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A Profile in Courage, Beauty, Tragedy
 
 
Alan_OldStudent Alan_OldStudent is offline
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12-26-2008, 02:39 AM
 
Hello Brothers and Sisters

Victor Jara was a famous Chilean musician and folksinger with an inspiring personal history.

He was born in 1932 in a small, very poor village, into a large family of peasants. Victor's father was illiterate and refused to send his children to school. Instead, he sent his children to work in the fields at age 6, not believing in the value of education.

Victor's father could not earn enough money, even with his children working, to support his family, and he fell into a cycle of depression, despair, alcoholism, and violence. He eventually abandoned the family.

With Victor's father gone, Victor's mother Amanda worked to support the family and encouraged the children to learn to read and become educated. But she died when Victor was 15, leaving him and the other children with no parents.

Victor studied accountancy and then studied for the priesthood. None of that suited, so he joined the Army. After his enlistment, he became a musician, and he developed a remarkable guitar playing style and beautiful singing voice, wrote many beautiful songs and became well known as a folksinger.

Because he was so talented and bright and had such a remarkable personal story, he gained much fame throughout Latin America and even Europe. He became friends with many of leading contemporary intellectuals, poets, and artists of Chile and all Latin America.

It was during this time that a remarkable thing happened. An open socialist was elected president of Chile.

Salvador Allende, a socialist, had run for president of Chile several times since the 1950s, and finally, in 1970, he won the election. Social change was in the air.

However, President Nixon decided on a covert "regime change." So three years later, the Chilean military staged a coup, with the backing, assistance, and blessing of the CIA, Henry Kissinger, and President Richard Nixon. They installed the murderous dictator Agosto Pinochet in place of the democratically-elected Allende.

The military kidnapped thousands of Chileans, clergy, social activists, students, dissidents, or even people turned in by neighbors as a result of personal squabbles. These kidnapped were taken to the central stadium, which was closed to outside view, where the military systematically tortured and murdered the kidnap victims.

Among the first that they kidnapped was Victor Jara. Other prisoners who witnessed his execution said that the guards stomped on his hands while he was lying on the ground in the center of the stadium, breaking the bones of his hands. They then taunted him to perform one of his songs. Of course, he could not play the guitar, but they executed him as he defiantly sang one of his protest songs.

Today, Victor is recognized as one of Chile and Latin America's foremost composers and poets. Most of the recordings and manuscripts of his music were destroyed by the Pinochet regime, but a sizable fraction of it still exists.

My following message will have a Youtube video of him singing one of his most famous songs, "Te Recuerdo, Amanda" (I Do Remember You, Amanda).

Regards,

Alan

Last edited by Alan_OldStudent; 12-26-2008 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Typos and grammar
 
 
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Alan_OldStudent Alan_OldStudent is offline
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12-26-2008, 02:41 AM
 
Te Recuerdo Amanda


This title means, "I Do Remember You, Amanda."

Victor's mother's name was Amanda, but this song is about another young woman named Amanda who eagerly waits for the shift-break whisle to blow at the factory so she can spend 5 minutes with her lover Manuel, who works there. But when the whistle blows, the scene is attacked by the police and Manuel dies.

This is my rough translation of the few comments Victor makes before singing this strangely moving and lovely song.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Jara
Opening Comments:
This song is called "Te Recuerdo, Amanda," and it is a song that tells of love, of two young people, two young people of typical of today, who at times do not realize what they need to have in their hearts, of two young people of no particular factory, no particular city, who could be any place on our continent.
Here is my rough translation of the song lyrics. Unfortunately, I am not poetic enough to put into English the power of the original Spanish, but I tried to capture the flavor of it.

Yes, I do remember you Amanda,
Standing in the puddle-filled street,
running to the factory,
where Manuel was working

A broad smile stretching across your face
While rain water ran in your hair

Nothing was important now,
Now that you were going to meet with
To hold hands with, to stand with, to be with him.

It had been just five minutes
But five long minutes,
A life of eternity for five minutes

The shift-whistle had blown for shift break.
And you, walking, now understanding all---everything
In those five minutes that blossomed forth

Oh yes, I do remember you, Amanda,
You, in the soaking wet street,
Running at the factory
Where Manuel used to work
That broad smile stretching across your face
With all that rain running down your hair

How nothing mattered any more
Because you were going to meet.
With him, be with him, to touch him.

He who had left the Sierras.
He who had never harmed anyone

Yes, he who had left the Sierras

And in that five minutes
They simply wiped all that out.

Yes, the shift-change whistle had blown once more.
But many did not return to finish work.
Manuel did not return to finish work

Oh yes, I do remember you, Amanda
That puddly muddy street
Running to the factory.
Where Manuel used to work.
The Video

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I AGREE



Regards,

Alan
 
 
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MikeNY MikeNY is offline
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12-26-2008, 07:30 AM
 
Beautiful song Alan!

Last edited by MikeNY; 12-27-2008 at 07:50 PM.
 
 
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12-26-2008, 01:12 PM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNY View Post
Beautiful song Alan!

I'd thought that Salvador Allende was using Death Squads and Secret Police terror to suppress enemies and had started the oppression prior to the Coup; a Chilean friend has talked about that and the horror of the Military Dictatorship. The real issue is not which side does the oppression it is the terror and victims that suffer, the World would be a better place if music and kindness abounded and no one was a victim. Victor Jara and all the other victims all over the world deserve better.
Hi Mike,

Allende certainly did not usher in a "worker's paradise," to use Stalin's vulgar and discredited term. And there were social problems, economic woes, etc. Wikipedia has a pretty good article on Allende.

Having said that, I did help some American doctors treating some Spanish-speaking-only Chileans who came to the US after the coup. I got the feeling that the real dictatorial police-state methods came in with Pinochet. Of course, in many democracies, including ours, there are black-ops police and military units. But I don't have knowledge of those in Allende's Chile.

Regards,

Alan
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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12-26-2008, 01:20 PM
 
Without getting into this or anyother specific situation; if most people in the general public had any idea of what goes on in these international power games they would not be able to deal with it. The ruthlessness is beyond human belief as is the complexity of planning and execution. Games as equally complex as the Kennedy assassination are more the norm than the exception.
 
 
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12-26-2008, 04:22 PM
 
My friend Mohammed returned to Iran after grad school. He hated the Shah and repression, he was murdered by the Mullahs when they exterminated the Western oritented Intellectuals for the crime of having a MBA and a second Master's degree. He was left handed and a US College grad; I got a letter written by a right handed illiterate; purporting to be Mohammed. I knew when I saw that letter Mo was dead. Word filtered out of Iran to Iranian friend's that Mohammed was executed. Iranian friends said the Secret Police sent the letter to stop me from asking what happened to Mo; as disinformation. All terror is wrong.

Last edited by MikeNY; 12-27-2008 at 07:52 PM.
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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12-26-2008, 10:13 PM
 
Unfortunately violence is an equal opportunity tactic- it is available to Communists, Fascists,and numerous other groups. If you get out of some of the protected societies in the world it is very prevalent.
 
 
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MikeNY MikeNY is offline
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12-26-2008, 10:13 PM
 
Alan someone passed this article on to me; http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles...4-FF46B4B16505

The bottom of the article notes that the information used was taken from this source to quote the author " *(All above quotes and incidents are fully documented in La Agresion Del Oso; Intervencion Sovietica y Cubana en Chile by Gonzalo Rojas Sanches, a Fullbright Scholar and visiting professor at Notre Dame who heads the History Department at Chile's Catholic University.) "
 
 
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Alan_OldStudent Alan_OldStudent is offline
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12-27-2008, 12:12 AM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNY View Post
Alan I'm not an expert of the Terror is Chile; just had a Chilean friend, and her family and Chilean friends talked about the Terror. They'd fled to the USA; thought both Left/Right Death squads had murdered relentlessly, tortured, raped, stole land and destroyed lives. That Salvador Allende was a Communist and Agosto Pinochet a Fascist; both were murdering swine. I'd guess the majority of innocents are always the victims when dealing with the exteme. They'd lost family and friends to both sides it seemed, there wasn't a good word for either side. ............
Hi Mike,

I really started this thread to tell a story of a poet,
...a man I admire very much,
...a man of great personal courage,
...a man who achieved much despite huge odds, grinding poverty, and
...a man who wrote such beautiful music and such haunting poetry.
It was also meant to present one of this man's more magical song-poems. But this thread was not meant to be a foil to defend Allende.

During times like these, I draw inspiration from courageous people, from poetry, from music.

Later, I'll post a link to a piece of music I composed.




Like you, I'm not an expert of, as you term it, the "terror in Chile" either.

But I do understand, speak, and read Spanish. And I do not remember reading about "left wing death squads" in either English or Spanish during that time. (Of course, that does not mean there were no left-wing death squads.). I can tell you, however, that I found no shortage of anticommunist hysteria and tall tales being told by the partisans of the super-wealthy elite minority at the time.

As I recall from my reading, Allende's desire to nationalize the banks and major industries, especially the copper mining industry, enraged Nixon and his cohorts. It was not human rights abuses, not "left-wing death squads."

Oh no! Nixon was not complaining of "leftist death squads." He was complaining of land redistribution to poor peasants like Jara's family. He tantrumed over Allende seizing the assets of his class buddies, the wealthy Chilean copper-mine owners, whose lavish lifestyle depended on virtual slave labor and the grinding poverty of the majority. He had hissy-fits over the month-long vacation that Fidel Castro took in Chile.

To Nixon and Kissinger, the reason for overthrowing Allende was about control of marketplaces and resources on a world scale, not the fate of the ordinary Chilean. Chile was part of a world-wide campaign of economic control and opposition to the influence of the other superpower, the Soviet Union. As far as the Nixon gang were concerned, the popular will was irrelevant! They did not care a fig about any real or imaginary "leftist death squads."

Profit margins and corporate world-wide domination of markets, labor, and natural resources were all mattered to them--just as with their political descendents today.

In the Wikipedia article on this period of Chilean history, here are a few quotes:
  • "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." Henry Kissinger. (Cited in this Foreign Affairs Magazine article)
  • "Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty." Edward M. Korry, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, upon hearing of Allende's election.
  • "Make the economy scream [in Chile to] prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him" Richard Nixon, orders to CIA director Richard Helms on September 15, 1970.
  • "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. It would be much preferable to have this transpire prior to 24 October but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end, utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden..." A communique to the CIA base in Chile, issued on October 16, 1970, which can be viewed by clicking here.



However, I do suspect that Nixon would have harped on those "leftist death squads" had they existed. But then, perhaps, you think Nixon was part of the left, just as you seem to indicate that Bush and Cheney are also part of the left, and this is some big conspiracy to cover up the existence of those "left-wing death squads."

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, Mike.

Regards,

Alan
 
 
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Alan_OldStudent Alan_OldStudent is offline
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12-27-2008, 12:34 AM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNY View Post
Alan someone passed this article on to me; http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles...4-FF46B4B16505

The bottom of the article notes that the information used was taken from this source to quote the author " *(All above quotes and incidents are fully documented in La Agresion Del Oso; Intervencion Sovietica y Cubana en Chile by Gonzalo Rojas Sanches, a Fullbright Scholar and visiting professor at Notre Dame who heads the History Department at Chile's Catholic University.) "
Hi Mike,

By the way, Mike, FrontPageMagazine.com, to which your link leads me, is an organ of David Horowitz, a very well-known right-wing "intellectual." Wikipedia has a laundry-list of its critics and their charges.

So whatever else one can say about FrontPageMagazine and its article, the source itself cannot be passed off as a "neutral" source of news and commentary.

Regards,

Alan
 
 
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