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The Papers of George Lister: "Mr Human Rights"

  The Papers of George Lister > Chile

Chile

   

Soon after joining the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs in the early 1960s, Lister became focused on U.S. policy towards Chile. Lister saw parallels between Chilean politics and the political situation in Italy, where had had been stationed until 1961. Like Italy, Chile had a strong Socialist party, which Lister believed could be influenced to move away from the Communists. Nonetheless, Lister had little success in convincing U.S. policymakers to reach out to Chilean Socialists. In 1970, Socialist leader Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile, leading to U.S. fears that Allende would move Chile towards Communism.

In a memorandum entitled ''What Is To Be Done?-In Chile'' Lister lamented that the Chilean government was now ''run by people who know little or nothing of us and of whom we are abysmally ignorant.'' He argued that the U.S. should engage the Allende government and try to influence it away from the Soviet orbit. Instead, the U.S. pursued a policy of destabilizing Allende, especially by taking measures aimed at the Chilean economy.

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Selected Documents:


   
     
Chilean Acting Foreign Minister Edmundo Vargas recognizes Lister's work on human rights and democracy in Chile, 1992.
Chilean Acting Foreign Minister Edmundo Vargas recognizes Lister's work on human rights and democracy in Chile, 1992."

Video Clips:
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Claudio Grossman on the role of the State Department in Chile
Claudio Grossman Transcript (pdf)


Claudio Grossman on the State Department's engagment of the Chilean opposition
Claudio Grossman Transcript (pdf)


Edmundo Vargas Carreño on Lister's unique role in connecting the Chilean opposition to the State Department
Edmundo Vargas Carreño Transcript (pdf)


Edmundo Vargas Carreño on the history of U.S. foreign policy toward Chile since the 1970s
Edmundo Vargas Carreño Transcript (pdf)


Richard Schifter on the role of the State Department in the 1988 Chilean referendum
Richard Schifter Transcript (pdf)


George Lister Conference Clip

Streaming Video of Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy