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Mon Mar 28, 2016, 04:35 AM

Shedding Light on US Role in Argentina

March 25, 2016
Shedding Light on US Role in Argentina

by Cesar Chelala

In 1979, with Paul Heath Hoeffel, I wrote “Missing or Dead in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.” For this article, published as a cover story in The New York Times Magazine, we received the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the best article on Human Rights. For that article, I used the pseudonym Juan Montalvo, to protect my family in Argentina from possible military reprisals.

President Barak Obama’s recent decision to unseal U.S. files on Argentina’s “dirty war” is particularly valuable to us, since it will confirm our denunciations of the abuses by the Argentine military on that country’s civilian population.

. . .

Obama’s decision, announced at the same time of the 40th anniversary of the military coup, will allow that the unsealed US files will help determine the role of several US officials -notably among them, Henry Kissinger- in supporting the Argentine military. According to documents obtained by the National Security Archive through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Argentine military believed they had the “green light” from then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

After Kissinger was told during a staff meeting two days after the military coup “to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina,” Kissinger issued instructions on what the US policy should be towards the new military junta, “Whatever chance they have [the Argentine military] they will need a little encouragement…because I do want to encourage them. I don’t want to give the sense that they’re harassed by the United States.”

A secret memorandum obtained by Carlos Osorio, an analyst at the National Security Archive, reveals a conversation in 1976 between Kissinger and Cesar Augusto Guzzetti, the Argentine foreign minister, in which, according to a declassified account, Kissinger told Guzzetti, “If there are things to be done, you should do them quickly.”

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/25/shedding-light-on-us-role-in-argentina/

Also posted in the Latin America forum:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/110848640

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