From a new report on a mission to Chile by PRODEMCA, a private human rights group:
Despite 14 years of rule by a military junta headed by President Augusto Pinochet, Chile remains a country of great vitality: a country where, as our delegation described it in its formal statement, "democracy cannot be denied." . . .
What can we in the United States do to encourage the restoration of democracy in Chile? PRODEMCA's delegation found three things: Support the Movement for Free Elections. Many observers believe that the next few months will prove decisive for this effort. It needs moral support, publicity, technical assistance and financial aid.
Continue international pressure on the Chilean government to respect human rights, and to bring offenders to justice. International human rights concerns should . . . also address the problem of violence and provocation by the far left in Chile -- such as the riotous demonstrations that marred the papal mass in Santiago.
Use foreign economic pressure carefully. While some specific and limited economic sanctions may have constructive uses, a sanctions campaign that seems sanctimonious and destabilizing will almost surely strengthen Chile's extremists. During our visit with President Pinochet he made the stunning suggestion that the CIA may have participated in the assassination attempt against him last year. The charge seems thoroughly bizarre, unless one recognizes a strong strain of Chilean nationalism that reacts sharply against outside intervention when it can be portrayed as imposing solutions on Chile, rather than helping Chileans to gain the means of finding solutions for themselves.