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Chilean Ship Docks on Unofficial Visit

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The Chilean naval training ship Esmeralda docked at Haifa yesterday and her complement of several hundred cadets was taken on tours of the country. But her visit is an unofficial call devoid of the usual ceremonies and receptions that normally greet the arrival of naval craft of a friendly power.

The official welcome was called off after some circles here said the ship had been used for the detention and torture of political prisoners after the overthrow of the Allende government by Chile’s ruling military junta three years ago. But Chile’s Ambassador, Jorge Gana Eastman, branded those charges lies spread by the Communists. He said that Chile’s relations with Israel which had been very friendly, have come under a strain and are, now, definitely unfriendly as a result of the official snub to the Esmeralda.

The auxiliary-powered sailing vessel will remain at Haifa for three days during which she will receive all port services and replenish her supplies.

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