The head of the Chilean military junta -- General Augusta Pinochet -- visited the Army's War Academy in Santiago on Monday (9 September) to present awards of merit to cadets.
GV EXT War Academy
SCU INT General Pinochet presenting medals
SV PAN Cadets sign hymn
SCU General Pinochet receives award
SV PAN EXT General Pinochet and assistant leave, enter car and crowd applaud as they drive away
Initials BB/1625 ???/MR/BB/1750
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Background: The head of the Chilean military junta -- General Augusta Pinochet -- visited the Army's War Academy in Santiago on Monday (9 September) to present awards of merit to cadets.
The ceremony -- attended by most of the junta leaders -- marked the 88th anniversary of the War Academy. It came two days before the first anniversary of military rule in Chile.
The General -- who is new "Supreme Chief of the Nation" -- presented awards, listened while the cadets sang a hymn, and himself received an award from the Academy Chief, Colonel Manuel Contreras.
General Pinochet -- who has remained out of the public spotlight for the past year -- headed the coup which led to the overthrow and death of Salvadore Allende, the first freely elected Marxist President in the world.
One year after the coup, Chile's military rulers look set to stay in power for several years to come. The country today is under a state of internal war. The Congress remains indefinitely in recess, socialist parties are outlawed, their leaders scattered and decimated. Other parties including the powerful Christian Democrats who led the opposition against Dr. Allende, are banned from political activity.
Even the official anniversary celebrations on Wednesday (11 September) were expected to be muted. The military leaders were to attend a private Roman Catholic mass at the War Academy commemorating the military officers who died in the coup. General Pinochet was expected to make a speech.
A number of unofficial public demonstrations of support for the junta were to be staged in Santiago. The demonstrations were privately organised by groups which opposed Dr. Allende.
On present indications, it will be years before government in Chile returns to the hands of civilians.
SYNOPSIS: The Chilean Army War Academy in Santiago celebrated its eighty-eighth anniversary an Monday -- two days before the first anniversary of military rule in Chile. The significance of the occasion was increased by the presence of General Augusta Pinochet -- the head of the military junta and the "Supreme Chief of the Nation". General Pinochet -- with three other Generals -- has ruled Chile since the armed forces overthrew the late President Salvadore Allende last year. General pinochet visited the War Academy on Monday to present awards of merit to army cadets.
The anniversary ceremony was attended by most of the country's military leaders....among them War Minister General Oscar Bonilla, and the Chief of the Army Training Institutes, Brigadier General Mile Floody. The military leaders listened as the cadets sang hymns.
Later, General Pinechet received an award from the Academy, presented by the Academy Chief, Colonel Manual Contreras. It was one of General Pinochet's rare appearances since he took power.
On present indications, General Pinochet and the other military leaders look set to stay in power for several years to come. The General said recently that the military would continue to govern Chile for as long as twenty years, if that length of time was needed for the junta to complete its social and economic development plans. The junta leader was due to return to the Academy two days later for a private church service to commemorate the military men who died in last year's coup. Civilian anniversary celebrations were left in the hands of conservative organisations which supported the military coup.