One of the ways that Chile's President Salvador Allende maintains the left-leaning look to his government, is by allowing Latin American political refugees to seek exile in the country.
One of the ways that Chile's President Salvador Allende maintains the left-leaning look to his government, is by allowing Latin American political refugees to seek exile in the country. At the same time, however, President Allende wishes to keep up good relations with neighbouring countries, which regard many of the exiles as criminals and enemies of the state. The result is that the exiles are allowed to live in Chile, but find it difficult to make a living. Working permits are extremely difficult for the exiles to obtain.
National Broadcasting Company correspondent, I am Streithorst, filmed this report in Chile, over a period of two months. The film demonstrates the mixed blessing of obtaining sanctuary in Chile, for these revolutionaries.
SYNOPSIS: Cyro Bustos was one of Che Guevara's guerrillas in Bolivia. When the Guevara campaign collapsed in 1967, he, along with French intellectual Regis Debray, was captured and jailed.
Since the beginning of this year, Bustos and his family have lived in Santiago--part of the growing community of ex-terrorists exiled in Chile. Bustos does not have the look of a revolutionary. Nor, any longer, does he have very much the spirit of one. He talks of the necessity of joining the revolutionary struggle in his native Argentina, but makes no effort to do so. Instead, he is preoccupied with the welfare of his daughters and the woman he refers to--not as his wife--but as his comrade. Formerly a painter, Bustos now appears to be a deeply disillusioned man. He has given up art and has taken a routine job with the state publishing house. Still, by comparison with the several hundred other Communist exiles here, he is well off.
The largest single group of exiles in Chile, are from Brazil. Some, including a man and woman, were prepared to talk. He was a member of the organisation, which kidnapped the American ambassador in 1969; was jailed and came to Chile as part of a group, in exchange for a kidnapped Swiss ambassador. The girl, sought by Brazilian authorities, managed to slip out of the country, without being caught by police.
This is a session of protest songs, organised privately by sympathisers, as a benefit for the jobless exiles. Most of them cannot even get work permits from the Chilean government. The benefit earned around five-hundred dollars--perhaps a dollar per exile.
The man taking tickets is known, only half-jokingly, as the Foreign Minister of the Tupamaros, the Uruguayan urban guerrilla group--considered the most effective in Latin America. He said that these people are revolutionaries, but without a revolution to make.