In Cuba, the exiled leader of the Chilean Communist Party, Luis Corvalan, recently gave a news conference in Havana, during which he fiercely condemned the present military government of Chile.
CU: Luis Corvalan, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Chile, ZOOM OUT TO GV Corvalan talking to journalists.
GV: newsmen at press conference.
SCU: Hortensia Bussi Allende, window of the late President Allende of Chile, at top table.
SV: newsmen and photographers at press conference.
CU: Luis Corvalan speaking in Spanish ZOOM OUT TO SV Corvalan with others at table.
The latest figures concerning the numbers of political prisoners' still in detention in Chile, compiled by various human rights groups including Amnesty International, show that following recent amnesties, approximately 200 people are still in jail for political offences. Over 950 people are under some form of police surveillance, including house arrest, and over 2,500 people have disappeared and are now presumed dead since the military coup in 1963.
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Background: In Cuba, the exiled leader of the Chilean Communist Party, Luis Corvalan, recently gave a news conference in Havana, during which he fiercely condemned the present military government of Chile. Senor Corvalan was released from a Chilean prison in December 1976 in exchange for the Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky. He had been arrested and held in detention since the fall of the Marxist government of Salvador Allende in 1973.
Dr Allende was killed in the military coup which brought the present administration of General Augusto Pinochet to power. The former President's window, Senora Hortensia Bussi Allende was also at the news conference.
SYNOPSIS: Since his release, Senor Corvalan, has campaigned against the government of General Pinochet. Both he and Senora Allende claim that the Chilean military leaders have imprisoned, tortured and murdered thousands of people since seizing power.
During the news conference, Senor Corvalan said he was in Cuba for talks with the government on the situation in Chile. He said he thought there was a need for more information about what was happening in Chile, but that he was sure that the government of General Pinochet was in a state of crisis. He cited the recent dismissal of the commander of the Chilean Air Force, Gustavo Leigh, as a symptom of this lack of unity. Senor Corvalan stressed that although a change of government in Chile could not be predicted with certainty, he was sure, the military junta would soon fall.