LETTER TO (DELETED) FROM (DELETED) RE POLITICAL DYNAMICS IN CHILE

Created: 6/6/1977

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Dear

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pa, to pass directly to you my

Political dynamics In Chile: The military Junta under President Augusto Pinochet is well Into its fourth year of power, and thecurrent issues are-(a) when will the military return to the1 barracks, and (b) what kind of Institutional legacy they will leave behind them. The Junta Is determined not to return to the status quosystem that permitted the Marxists to take powerinorityand the majority-of the public appears to be with then on this Issue. elieve thettTl-several'years away, and that the new constitution being drafted will provlde'for'a very strong executive,-with'the legislature -being confined to an advisory role.'ahd'wlth the Marxists being dealt out of the electoral process.

nd. ail economic'signs-are .upbeat -for- this -year-sssum myv copper remains high. Although the Junta, still enjoys impressive public support, signs of fatigue are settlng'ln. We have reports of serious bickering.within the Junta over Pinochet's attempts to increase his powers at the others! expense, and the Navy and Air Force are disgruntled thafc-ginochet is stacking- the-Government with Army officers. Pressure is also slowly buitdTrtg among opposition Christian Democrats and the Churcha return to civilian rule; similar signals are being received here out<of Washington, and it Is not lost on Pinochet that several military governments in neighboring countries are girdingeturn to civilian rule.: If the pressure keeps mounting. It-is^quite possible that Pinochet will respond by layingimetable'lrr his fourth-anniversary speech on:eptember. We will be following thlspolicy.issue closely.

Internationally, Chile's relations with Peru are friendly on the surface, but with the recent acquisition of Soviet hardware, Peru now has an overwhelming military superiority over Chile. The latter, cut off from U. S. military assistance and having procurement problems elsewhere due to Its human rights Image, 1s'seriously concerned that Peru will attempt to revenge its defeat by Chile in-the War of the. This fear also gives. its best leverage with Chile for forcing human rights Improvements.

Chile's relations with. bolls down tohe Junta was confident that they would be treated as heroes by. after topplingarxist Government, but they were out of synch with the evolution. foreign policy from ant1-Communism at any costredominant concern for human rights. The Junta in turn has been baffled, hurt, and then angered by. attitude toward human rights; they feel themselves the victimsypercritical

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standard, and that. has been taken in by the massive International Convnunist propaganda campaign against the Junta. However, the. Junta has grudgingly made concessions to world opinion by releasing all political prisoners (savend human rights violations have droppedrickle. Nevertheless, the "Image gap" remains, especially since the repressive institutions are still intact, and relations with. remain strained. As an example, all senior Chilean Government officials boycotted Ambassador Popper's farewell reception last month.

Original document.

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