CHILE: BACKTRACKING ON RIGHTS
President Pinochet's abrupt decision to cancel the visit of the UN Human Rightsis likely to damage his government's efforts to obtain badly needed credits and new foreignumber of West European nations are already sour on Chile because of its abuse of human rights and its shaky economic situation and poor credit standing. Pinochet's latest action will probably complicate Chile's attempts to renegotiate its foreign debt, on which principal payments amounting tomillion are due this year. The British strongly oppose renegotiation of the debt, and other creditor nations may now adopt the same attitude.
peech announcing the banning of the visit. Pinochet reiterated that Chile would not receive such groups unless the USSR and Cuba were likewise made subjects of investigation. His allusion to Marxist infiltration of suchcommissions demonstrates his concern over the possibility that they might pry into internal security matters. More than anything else. Pinochet's sharp words about theMarxist campaign directed against Chile
probably reflect hit annoyance with recent resolutions by the International Laborin Geneva and the International Women's Conference in Mexico City, both of which harshly condemned the military government.
Reports that the UN group had already interviewed Chilean exiles probably heightened the Chilean leader's fears over the prospect of yet another rebuke by an internationalAt the time of the announcement, the UN ad hoc working group was gathering testimony from exiles in Lima; it had already accumulated material in Paris. New York, and Mexico. The commissionlo complete its report for Secretary Genoral Waldheim even If it cannotact-finding mist ion to Chile.
Pinochet evidently opposod from the start any offer to invite independent observers to Chile to study alleged violations of human rights. Favorable responses to earlier overtures probably can be attributed solely to efforts By those junta advisers who want to improve the country's international image.
The government's nervousness overplans by communist and other political opponents to step up labor and peasantmay also haveart in Pinochet's decision. The press claimed recently that the outlawed Communist Party had instructedto take asylum In foreign embassies so as to embarrass the government during the UN group's visit.
The President's decision toard line on the human rights issue will make it increasingly difficult for Chile to obtainand military aid. If such aid is notmounting economic troubles and the unfavorable balance in military hardwareprincipalcause discord within the junta, especially if Pinochet is unable to produce solutions. His failure to consult other junta members on key decisions has already caused some friction, and unless the situation improves there mayradual erosion of unity within the military over run. |Original document.