Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pinochet Secrets Revealed & Gething’s Under a False Flag

 From Sunday’s BBC story “Chile's Gen Pinochet 'tried to cling to power' in 1988:”
Late Chilean military leader Augusto Pinochet wanted to hold on to power when he lost a referendum on his rule in 1988, newly declassified documents in the US suggest. They say Gen Pinochet sought the support of his closest military allies to overthrow the results. But they refused and Gen Pinochet had to accept defeat. The following year, Chileans elected a civilian government and Gen Pinochet was replaced in 1990.
Speaking of recently declassified documents, papers declassified in the early 2000s serve as the basis for Tom Gething’s Under a False Flag, a fast-paced CIA novel based in Chile.  Pro: a well-paced novel based on Pinochet’s overthrow of Chilean president Salvador Allende.   Con: doesn’t provide the Chilean perspective about life after life after the Pinochet takeover. Description:
October, 1972. Will Porter joins the CIA’s secret war against Chile’s Marxist president, Salvador Allende. Working under cover, Will’s job is to manage the dirty money going to fund the opposition and disrupt the Chilean economy. A budding friendship with university student Ernesto Manning and his beautiful sister, Gabriela, complicates Will’s job and threatens to blow his cover. In a turbulent world of deceivers and deceived, Will must choose between friendship and betrayal, truth and lies, love and duty.
A book that delves more into what Pinochet’s rule was like is Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile. Pro: it was written by one of Chile’s most famous novelists. Con: it uses an experimental narrative, so if you want a straight-forward story, this might not be for you. Description:
As through a crack in the wall, By Night in Chile's single night-long rant provides a terrifying, clandestine view of the strange bedfellows of Church and State in Chile. This wild, eerily compact novel—Roberto Bolano's first work available in English—recounts the tale of a poor boy who wanted to be a poet, but ends up a half-hearted Jesuit priest…assigned—after the destruction of Allende—the secret, never-to-be-disclosed job of teaching Pinochet, at night, all about Marxism, so the junta generals can know their enemy.

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