Obama’s Back Channel to Cuba: Events Leading to Historic Breakthrough Revealed in Updated Book (in Spanish)


Washington, DC, December 18, 2015 – On the first anniversary of the historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations, the National Security Archive announced that the book,
Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana, has been released in Spanish under the title, Diplomacia Encubierta con Cuba: Historia de las Negociaciones Secretas Entre Washington y La Habana. The book was published last week in Mexico by Fondo de Cultura y Economica.

The Spanish edition follows the November publication by the University of North Carolina press of the updated, paperback edition of the book, written by Archive Cuba Documentation Project Director Peter Kornbluh and American University Professor William M. LeoGrande. The revised edition contains a comprehensive, new, 15,000 word epilogue revealing how the Obama administration and the government of Raul Castro secretly negotiated a historic detente between the two nations, and bringing the history of back channel diplomacy through to the raising of the U.S. flag over the Embassy in Havana.

According to Kornbluh, “The story of back channel diplomacy between Washington and Havana, which dates all the way back to the Kennedy era, is now complete.”

As a timely and immediately relevant history, Back Channel to Cuba has received significant acclaim. Last year, the editors at Foreign Affairs called it an “exhaustive and masterful diplomatic history” and picked it as a “best book of the year.” On November 19, 2015, in a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin room of the Department of State, the American Academy of Diplomacy gave the book the Douglas Dillon award for best diplomatic history.

Para seguir: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20151218-Back-Channel-to-Cuba-Published-in-Spanish

Le prisme des émotions dans l’histoire du temps présent – Amérique latine Espagne

« L’utilité de toutes les passions ne consiste qu’en ce qu’elles fortifient et font durer en l’âme des pensées, lesquelles il est bon qu’elle conserve, et qui pourraient, sans cela, en être effacées »[1]. Mémoire et émotions s’égrainent d’une seule main, ce qui favorise certes le risque d’une histoire « compassionnelle », le péché d’empathie avec le témoin, mais ce qui fait aussi que pour l’historien du temps présent les émotions sont la « réalité saisissable »[2] d’une histoire incarnée. En effet, l’expression des affects à travers les manifestations du corps n’accompagnent pas seulement l’évocation du passé dont elles conservent la trace. Elles le convoquent en une intériorisation du souvenir qui confère une proximité à l’événement inscrit dans le passé. Elles colorent le prisme à travers lequel les agents du souvenir, chercheurs et porteurs de mémoire mêlés, construisent dans le présent leur relation au passé dans un espace public. Car à la croisée des enjeux de mémoire convergent « un passé qui ne passe pas »[3] et un présent qui l’interroge à l’aune de ses propres inquiétudes[4]. Lorsque dans les années 2000 la société espagnole se divise sur la question des fosses de la guerre civile et de l’inertie d’une symbolique franquiste dans la cité[5] ; lorsque les lieux et les moments commémoratifs de la guerre du Sentier Lumineux engendrent de nouvelles violences au Pérou ; lorsque les organisations et les élites amérindiennes s’organisent pour l’écriture d’une contre-histoire en Bolivie, au Chili, en Équateur ou que le régime chaviste au Venezuela transforme la figure de Simon Bolívar et le culte historique consensuel en un dogme politique, et que la Commission Vérité et Justice au Paraguay engage une véritable ingénieurie de l’histoire pour changer radicalement le rapport que la société entretient avec son passé autoritaire, les souvenirs mettent les corps en mouvement en raison certes des représentations du passé qui les habitent, mais en raison aussi de leur circulation dans le présent au regard que les uns et les autres se font des possibles à venir.

(…)

Cette immédiation entre le passé et le présent, dont les émotions constituent le prisme sensible, est l’objet de notre recherche. Le monde hispanique (Amérique latine et Espagne), au-delà des circulations transnationales qui intègrent les « passés à vif » à l’échelle de cette aire culturelle[10], est un laboratoire privilégié pour observer à travers les jeux d’acteurs la concurrence entre régimes d’historicité. La prégnance des régimes héroïques enracinés dans le XIXe siècle des fondateurs de la patrie et de la construction de l’État-national ainsi que dans les résistances indigènes à la conquête et sa martyrologie chrétienne reste forte, tandis qu’elle se heurte à la montée en puissance du temps des victimes et des reconfigurations présentistes mondialisés[11].

(…)

Le rapport que les sociétés entretiennent avec leur passé n’est pas seulement le fruit de l’invention d’une tradition, de pratiques mnémoniques et d’une discipline de recherche, il participe également de l’intuition. Elle prend forme en Amérique latine dans les tensions durables entre des « citadelles historiographiques » et les partisans d’une « contre-histoire », sans cesse revendiquée et renouvelée, de révisionnismes récurrents qui vont bien au-delà des simples conflits de mémoire. Pour beaucoup il s’agit de défendre une identité, dont l’estime de soi est enchâssée dans une représentation du passé qui remonte fréquemment à l’Indépendance (1810-1811), dont le Bicentenaire a été très opportunément célébré et récupéré par les gouvernements en place.

(…)

[1]. Descartes R., Les Passions de l’Âme, dans Œuvres et lettres (texte présenté par André Bridoux), Paris, Gallimard/Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1970, p. 730 [1649].

[2]. Boquet D. et P. Nagy, « Une histoire des émotions incarnées », Médiévales, n° 61, 2011, p. 5-24.

[3]. Selon la formule de Conan É. et H. Rousso, Vichy, un passé qui ne passé pas, Paris, Gallimard, 1996.

[4]. Capdevila L. et F. Langue (dir.), Entre mémoire collective et histoire officielle. L’histoire du temps présent en Amérique Latine, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009.

[5]. Segura A., A. Mayayo, Q. Solé (éd.), Fosses comunes i simbologia franquista: ponències de les jornades, Barcelona, 9 i 10 d’octubre 2008, Catarroja, Editorial Afers, 2009.

[6]. Descartes R., Les Passions de l’Âme, op.cit, p. 715.

[7]. Camps V., El gobierno de las emociones, Barcelona, Herder Editorial, 2011.

[8]. Farge A., Effusion et tourment. Le récit des corps. Histoire du peuple au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2007, p. 15.

[9]. Berthier N., Sanchez-Biosca V., Retóricas del miedo. Imágenes de la Guerra Civil española, Madrid, Casa de Velázquez, 2012.

[10]. Pérotin-Dumon A. (dir.), Historizar el pasado vivo en América latina, http://www.historizarelpasadovivo.cl/es_home.html

[11]. Hartog F., Régimes d’historicité. Présentisme et expériences du temps, Paris, Seuil, 2003 ; Fassin D. et R. Rechtman, L’empire du traumatisme. Enquête sur la condition de victime, Paris, Flammarion, 2007 ; Ferro M., Le ressentiment dans l’histoire. Comprendre notre temps, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2007.

[12]. Capdevila L. et F. Langue (dir.), Entre mémoire collective et histoire officielle. op.cit.

INTRODUCTION  à Luc Capdevila, Frédérique Langue (coords.), Le passé des émotions. D’une histoire à vif Amérique Latine et Espagne, Rennes, PUR, 2014.

Pour accéder au texte complet, à la table des matières, aux présentations ouvrage et auteurs

Indicted for Genocide: Guatemala’s Efraín Ríos Montt

The photographs of Guatemala’s disappeared spell “Justice” and “Genocide” on a fence near the Public Ministry’s headquarters in Guatemala City. (Credit: H.I.J.O.S.)
Indicted for Genocide: Guatemala’s Efraín Ríos Montt
U.S. and Guatemalan Documents Trace Dictator’s Rise to Power
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 419

Posted – March 19, 2013
Edited by Kate Doyle

Washington, D.C., March 19, 2013 – The groundbreaking genocide trial of Efraín Ríos Montt, retired army general and former dictator of Guatemala, opens today with the presentation of the prosecution’s first witnesses. The trial will take place despite repeated efforts by defense lawyers to halt the proceedings with legal appeals and a bid for amnesty. On March 12, the Constitutional Court rejected the amnesty request once and for all, clearing the way for the trial to begin.

Along with his former intelligence chief, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, Ríos Montt stands accused of masterminding a violent counterinsurgency campaign during his 1982-83 regime that sought to destroy opposing guerrilla forces and anyone who supported them. The indictment accuses the two men of responsibility for fifteen documented massacres in the Ixil region of the country’s Quiché department, resulting in the deaths of 1,771 unarmed men, women and children (…)
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB419/

For ongoing trial summaries, commentary and analysis, see a new Website launched by the Open Society Justice Initiative in partnership with the National Security Archive, the International Center for Transitional Justice, CEJIL and the Guatemalan on-line news site Plaza Pública: http://www.riosmontt-trial.org/

Operation Condor on Trial: legal Proceedings in Latin American Rendition and Assassination Program open in Buenos Aires

OPERATION CONDOR ON TRIAL:
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS ON LATIN AMERICAN RENDITION AND ASSASSINATION PROGRAM OPEN IN BUENOS AIRES

National Security Archive Posts CIA, DIA and State Department Intelligence Reports Provided to Argentine Prosecutors
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 416
Posted – March 8, 2013
Edited by Carlos Osorio

Washington, D.C., March 8, 2013 – Former military officers from Argentina and Uruguay went on trial this week in Buenos Aires for their human rights abuses in Operation Condor, a cross-border conspiracy of dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to “eradicate ‘subversion,’ a word which increasingly translates into non-violent dissent from the left and center left,” according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive ( www.nsarchive.org).

Today’s posting of documents and evidence provided by the Archive to Argentine prosecutors includes the first briefing report, from August 1976, to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the secret police collaboration in the Southern Cone to “find and kill” opponents of their military regimes.

“The documents are very useful in establishing a comprehensive analytical framework of what Operation Condor was,” said Pablo Enrique Ouvina, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Founded by the Pinochet regime in November 1975, Operation Condor was the codename for a formal Southern Cone collaboration that included transnational secret intelligence activities, kidnapping, torture, disappearance and assassination, according to the National Security Archive’s documentary evidence from U.S., Paraguayan, Argentine, and Chilean files.

Prominent victims of Condor include two former Uruguayan legislators and a former Bolivian president, Juan Torres, murdered in Buenos Aires, as well as former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his 26-year old American colleague, Ronni Moffitt, assassinated by a car bomb in downtown Washington D.C.

The historic trial charges 25 high-ranking military officials, including former Argentine presidents Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, with conspiracy to “kidnap, disappear, torture and kill” 171 opponents of the military dictatorships that dominated the Southern Cone in the 1970s and 1980s. Among the victims are approximately 80 Uruguayans, 50 Argentines, 20 Chileans and a dozen from Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador who were targeted by Condor operatives. The kidnapping and disappearance of two Cuban Consulate officials in Buenos Aires on August 9, 1976, is also part of the prosecution.

“Condor was a latter day rendition, torture and assassination program,” noted Carlos Osorio, who directs the Archive’s Southern Cone Documentation project. “Holding these officials accountable for the multinational crimes of Condor,” he said, “cannot help but set a precedent for more recent abuses of a similar nature.”

Besides Generals Videla and Bignone, those indicted included 22 Argentine military intelligence officers and agents. In preparation for the trial, prosecutors sought the extradition of several foreign high ranking officers from Chile and Paraguay among other Condor countries. The only foreigner sitting at the courtroom, however, is Uruguayan Army Major Manuel Cordero, charged with participating in death squads and torture at the infamous Orletti Motors secret detention center in Buenos Aires. He was extradited by Brazil where he was living.

Of the 171 Condor victims cited in the indictments, approximately forty-two survived and a number of them are expected to testify in court. One hundred twenty others were killed and/or disappeared.

DOCUMENTS

Chile – Oscars: Declassified Documents Tell History Behind Best Foreign Film Nomination, “No”

“No” Film
OSCARS: DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS TELL HISTORY BEHIND BEST FOREIGN FILM NOMINATION, “NO”
ONCE SECRET CIA, DEFENSE AND STATE DEPARTMENT RECORDS FILL IN GAPS IN CHILEAN FILM DEPICTING MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO OUST GENERAL AUGUSTO PINOCHET

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 413
Posted – February 22, 2013 Edited by Peter Kornluh

http://www.nsarchive.org

Washington, D.C., February 22, 2013 — Chilean ruler General Augusto Pinochet intended to use violence to annul the October 1988 plebiscite that ended his lengthy military dictatorship, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive in order to fill in the historical gaps of the Oscar-nominated film, “NO.”

With the Oscars approaching on February 24, the Archive posting includes formerly top secret records that provide new details about the history of the “Campaign of the NO” in Chile–the dynamic political movement that eventually led to Pinochet’s loss of the presidency. The documents include highly classified warnings from the U.S. military attache that Pinochet intended to use violence to sustain himself in power if the NO won the October 5, 1988, plebiscite; a CIA report on Pinochet’s “apoplectic” reaction to the vote; as well as private records relating to the voter registration drive that was critical to the electoral victory to remove Chile’s 15-year old military regime.

Nominated for best foreign film, “NO” has received widespread acclaim from movie reviewers. Writing in the New Yorker, critic Anthony Lane noted that “the title is a downer but the movie lifts you up;” he called “NO” “the best film ever made about Chilean plebiscites.” But like “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Argo,” and “Lincoln,” which also examine historical events, “NO” has been criticized for misrepresenting and omitting key elements of the history it depicts.

As the movie indicates, Pinochet’s ouster at the polls was an inspirational event, a rare victory of good over evil, brought about by Chileans for Chileans. As a historic event, it demands to be understood. The complexity of the story is not depicted on screen. But the fact that the movie is being recognized at the Oscars, and now being seen around the world, cannot help but draw attention to the fuller story of the Campaign of the NO, which is included in this dramatic documentation now available on the National Security Archive’s website.

THE DOCUMENTS

Document 1: State Department, “Preparations Accelerating for Plebiscite” August 3, 1988

Document 2: State Department, Confidential, “The Chilean Plebiscite: Sitrep 2,” August 12, 1988 (original missing p. 5)

Document 3: Greer, Margolis, Mitchell & Associates, “Campana para la Inscripcion en Los Registros Electorales” (Campaign for Electoral Registration) ca 1987

Document 4: Defense Intelligence Agency, Top Secret Zarf Umbra, Chile: Contingency Plans,” October 4, 1988

Document 5: State Department, “The Chilean Plebiscite, Sitrep 4,” October 6, 1988

Document 6: CIA, [Informant Report on Pinochet’s auto coup plan for the plebiscite] November 18, 1988

Document 7: Defense Intelligence Agency, Secret ExDis, “Chile: Plebiscite Goes Forward as Pinochet Apparently Loses,” October 6, 1988

Document 8: Defense Intelligence Agency: Secret, “Chilean Junta Meeting, the Night of the Plebiscite,” January 1, 1989

Document 9: State Department, Confidential, “The Chilean Plebiscite, Sitrep Eight,” October 7, 1988