WASHINGTON — The Reagan Administration today brushed aside Sen. Jesse Helms' criticism of the American ambassador in Chile for having attended the funeral of a young man who was killed during anti-government protests.
The ambassador, Harry G. Barnes Jr. "is carrying out the President's policies toward Chile . . . (and) continues to have the President's full confidence," White House deputy press secretary Edward Djerejian said.
Helms, a Republican from North Carolina, said in an interview on the state-run television network in Chile that "if President Reagan were here, I believe he would send this ambassador home."
The senator accused the ambassador of having "planted the American flag in the midst of a Communist activity" when he went to the funeral Wednesday of Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, a 19-year-old Chilean who lived in Washington with his mother, a political exile.