About the Author: Alejandro Wolff serves as U.S. Ambassador to Chile.
Today marks the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Chilean friendship! On this day in 1812, Joel Robert Poinsett of Charleston, South Carolina, met with the president of the First Chilean Governing Council as not only the first U.S. diplomat to Chile, but the first accredited member of any foreign government to reach the newly independent nation. Poinsett was received as U.S. Consul General to Chile by Jose Miguel Carrera during a time of revolution in Latin America. The United States, having recently achieved its own independence and engaged at the time in a second war with England, was supportive of Chile’s struggle for freedom. Poinsett fought alongside Chilean patriots and participated in the group that drafted Chile’s first constitution. He returned to the United States in 1814, having laid a foundation of diplomacy… more »