Inaugurating the New Operation, August 8, 1970
Haldeman: In August we had the inauguration of the new operation, and we
organized a big show. The president just loved it. We had
buses in front of the La Afoneda in the central plaza downtown,
and we had four or five hundred people invited, all the
dignitaries in all sectorspolitics, business, church.
Swent: And you bussed them all the way out to Rancagua?
Haldeman: We bussed them all in a big convoy with a police patrol in front
of it, and we went up and had a big lunch in the warehouse at
the smelter. We took the president and a group, and even the
archbishop of the Catholic Church went along, too.
Swent: To give it a blessing.
Haldeman: Yes, that's right. We took him underground and showed him
around, and we took him up in a cage with the brand-new hoist,
where you could lift two railroad cars loaded up to the levels.
He was very impressed, and he enjoyed it--oh, gosh, the ribbons
and all that kind of stuff.
Swent: It must have been a great day for you, too.
Haldeman: Yes. On the way back on the bus, here was the head of the
church, the members of the board, senators, deputies, and
representatives of the area. All of us were tired. It was
about six o'clock in the afternoon, and we were coming down the
hill on the new highway. We were just about into the central
valley, and the president stood up on the bus, turned around,
and said, "I make a motion that we all give a big round of
applause to Bob Haldeman for the wonderful job he's done." A
good politician. [laughs]
Viewing a main tunnel in the Braden copper mine
(click for larger image)
Index to Haldeman Interview