East Timor's Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance

By Constâncio Pinto; Matthew Jardine | Go to book overview

Foreword

by Allan Nairn

When I first met Constâncio Pinto in August 1990, outside a cemetery in East Timor, he had already spent a decade and a half trying to cope with the consequences of a decision made routinely, almost casually, by officials in Washington.

When General Suharto, the Indonesian dictator, was contemplating invading East Timor in the latter months of 1975, he, in effect, asked permission from the U.S. government. Washington was his main political and military patron and the chief guarantor of his regime. Washington had welcomed Suharto's 1965 coup against the nationalist Sukarno, and had helped him stage the internal bloodbath that consolidated army rule. The U.S. government was steering financing to Indonesia through the World Bank and other sources and was providing military training, intelligence, and roughly 90 percent of its arms. Suharto wanted to make sure that he did not step on Washington's toes.

An August 20 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cable noted that "a major consideration on [ Suharto's] part is that an invasion of Timor, if it comes, must be justified as an act of defense of Indonesian Security. He is acutely aware that conditions of U.S. military assis

-xii-

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East Timor's Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • East Timor's Unfinished Struggle - Inside the Timorese Resistance *
  • Contents *
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Foreword xii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Origins of the Struggle 26
  • 2 - The Indonesian Invasion 41
  • 3 - Life in Remexio 60
  • 4 - Making a New Life in Dili 79
  • 5 - Joining the Underground 92
  • 6 - Emergence of the Underground 105
  • 7 - Founding the Executive Committee 121
  • 8 - Arrest and Torture 135
  • 9 - Working as a Double Agent 158
  • 10 - Preparing for the Portuguese Delegation 175
  • 11 - The Santa Cruz Massacre 188
  • 12 - Life Underground 200
  • 13 - Escape Abroad 209
  • 14 - Reflections on the Struggle 225
  • Epilogue 241
  • East Timor Peace Plan 251
  • Notes 255
  • Bibliography 275
  • Appendix - East Timor Support and Solidarity Groups 281
  • Index 282
  • About the Authors *
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