if haphazardly organized, “Story of a Death Foretold.”

    We know, after a belated autopsy of Allende’s remains, that the president opted to end his own life rather than die at the hands of his assailants. As mortars and missiles slammed into La Moneda’s walls, Gen. Augusto Pinochet — a former student at the U.S. Army School of the Americas — screamed to his soldiers that there would be no negotiations. The raid, he said, had to end in unconditional surrender. If the army managed to capture Allende, the general added, they’d fly him out of the country, “but the plane falls in mid-flight.”