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European Solidarity with Chile – 1970s – 1980s

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Edited By Kim Christiaens, Idesbald Goddeeris and Magaly Rodríguez García

The overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and the coming to power of a military regime led by Augusto Pinochet on 11 September 1973 drew worldwide attention towards Chile. The political repression shook the world and ignited one of the largest social movements of the 1970s and 80s. Hundreds of solidarity committees and a gamut of human rights and justice organizations mobilized thousands of people. This volume offers a compelling insight into the exceptional impact that the Chilean crisis made in Western and Eastern Europe. In doing so, it provides a new and broader perspective into the history of the Cold War, transnational activism, and human rights.
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Allende’s Shadow, Leftist Furor, and Human Rights: The Pinochet Dictatorship in International Politics

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Jan Eckel

In the days after the coup against Salvador Allende on 11 September 1973, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets staging protests, in Western as well as in Eastern Europe, and in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba. The governments of Sweden, the Netherlands, West Germany, and soon also Great Britain voiced profound dismay at the events in the South American country. The Soviet Bloc broke off diplomatic relations with Chile, harshly attacking the new military rulers, and the Non-Aligned Movement, representing some eighty Third World countries, similarly expressed its indignation at Allende’s overthrow. In the first three or four years, criticism in international forums appeared to be ever mounting. Condemnations poured on Chile at the United Nations, UNESCO, the International Labor Organization, and at the 1975 World Conference of the UN sponsored International Women’s Year. A panoply of international NGOs stepped into action, appealing to public opinion and organizing support for the oppressed. Among them were human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists but also many others such as the long-standing Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organization of internationalist parliamentarians, or the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Civil activists pressured governments and private corporations to boycott trade with Chile. Mock tribunals such as the second Russell Tribunal or the Nürnberger Verhandlungen delivered verdicts about the military leaders, thousands of petitions reached the United Nations, and countless newspaper articles and TV documentaries critically reported from the...

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