Senate Votes to Bar Chile ‘Torture Ship’
The Senate on Friday passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of an invitation to a Chilean Navy “torture ship” to participate in the July 4 Liberty Weekend celebration in New York City.
“The Statue of Liberty would weep at the sight of the Esmeralda entering the gateway of freedom at New York harbor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said.
The measure describes the ship as “the notorious vessel used for the torture of 112 political prisoners” at the time Gen. Augusto Pinochet seized power in a military coup in Chile in 1973.
The resolution, passed on a voice vote, also calls the Esmeralda an unfortunate reminder of “serious violations of basic human rights and civil rights” that are continuing under Pinochet’s rule.
Kennedy said that he hoped the Esmeralda, already on its way to New York, will turn back and not participate in the U.S. Independence Day festivities.