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 The Other September 11: Chile, Terrorism, & US Foreign Policy 

A message from Isabel Allende, followed by discussion with
Chappell Lawson, Elizabeth Garrels, Nyna Brael Polumbaum, Sergio Reyes, & Noam Chomsky

Saturday, October 18, 2003, 1 pm - 6:30 pm
MIT Wong Auditorium (E51)

After losing elections in 1952, 1958, & 1964, Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile in 1970. Before he could take office, the US government, serving the needs of ideology & business interests, began working with Chilean allies to destroy the first freely elected socialist government in the Western Hemisphere. Eventually, the goal was achieved: on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military led by General Augusto Pinochet mounted a coup d'état. The presidential palace was bombed; Allende died; & thousands of innocent Chileans were then subjected to decades of terrorism and abuse by the military dictatorship.

Noam Chomsky et al.
Sergio Reyes was a student activist in Chile during the Allende period. After the coup, he was imprisoned for four years on Dawson Island, a concentration camp near the southern tip of Chile. Thirty years on, he is organizing a reunion of those who were imprisoned with him. Elizabeth Garrels is a professor of Spanish & Latin American Studies at MIT. In the 1970s, living & working in Caracas, she was a member of the Venezuelan Committee of Solidarity with Chile—part of a larger network of such committees active around the world. Isabel Allende, the niece of Salvador Allende & now one of Latin America's foremost writers, went into exile after the coup. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, was based on her family experience. Nyna Brael Polumbaum is the co-author, with her late husband Ted, of Today is Not Like Yesterday: A Chilean Journey, which chronicles the lives of shantytown dwellers, miners, & peasants during the Allende years & returns after Pinochet's fall to find the same people. Chappell Lawson served as Director of Inter-American Affairs on the National Security Council in the Clinton White House. Now a professor of political science at MIT, he will review US foreign policy in Chile & in Latin America generally. Noam Chomsky is an activist, writer, & Institute Professor at MIT. Author of numerous books on international affairs, he will discuss terrorism & US foreign policy in Chile & elsewhere.

If you are interested in this event, you should know about a talk on October 22 by Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive in Washington & editor of a new book The Pinochet File; & our on-going photo exhibit in the MIT Student Center.

Our co-sponsors are: the MIT Large Event Fund; the MIT Council for the Arts; & the Office of the Associate Provost for the Arts.