World

Protests Await Obama in Chile

President Obama continues his three-country tour of Latin America, a balancing act of praising the region for its democratic advancements while the U.S. leads the way on a no-fly zone in Libya.

Obama arrives in Chile on Monday, where protestors will greet him with demonstrations demanding apologies for the United States' support of President Agusto Pinochet in the 1970s and 1980s.

Early Monday morning, a small explosive device blew-out the windows of a U.S. cultural institute in Viña del Mar, on the Chilean coast. There were no reported injuries and no group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Formally, Obama – who is the first president to visit Chile since President George H.W. Bush – will be welcomed by his Chilean counterpart, President Sebastián Piñera. In a scheduled news conference, Obama is expected to address his no-fly order over Libya for the first time.

A presidential aide said Obama, obviously, wasn't planning to discuss the revolution in Libya when he planned his five-day tour of Latin America.

"The world obviously is a complex place, with a lot of things going on at once, but it's precisely that — a lot of things going on at once," said White House national security aide Daniel Restrepo.

The president wrapped up his trip to Brazil on Sunday with a speech, consisting of theme he plans to continue in Chile El Salvador, on human rights.

"For the United States and Brazil, two nations who have struggled over many generations to perfect our own democracies, the United States and Brazil know that the future of the Arab world will be determined by its people," Obama said in his speech Sunday.

In that, some Chileans see a paradox as they recall the U.S. support for the overthrow of President Salvador Allende in 1973. Protesters on Sunday in Santiago demanded that Obama apologize to the Chilean people for U.S. interventions before and during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (pee-noh-CHET'). And Obama could face calls for turning over CIA and State Department records from that period to the Chilean judiciary.

"The military intervention signifies the deaths of thousands of people," said Guillermo Teillier, president of the Communist Party. "The exact number of detainees, the disappeared, is unknown."

Meanwhile, some of the protests, in light of the the crisis unfolding in Japan, will center on opposition to the nuclear plant being built by Chile

Based on reporting by The Associated Press and EFE.

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