SANTIAGO – Algeria has played a central role in the development of Chile’s foreign policy and its rapprochement with Africa, said Chilean political analyst Esteban Silva Cuadra.
In a study devoted to relations between Algeria and Chile, Esteban Silva Cuadra, executive president of the Chilean “Allendist” socialist movement, recalled that Algerian-Chilean relations has developed “since the outbreak of the national liberation revolution as they were linked to Chilean social movements, civil society and the National Liberation Front (FLN) “.
The relations between Chile and Algeria, during this period, were marked, underlined the analyst, by “a concordance of views and common positions in matters of international policy and external relations induced by their membership of the countries in development”.
In the government of Jorge Alessandri (1958-1964), these relations were created, in particular, because his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Martinez, considered that “decolonization is one of the most structuring processes of this time”, wishing to develop an international policy which “brings Chile closer to other regions of the world”.
It was, then, decided, he recalled, to open the Chilean embassy in Algeria, a country whose “process of decolonization and the war of independence are emblematic “.
The Chilean embassy, therefore, opened its doors in Algiers, covering from the Algerian capital, Tunisia and Morocco affairs, the researcher said.
“For the Alessandri government (1964-1970),” the establishment of relations and the opening of embassies in the new countries resulting from the decolonization process have enabled Chile to come closer of a phenomenon which totally changed the international scene, thus outlining the contours of a different international policy “, highlighted Professor Eugénia Palieraki, historian who has done research on the relations between foreign peoples, “Algerians in particular”, and the Chilean State.
The opening of new embassies , thus, made it possible to know the “social, economic, cultural and political reality of the States with which relations have been established, and to forge links with other emerging States, ” added the Professor.
In other words, the Researcher pointed out, that the presence of Chilean ambassadors in Algeria was also the “starting point of a trip to other African countries, allowing this country to learn more about other realities on the African continent “.
When Salvador Allende became President of Chile in 1970, he sought to “anchor, as state policy, the links previously forged with Algeria.” Salvador Allende was, moreover, the first (and so far the only) President of Chile to visit Algeria.
The first thing he did was to appoint a “trusted” ambassador, Eduardo Salum, as Chilean ambassador to Algeria.
In his international policy, and particularly in its bilateral dimension, Allende shared with President Houari Boumediene the same strategic vision on the nationalization of natural resources to ensure development and economic sovereignty, which was translated in practice by the nationalization of copper mines in Chile and hydrocarbons in Algeria “.
This means that Algeria has played a “central role” in the development of Allende’s foreign policy in Chile and its “rapprochement” with Africa, which has allowed it to “forge relations with the anti-colonialists African movements and liberationists and their main leaders, ” added the same researcher.
Recently, Algerian Ambassador to Chile Mohamed Sofiane Berrah said “new forms of cooperation may emerge between the two countries after the decision of the Chilean government to close its embassy in Algiers was frozen.”