One of the most powerful figures in recent history who decisively influenced international politics in the second half of the 20th century is leaving. The former Security Councilor and Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissingerhas died at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut (United States), according to a statement from his geopolitical consulting firm, Kissinger Associates Inc.

Architect of the international relations of the United States of the 70s, Kissinger has emerged as a figure as mythologized as he is controversial. On the one hand, he is defined as the diplomat who promoted a detente in relations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War by signing the temporary ceasefire with Vietnam, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in this year. Kissinger’s relevant role as a mediator in the Middle East is also often highlighted.

Kissinger is placed in the conceptual framework of realpolitik either power politicswith pragmatism and the increase in American power being the main focus of their decisions.

However, and as a strategist who always put the interests of the United States above all else, until the end of his days the shadow of his support for the Latin American dictatorships of the 70s. It is not difficult to find positions and groups that have directly described him as a “war criminal.”

Kissinger always denied his involvement in the Pinochet coup d’état in Chilecontrary to what declassified secret information later revealed: “Our concern was with the 1976 elections and not at all with a coup in 1973, about which we knew nothing,” he said, in statements that you can see in the video superior.

Among his great achievements stands out, among others, having facilitated in 1972 the historic summit of Richard Nixon with Mao Tse Tung in Chinawhich marked the normalization of relations between both countries.

From fleeing Nazism to controlling the world of the Cold War

Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in within a German Jewish family that arrived in New York in 1938 fleeing Nazism. He would soon begin to hold important positions by participating in the intelligence services of the United States Army during World War II. In 1943 he obtained dual citizenship.

He began to interact with the Republican Party in the 1950s and his diplomatic career was on the rise; In 1969 he was appointed National Security Advisorunder the presidency Richard Nixonuntil in 1973 he began directing the 56th Secretary of Statethe position equivalent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain.

Already the country’s top diplomat, he inaugurated his position with a speech in which he advocated for “a world in peace, with justice, compassion and humanity.” Only a few months before he had been the architect of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, a treaty with which a ceasefire was agreed in the long Vietnam War. That agreement earned him the Peace Nobel of that year, shared with the leader of North Vietnam, Le Duc Tho, but the latter declined.

Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho (left) and Kissinger (right), at the 1973 Paris Peace Accords

As soon as he took office he had to face the oil crisis unleashed after the Yom Kippur War and the United States’ support for Israel in the conflict with the Arab countries. Kissinger participated as mediator between Israel and Egypt and helped end the conflict with an agreement signed in October 1973.

Kissinger, who survived the watergate scandal that ended Nixon’s career, he remained in office with the President Gerald Ford until 1977; Later, under Ronald Reagan, he moved to the office that controlled relations with the countries of Central America.

The Jewish academic and professor has never stopped playing a relevant role in American politics: in 2002 he was chosen by Bush Jr. to head the commission of investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and with Obamatook care of mediating with Russian President Medvedev to negotiate a arms treaty.

Visited Spain

With respect to our country, and as the video also shows, Kissinger He traveled to Spain in 1973 and met with the dictator Francisco Franco and a young prince Juan Carlos de Borbón, who was then 35 years old. She would later return, as we see in the video, during the mandate of José María Aznar.

Kissinger and Netanyahu, at UN headquarters in New York in September 2023.

His mythologized figure and his role as mediator have led him to continue being a leading actor in international relations and he has participated in dozens of forums and conferences even in the 21st century. Figures like Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or Xi Jingping They have had meetings with Kissinger. We have also seen him meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, just a month before the outbreak of the last war between Israel and Hamas.

One of his last public speeches was given in 2022, in a video conference during the Davo World Economic Forums, almost 99 years old, although he has continued to be present in the public sphere with lucidity, participating in events until practically the end of his days and publishing speeches and analyzes of international current events. on its official website.