Kennedy Amendment

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Ted Kennedy, the author of the Amendment.
Pinochet as Commander-in-Chief with his wife Lucía.

The Kennedy Amendment was U.S. Senate a bill presented by U.S. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy in 1976 to modify the Foreign Military Assistance Act in order to exclude Chile from the military aid that his country provided to the Latin American republics that had signed the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR). This was an action against Augusto Pinochet's Military Government

The restrictions were approved and began to apply to Chile in October 1977, comprising in summary:

  • The prohibition to provide Chile with any form of military assistance, including the education and training of its Armed Forces personnel.
  • The prohibition to grant credits for the same purposes.
  • The prohibition to all private suppliers to sell and export military equipment to Chile.

The adoption of the amendment was especially relevant, not necessarily because of its economic effects, but basically because of its inopportunity, since at that time Chile, as we will observe later on, had to face highly complex neighboring conflicts. Collaterally, this fact determined a sustained development of the Chilean military industry, which increased its productive capacity and systematized an accelerated and efficient reconversion process.

In 1978 it was extended to "every country that violates Human Rights" and Argentina was added.

Ted Kennedy, who with that earned a decoration from Michelle Bachelet, in gratitude for the American support to the cause of Fidel Castro, her maximum hero. The "Chilean thing" under communism: it rewards the one who punishes the saviors of freedom.

With Ronald Reagan's assumption of power in the United States, things improved quite a bit for Chile, even though the State Department bureaucracy (Deep State) was still biased to the left and very much penetrated by anti-Chilean slogans originated in Moscow (KGB) which have been a constant feature of public opinion in Chile, most of the media and U.S. officials.

But, in any case, in February 1981, the prohibition imposed by the Carter Administration on the subsidized Eximbank loans to finance U.S. exports to Chile was lifted in February 1981. U.S. export ban to Chile was lifted in February 1981. The negative vote that Washington had maintained in relation to World Bank and Inter-American Bank credits was also modified. World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank loans was also modified.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, René Rojas Galdames, traveled to the U.S. to discuss the lifting of the lifting of the Kennedy Amendment in the period of the highest tension between Chile and its neightbours that suffered in the 20th century, the amendment that had onerous consequences for the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, the Democratic senators were able to win the support of some "moderate" Republicans (RINOs) and the Kennedy Amendment remained. The Republican "centrists" were always greatly influenced by Soviet disinformation on Chile and acted accordingly, against Reagan's good will.

Kirkpatrick, a notorious Republican figure, who issues statements of support to the Chilean government and says that the main priority of the Reagan administration in Latin America is the fight against subversive communism, therefore, the Carter administration's biased attack under the pretext of alleged human rights violations was to be set aside. Another good sign was the appointment of James Theberge, a former colleague of Kirkpatrick's at Georgetown University, to Georgetown University, as ambassador to Chile. He was the best diplomatic representative of the U.S. during the Military Government and his intellectual quality and preparation were evident in his work "Presencia Soviética en América Latina" (Soviet Presence in Latin America).

In fact, the worst thing that could have happened to the Military Government was the termination of Theberge's mission and his premature replacement by a career diplomat with an unmistakable bias derived from having completely bought the anti-Chilean propaganda contraband from the Soviet KGB: Harry Barnes. In any case, the best international news of 1981 was, at the end of the year, that Reagan formalized the lifting of the ban on military aid to Chile.[1]

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Ryan on the Amendment

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Ryan, a member of U.S. naval mission here between 1972 and 1976, wrote an article in November 1976 entitled "The Allende's Chile and the 1,000 lost days", in which he stated:

"For ten years, the United States fought against communism in Vietnam, a country located some 7,000 miles off the coast of California, with a tragic loss of 55,000 American lives, six times the previous number in casualties, without taking into account the tremendous cost of $150 billion. (...) We lost the war! "On the other hand, the Republic of Chile, located in our hemisphere, fought against communism in the backyard of the United States, without the help of the B-52s, of the VII Fleet and without the visit of Bob Hope. No American fingers pulled M-16 triggers, no horrifying parade of wrapped coffins wrapped in the American flag was airlifted daily from Santiago de Chile to be buried in the United States. What's more, without our help and without being overwhelmed with our 'calculated response' tactics, the Chileans defeated communism.

"The United States government has not applauded this brilliant defeat of communism, but, incredibly, our Senate and Congress, by means of the Kennedy Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, have terminated all military aid to the new anti-Communist government of Chile. Why?"

The supposed right-wing Times of London told lies to its readers about Chile. The same aforementioned Lt. Col. Ryan was, in one case, a victim of it, and he tells us: "Of personal interest to the author was an article in the 'Times' of London (27.10.73), written by Godfrey Hodgson and William Shaweron, which noted: 'In the planning of the coup d'état Admiral José Toribio Meribio Ryan was in personal contact with Lt. Col. Patrick J. Ryan, of the Marine Corps of the U.S. Naval Mission in Valparaiso, Chile'. Although I found the report about my personal daily contact with Admiral Merino very flattering, I also found it to be very false! During the eight months preceding the coup my desk calendar reveals only two appointments with Admiral Merino and they relate to strictly mundane matters. These appointments were typical vice-admiral to lieutenant colonel contacts. He spoke and I listened and promptly carried out his orders. The report in the Times of London about my contact duties with Merino in reference to the coup was absolutely false and typified disinformation and 'fabricated' facts that were disseminated in connection with the coup in Chile".[2]

See also

References