Allende's Chile: An inside View

By Edward Boorstein | Go to book overview

7
The Chilean Commercial Agencies In the United States

T he evening in April 1971 when Javier Urrutia named me his advisor we were sitting in his Manhattan apartment. The apartment, he told me, had been burglarized the day before. On returning from the office, he had found the lock stuffed with chewing gum. When the house superintendant managed to open the door and Javier went through his belongings, he found only his pistol missing. He had been carrying his papers with him. "It could have been worse," said Javier, "What can the CIA do with my pistol?"

Javier explained his position and responsibilities to me. He was an official of the Chilean Development Corporation (CORFO) and the president of the Chile Trading Corporation, a U.S. company owned by CORFO, used for the purchase of equipment and supplies. He was also coordinator of all the other Chilean commercial agencies in the United States, having been requested by President Allende to make sure they followed policies appropriate to the UP government.

Javier asked me whether I had any suggestions. "Yes," I said. "Let's, as quickly as possible, engage the services of a good law firm, one that a client like us can count on. The struggle in the United States will in part take the form of legal actions and we will need such a firm. It is also important that all the Chilean

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