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Pinochet is dead

by kcurie Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:54:49 AM EST

It is all over the airwaves in Spain now.

In Spain he was indeed an important figure. Probably, after Chile, Spain is the country where Pinochet had more.. let's say relevance.

It was a spanish judge, B. Garzon, the one that started the prosecution against Pinochet and ordered the arrest in England.. the now oh-so fmaous arrest...

I guess a lot of you have a lot to say about his death.. at least I have.

From the diaries -- whataboutbob


The reason why I post this diary is the constant narrative I have been hearing around here in Spain.. and around Chile claiming:

"he must not die without being formally declared guilty...." because of world justice, or because of pure justice, or because we must send a signal to future dictators...

I have heard this argument from different NGO, Amnisty International first among many.

Well, it seems he has died with prosecutions behind him but with no formal declaration of guilty standing.

Actually, there have been a lot of indictments and resolutions which could be read as such.. and a lot of defense pleas that could be read as such.

But he never got to prison, never...some would say he was close...but at the end of the day, he did not end in prison.

Was it important? Is it important now?

He has a good deal of supporters in Chile.. and in the US and Great Britain. It is even more true now than ever that the UK government rule that liberated him stating that he would receive a fair trial in Chile was just plainly false..they were lying .. and they knew it.

But again, was, is  itreally important? Chile's judges tried to prosecute him... people knew about his dollar accounts from Chile prosecutors (judges there).. and his deadly past plans.. does it matter then?

I still do not know... I am actually not sure. I am quite positive that some time in prison would have been great... but so important?

I guess, the question is not about prison but about humilitiation, some people want him humiliated.. for revenge, as a signal to future dictators, or for the victims or..

But regarding the important and cold issues that we in this community care about, namely, about whether we are closer to a real international criminal court which could prosecute Bush, Cheney and Rummy.. and about whether we are close to destroy the right-wing radicals in Chile that are trying to undermine Bachelet... would the image of Pinochet entering a Chilean prison have changed the odds of success in both counts?

I am still wondering... and I would prefer to think that no, it does not really matter... but I am not sure.

Display:
The AP report:

Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the fierce anti-communist dictator who ruled Chile with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990, died Sunday from heart complications, the Santiago Military hospital reported. He was 91.

The brief announcement by the hospital said Pinochet' condition worsened suddenly and doctors rushed him back to the Intense Care Unit, from which he had been removed only on Thursday while recovering from an acute heart attack he suffered one week ago.

Relatives and friends of Pinochet were arriving at the hospital.

Pinochet had been admitted a week earlier to the hospital with what doctors described as an acute had attack. He underwent an angioplasty procedure in which doctors enlarge the clogged artery to allow restoration of the blood flow to the heart,

Pinochet died al 2:15 p.m. (1715 GMT), the hospital said.

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 01:16:26 PM EST
..notice that Pinochet was a "fierce anti-communist dictator"... not a "mass murder sociopath"

just a comment.

A pleassure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 01:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't save Western Civilization© without breaking a few™ eggs.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 02:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't call Castro "mass murder sociopath" either, but "fierce communist dictator".

Except in Sweden where the state television makes celebratory disinfotainment about him. I wonder if they'll do the same about Pinochet?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 02:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where is Castro's equivalent of Santiago's National Stadium?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Low end estimates for political executions under Castro are in the low thousands, high end ones in the low five figures, almost all in the late fifties and sixties (not counting Cuban exile estimates - I've seen them put forward six figure totals but they're not the most reliable source). There were also some pretty nasty labour camps for political opponents and anti-social types (e.g. gays) back in the sixties.
by MarekNYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read some similar numbers of a couple of thousand just after the war. Castro is indeed a vengeance-sociopath,as any other dictator reaching the position through war.

Later on , it has been the standard drip-drop of executions...much below the China or the US levels.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Later on , it has been the standard drip-drop of executions...much below the China or the US levels.

Who knows, though I'm sure that the absolute figures are much lower, but relative to population size? They generally refuse to release any information about the issue. In any case these days the death penalty is primarily used against common criminals, rather than political opponents.

by MarekNYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading something about a poltical prison on the Isle of Youth (Isla de Juventud) where one of the alledged punishments was forcing prisoners to eat dirt.  

I have no doubt that Castro's Cuba engages in human rights abuses, but is this a matter of the neighborhood they live in, or is it caused by the regime.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course it's caused by the regime. Cuba is a fierce communist dictatorship. Sad thing Bush didn't invade Cuba instead of Iraq.

I am not sure how many political enemies Casto have murdered, but I am sure that it's more than Pinochets 3000.

Though comparing kill counts between dictators always turns into a rather abstract exercise. Was Stalin several times as evil as Hitler as he killed several times as many people? The question is rather irrelevant.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sad thing Bush didn't invade Sweden.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 2003, there was a picture of Bush meeting with Aznar, and they had a "joke" caption that said, "and it was when President Bush heard PM Aznar say the Spain is a kingdom that his decision to invade was made."

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:34:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here in Sweden we do not have any need of being liberated from our government, as we managed to do that through democratic elections this autumn.

A privilege the Cubans don't have.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do have the privilege to wish death and destruction on the Cubans you want to "save".

Must be nice to be Swedish. Those of you privileged enough to never have lived under a dictatorship should refrain from making certain statements about wars of aggression killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

As an apologist of Pinochet, I suppose Franco also gives you warm-fuzzy feelings? Why is it that Castro is the only one of dozens of brutal Latin American dictators that "liberals" hate?

When Pinoched came to Franco's State funeral all elegant in his white cape he was shunned by all and sundry. Good thing he won't be getting a State funeral himself.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migu, your comment is unnecessarily tart - though I understand from where it comes.

Being a citizen of a country that has not fought a war in yonks does not disqualify one from commentary.

I cannot fully explain the Pro-Cuba undercurrents in Nordic society - strongly including Finland. The progressive record company I worked for in the 70's produced many Cuban music records, and any gigs were always well attended. But then communism has been a major player in Finnish politics since WWII, and even today has a minority following.

The Nordic political philosophy is strongly communalist for historical cultural reasons. It may be we are more neighbourly because in this sub-arctic society you never know when you'll have to rely on neighbours.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, in the 1960's the Swedes had no problem at all vacationing in Spain under our own repressive Dictator, so I am not going to take any lectures from Starvid, who must have been having one of his neocon moments.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sure that is true of Finns also. Sun worship makes you blind ;-)

But flippancy aside, it is the ol' state v individual separation. What one might feel about Cubans does not have to coincide with one's feelings about Castro - the same with the Spanish people and Franco. Or the English and Blair.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:57:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also the ol' "engage the people" v "destroy the country in order to save it" debate.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that is also true...

We had a good window of opportunity to do that when much of European media remained independent or at least out of the clutches of the MSM giants.

Now we have to work until new media such as ET gather enough steam to reopen communications that will engage the people.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:05:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, being within the Spanish cultural Sphere, there is always a window open into Cuba in Spain, as there was one open into Chile, or Argentina.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:09:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's some picturesque contemporary fiction. There a lot more, believe me.

IMDB: Tres suecas para tres Rodríguez (three Swedes for three lonely husbands)(1975)

Three friends who work together in an office have to stay in a bigger city without their wives. Therefore they want to take the chance and have some fun joining three girls from Sweden.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the 700,000 Brits in Spain ;-)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/in_depth/brits_abroad/html/europe.stm

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:11:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk about non-sequitur.

Thanks for the link, though.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:13:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me restate, regardless of what you think of Castro's government, the scale of carnage even at the per capita level is almost certainly higher in Columbia where there deaths result from the actions of paramilitaries than thosed cause the regime in Cuba.

I'm not saying the the Cuban government hasn't committed human rights abuses, it's just that I question whether that results from something special about the Cuban government or is just an artifact of the human rights situation in the region.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This started off as a reply to Mig asking in effect whether it was fair to compare Cuba under Castro to Chile under Pinochet given the number of people Pinochet had murdered - my answer yes, that they killed on roughly the same scale, and that if anything Castro had killed more. Same region btw, if we're seeing that as relevant.  Present day Cuba is much less repressive than it was Castro's first decade. Part of that is that they don't face an armed threat anymore, part probably the mellowing of the original revolutionary fervor. As repressive dictatorships go, Cuba is one of the better ones, and its demonization among many in the US is surreal. However, I find the soft spot that some on the left have for Castro disturbing, and no different than the widespread admiration for Pinochet that used to be so widespread among the right ('yay, universal health care', 'yay, privatized pensions', 'yay, he's a firm opponent of US imperialism', 'yay, he's a firm opponent of communism')

Columbia has far, far, greater carnage as a result of a dirty war against the Marxist rebels, and smaller scale but still significant bloodletting by the rebels themselves. At the same time Columbia has greater political freedom than Cuba. What I mean is that in Columbia your ability to organize and express yourself politically in ways the government doesn't like are much higher, and your chances of finding yourself unemployed and blacklisted much lower; on the other hand in Columbia if they get really annoyed they'll kill you, in Cuba they'll just send you to jail.

by MarekNYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 08:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sad thing Bush didn't invade Cuba instead of Iraq.

Heh, that would have been a "liberation" as on Haiti. Or, well, Iraq.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 08:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
these days the death penalty is primarily used against common criminals, rather than political opponents.

Well... who knows. The application of the death penalty was suspended four-five years ago (with reference to a request by Pope JPII IIRC), and it was broken once, to execute the ship hijackers. So it depends on whether you consider the hijackers common or political criminals.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 08:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does Castro have to do with Pinochet?

If it makes you happy: yes, Castro is also a sociopathic murderous thug.  So is Bush. So was Mao, Tojo, wossname in Romania, Hitler, Stalin, Tito, Franco, and so depressing forth.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 09:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More or less.... my thoughts :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does Castro have to do with Pinochet?

This quote from Pinochet (seen on escolar.net):

A man with a lot of charisma. He's brave, Fidel Castro. Political ...with an iron hand. He keeps it by force. He even sent his intimate friend to the firing squad. I would have given him life imprisonment or expelled from the country, but he had him killed by firing squad.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it would have been such a good thing for humanity if he had actually done serious time. It reminds me of the way the media always uses the word "alleged" when they talk about Bush's human rights abuses. As if.
by Matt in NYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait... the media have been talking about Bush's human rights abuses?

I gotta start paying more attention.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:52:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where where, what, where, how?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as shorthand. They actually write "the Administration's" or "the US military's" or "the CIA's ...<i?alleged</i> abuses. It won't be long, however, before names get named!
by Matt in NYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 05:32:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least in the UK the media has the excuse of the contempt of court act.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the comment with the status of the different processes agains Chile..a nd how they are standing.. from EFE (spanish news agency)

-300 lawsuits plus Argentina request for extradition (murder of general Prats 1974)

-arrested in 2001 for the murder of 74 people. Exhonarated in 2003 for dementia

-August 2004, start the process and relinquish of privileges for the Condor Operation. Finally  the Supreme COurt staid the case in September 2005.

-Process for fraud and economic crimes pending but Supreme court had accepted that he did not have privileges and he had to declare and face trial from last November.

-The process for the Colombo operation was going on, with domicilian arrest, with a bail of 46.000 $ + 19.000 $ to get the parole.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 02:14:38 PM EST
it should obviously read
"processes against HIM IN Chile"...rather obvious..but still.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:41:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think, I think...

Of Saddam who opposed the US and got public humiliation and a kangaroo court trial. And Pinochet who lived to 91 and died in his bed (oh, and I was forgetting, who was the US's puppet).

Then I wonder why we're all supposed to work with the US to uphold civilisation as we know it.

(Within Chile, though, I don't know. How much mileage would the paleo-fascists have got out of his prison martyrdom? How much less do their complaints appear credible now?)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 02:50:55 PM EST
...we will get some kind of answer to your last question.

It is the one I am wonderign more right now.

Spain first pages are going to be alla obut it.

There are already reprots about the fuenral fight.

tehre are people that will fight tooth and nail to get an state funeral for the great leader...

According to El Periodico, 27 % of Chileans want an state funeral with honors....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I'm sure the other 73% are partying.
Cheers!!!
by amanda2006 on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's probably a very good way to look at it.. ;)

Un abrazo

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He held free and fair elections, and when he lost, he left. That must count for something.
by messy on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 05:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only because he was sure he was going to win, plus he had already gotten himself appointed Commander-in-Chief and Senator for Life, so he thought he could avoid prosecution.
by Matt in NYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Miles de chilenos detractores del dictador Augusto Pinochet salieron a las calles a festejar mientras sus partidarios lloran al militar que ha muerto esta tarde en el Hospital Militar de Santiago.....

Meanwhile

Por el contrario, frente al Hospital Militar donde se encontraba internado Pinochet, decenas de simpatizantes lloran su fallecimiento portando fotografías del dictador y entonan de vez en cuando el himno nacional.

by Matt in NYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the rate will more or less stay like this.

We will see if there are celebration alla roudn Chile during the coming days.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even right-wing Chileans were upset to learn about the Pinochet family's financial shenanigans. And with a popular president who was tortured by him (and whose father was tortured to death), I don't think there would have been a whole lot of sympathy for that evil old man, no matter where he gasped his last breath.
by Matt in NYC on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 03:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard that big Maggie said she was sorry to hear about his death!  Is she mentally competent?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:27:09 PM EST
I am afraid this comment of here precisely points out that she is still mentally competent...

...well, as a matter of fact, I am not sure if all "her" comments are actually her comments or "her surrounding" comments...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 04:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

(This doesn't really need a caption, does it?)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Ghosts of Christmas past?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:55:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maggie was always a big fan of the General (see here and here - where he thanks him for bringing democracy to Chile - as if Chile wasn't in fact a democracy before the dictator decided to end this tradition, violently). Despite the fact that she found some of his "methods" unacceptable for Britain...

BTW, Friedrich von Hayek, was also a fan, it seems:

Like Friedman, Hayek glimpsed in Pinochet the avatar of true freedom, who would rule as a dictator only for a "transitional period," only as long as needed to reverse decades of state regulation. "My personal preference," he told a Chilean interviewer, "leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism." In a letter to the London Times he defended the junta, reporting that he had "not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende." Of course, the thousands executed and tens of thousands tortured by Pinochet's regime weren't talking.



The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We all love democratically minded strong men.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde gives him a good send off:

Pinochet a été aussi un symbole négatif pour les dirigeants européens de la gauche démocratique. En France et en Italie notamment, la chute d'Allende a été reçue comme une mise en garde. Pour réussir contre des gouvernements conservateurs, il fallait à la fois rassembler largement au-delà de la gauche et donner des gages aux Etats-Unis, pour éviter une déstabilisation qui n'aurait peut-être pas pris la forme d'une intervention musclée, mais qui aurait compromis l'alternance.

Pinochet was also a forboding sign for those European leaders of the democratic left. In France and in Italy notably, Allende's fall was taken as a warning. To succeed against conservative governments, one needed simultaneously to both rally citizens well beyond those of the left and signal proof of goodwill to the United States so as to avoid destabilizing actions on its part, which may not have necessarily taken the form of muscular intervention [as in Chile], but which nonetheless would have undermined the left's electoral prospects.

La page a été tournée avant même la mort de Pinochet. Il ne s'est guère trouvé que Margaret Thatcher pour honorer sa mémoire. Depuis les années 1990, de nombreux Etats d'Amérique latine ont renoué avec la démocratie. Des gouvernements de gauche, aux tendances diverses, de la rhétorique révolutionnaire d'un Chavez au réformisme pragmatique d'un Lula, sont arrivés au pouvoir par les urnes. Au Chili même, une transition réussie a permis la victoire, à la dernière élection présidentielle, de Michelle Bachelet, la fille d'un ancien compagnon de Salvador Allende, abattu par les sbires de Pinochet. C'est plus qu'une revanche. Une réparation.

The pages was turned even before his death. There was hardly anyone left beyond Thatcher to honor his memory. Since the '90's, numerous were the Latin American governments which re-established democracy. Left-wing governments of various stripes, from the revolutionary rhetoric of a Chavez to the reformist pragmatism of a Lula came to power via the ballot box. Even in Chile, a succesful transition to democracy enabled the victory, in Chile's recent Presidential elections, of Michelle Bachelet, daughter of a comrade of Salvador Allende, murdered by Pinochet's lieutenants. This is more than revenge. This is reparations.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.. indeed had in effect...

And the change in the politics of teh US towards Latin America is also very clear after Bush Sr.

Either the US saw the lights of human rights.. or they are too focused in the Middle East... or both .. or partially both :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My thoughts turn warmly to Neruda who enriched humanity with his voice. Eternal words now on the lips and minds of so many. Beautiful sensual Chile, let's hear your voice, your dreams.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 05:10:19 PM EST
de Gondi...

Pablo Neruda

ODA A LA FLOR AZUL

Caminando hacia el mar
en la pradera
-es hoy noviembre-,
todo ha nacido ya,
todo tiene estatura,
ondulación, fragancia.
Hierba a hierba
entenderé la tierra,
paso a paso
hasta la línea loca
del océano.
De pronto una ola
de aire agita y ondula
la cebada salvaje:
salta
el vuelo de un pájaro
desde mis pies, el suelo
lleno de hilos de oro,
de pétalos sin nombre,
brilla de pronto como rosa verde,
se enreda con ortigas que revelan
su coral enemigo,
esbeltos tallos, zarzas
estrelladas,
diferencia infinita
de cada vegetal que me saluda
a veces con un rápido
centelleo de espinas
o con la pulsación de su perfume
fresco, fino y amargo.
Andando a las espumas
del Pacífico
con torpe paso por la baja hierba
de la primavera escondida,
parece
que antes de que la tierra se termine
cien metros antes del más grande océano
todo se hizo delirio,
germinación y canto.
Las minúsculas hierbas
se coronaron de oro,
las plantas de la arena
dieron rayos morados
y a cada pequeña hoja de olvido
llegó una dirección de luna o fuego.
Cerca del mar, andando,
en el mes de noviembre,
entre los matorrales que reciben
luz, fuego y sal marinas
hallé una flor azul
nacida en la durísima pradera.
De dónde, de qué fondo
tu rayo azul extraes?
Tu seda temblorosa
debajo de la tierra
se comunica con el mar profundo?
La levanté en mis manos
y la miré como si el mar viviera
en una sola gota,
como si en el combate
de la tierra y las aguas
una flor levantara
un pequeño estandarte
de fuego azul. de paz irresistible,
de indómita pureza.

ODE TO THE BLUE FLOWER

Walking towards the sea
in the prairie
- it is today November,
everything has been born already,
everything has stature,
undulation, fragrance.
Grass to grass
I will understand the Earth,
step by step
until the crazy line
of the ocean.
Suddenly a wave
of air it shakes and it undulates
the wild barley:
it jumps
the flight of a bird
from my feet, the ground
gold thread plenty,
of petals without name,
it shines suddenly like green rose,
it is entangled with ortigas that reveals
its enemy chorale,
esbeltos stems, brambles
starred,
infinite difference
of each vegetable that salutes to me
sometimes with an express
flashing of thorns
or with the pulsation of its perfume
fresh, fine and bitter.
Walking to foam
of the Pacific
with clumsy passage by the low grass
of the hidden spring,
it seems
that before the Earth is finished
one hundred meters before the greatest
ocean
everything became delirium,
germination and song.
The very small grass
they were crowned of gold,
the plants of the sand
they gave mulberry rays
and to each small leaf of forgetfulness
a direction arrived from moon or fire.
Near the sea, walking,
in the month of November,
between the scrubs that receive
marine light, fire and salt
I found a blue flower
born in the hardest prairie.
From where, of what bottom
your blue ray you extract?
Your trembly silk
underneath the Earth
communicates with the deep sea?
I raised it in my hands
and I watched it as if the sea lived
in a single drop,
as if in the combat
of the earth and the waters
a flower raised
a small standard
of blue fire.  of irresistible peace,
of indómita purity.

translation by Google Translate



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:20:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A single line from Neruda:

I want to do to you what Spring does to cherry trees.

Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 07:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You play every day with the light of the universe.
Delicate visitor, you arrive in a flower and in water
...
Who writes your name in letters of soot among the southern stars?
O let me remember how you were then, when you did not yet exist.

Suddenly the wind howls and slams my window shut.
The sky is a net full of sombre fish,
...
While the sad wind gallops killing butterflies
I love you, and my joy bites your plum-like mouth.
...
I'll bring you merry mountain flowers, copihues,
Dark hazelnuts, and woodland baskets full of kisses.
I want to do to you what Spring does to cherry trees.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 08:10:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Time to remember and listen to Victor Jara,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%ADctor_Jara

brutally murdered by the dictator

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsbB222PQ6s&mode=related&search=

by amanda2006 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 01:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds as if Van Gogh is painting it.

And the joy to read a poet finding the right words, raising something to its full height and strength in a world that permanently debases and demeans both nature and our experience:

todo ha nacido ya,
todo tiene estatura,
ondulación, fragancia.

The fullness of life. Ah, de Gondi, a rich idea to think of Neruda, and rg to post this ode.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:07:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Long live the prick!

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:39:07 AM EST
The obit quite properly highlights the terror parts of his career, so I'm snipping them off altogether and I'll focus here only on theeconomic commentary, as the title of the obituary in the paper version of the FT is Despot who presided over terror and economic reform

Ah, reform...


Obituary: Augusto Pinochet 1915-2006

.... highlighted the two sides of his legacy: on the one hand he presided over what was undoubtedly a murderous regime; on the other he was the man who paved the way for Chile's economic prosperity.

(...)

For Pinochet was instrumental in modernising the Chilean state and laying the foundations for sustained economic growth.

(...)

Yet absolute political control was combined with a gradual reduction in the state's economic role. Pinochet was persuaded by his business allies, many of them influenced by the "Chicago Boys" - followers of the Chicago school of free market economics. They believed that free-market policies would be the most effective bulwark against Marxism.

Although Pinochet had leaned towards more nationalistic economic policies, he allowed his civilian advisers to open up the economy and dismantle Chile's import-substitution model. Subsidies and price controls were scrapped, tariffs reduced and a liberal foreign investment regime established. Inflation - which had reached Weimar proportions under Allende - was sharply reduced, the public payroll was slashed and government spending cut. Nationalised businesses were returned to the private sector and union power was curbed.

The economy was battered by this shock therapy, shrinking 13 per cent in 1975, but recovered strongly in the five years to 1981. However, over-reliance on foreign borrowing meant that Chile was harder-hit than any other Latin American country by the debt crisis of the early 1980s. Nearly a third of Chile's labour force was unemployed and the economy withered by a further 14 per cent.

More pragmatic policies restored economic health in the years that followed but the 1982 slump marked a watershed in Pinochet's career.

So reforms are good, but they only brought a shrinking economy, and then a debt crisis, which only "more pragmatic" policies solved? I'd be curious to know what a "pragmatic" "reform" policy is... One without "reform", presumably.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:56:56 AM EST
I think my head is going to explode...(copyright Mg)

Pragmatic means="no nonsense from the Chicago boys".

When it is pregamatic without reforms it means "they do nto want to follow what we say is good for you and our boys there ".

When it is pragamatic with reforms"good boy, yummy yummy, we have a candy for you Argentina".

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:35:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somebody is forgetting the economic warfare that was waged during Allende's presidency.

Oh, by the way, the Wikipedia articles are priceless:

[Allende] He was the first democratically elected Marxist president in the world, as Adolf Hitler was the first democratically elected nazi leader of a great power. Both violated the Constitution of their countries, but the Chilean Army, unlike the German Army, prevented Allende from transforming Chile into a dictatorship.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They've got some good quotes in the "Chile in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état" article.


  • "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." -- Henry Kissinger

  • "Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty." -- Edward M. Korry, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, upon hearing of Allende's election.

  • "Make the economy scream [in Chile to] prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him" -- Richard Nixon, orders to CIA director Richard Helms on September 15, 1970

  • "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. It would be much preferable to have this transpire prior to 24 October but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end, utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden..." -- A communique to the CIA base in Chile, issued on October 16, 1970

  • "[Military rule aims] to make Chile not a nation of proletarians, but a nation of entrepreneurs." -- Augusto Pinochet [cite this quote]

  • "We didn't do it. I mean we helped them. [Garbled] created the conditions as great as possible. -- Henry Kissinger conversing with President Nixon about the coup. Telephone call from Kissinger to Nixon


  • by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:49:10 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    How Friedman's Chilean follies are still celebrated as some sort of success, eludes me. I quote from Walden Bello's recent article, Milton Friedman and the Global South:

    Free market policies subjected the country to two major depressions twice in one decade, first in 1974-75, when GDP fell by 12 per cent, then again in 1982-83, when it dropped by 15 per cent.          

    Contrary to ideological expectations about free markets and robust growth, average GDP growth in the period 1974-89--the radical Jacobin phase of the Friedman-Pinochet revolution--was only 2.6 per cent, compared to over 4 per cent a year in the period 1951-71, when there was a much greater role of the state in the economy.          

    By the end of the radical free-market period, both poverty and inequality had increased significantly.  The proportion of families living below the "line of destitution" had risen from 12 to 15 per cent between 1980 and 1990, and the percentage living below the poverty line, but above the line of destitution, had increased from 24 to 26 per cent.  This meant that at the end of the Pinochet regime, some 40 per cent of Chile's population, or 5.2 million of a population of 13 million, were poor.          

    In terms of income distribution, the share of the national income going to the poorest 50 per cent of the population declined from 20.4 per cent to 16.8 per cent, while the share going to the richest ten per cent rose dramatically from 36.5 per cent to 46.8 per cent.

    The situation was only really reversed, says Bello, when the Concertation took over:

    The radical Friedman-Pinochet phase of the Chilean economic counterrevolution came to an end in the early 1990's, after the Concertacion came to power.   In violation of classic Friedmanism, this center-left coalition increased social spending to improve Chile's income distribution, bringing down the proportion of people living in poverty from 40 per cent to 20 per cent of the population.  This modification, which increased internal purchasing power, contributed to the post-Pinochet average yearly growth rate of six per cent a year.

    But perhaps skewing the income distribution upwards is considered by some circles an unmitigated success...

    In a similar vein Greg Palast wrote about the myth of the "Chilean Miracle", noting that the two pillars that allowed Chile to recover from the disaster of the Chicago experiments were the posthumous gifts of Allende: nationalization of the copper mines and land redistribution...

    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

    by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:32:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If Friedman had just totally destroyed the economy ... THINK of the Growth Rate afterwards!!!!

    Friedman (Dad & Junior) are so full of shit.  


    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

    by ATinNM on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:44:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    If you are having too good a day and need to get angry, or if you need to better understand the american conservative mind, go here about pinochet. The link won't be there after a couple of days.
    by STA (sta.blog@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 08:27:53 AM EST
    I didn't need that!

    Actually, it's good to read this filth once in a while, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves just how dangerous wingnuts are.

    by Matt in NYC on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:41:18 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I love the commies stuff...

    A pleasure

    I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

    by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:18:38 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Last Pinochet's joke: he died on Human Rights Day.

    To the reader: so sorry about my English. I'm working on it. My thoughts in Spanish are here.
    by natialmada on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:46:05 PM EST
    Judgement does matter. Violation of Human rights mustn't be unpunished, specially when the responsible is clearly identified. The only reason why he hadn't finished in prison his lasts days was that he was too close to some very important people, during and after his dictatorship.
    Impunity is so frequent in our Latin American countries,   Condemnation would have been also a sign to democracies in South America, to show them system works, and we shall trust the system.
    This way, the only sign we give to future generations is: you can do whatever you want, you'll never pay for it.  

    To the reader: so sorry about my English. I'm working on it. My thoughts in Spanish are here.
    by natialmada on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:01:21 PM EST
    Why don't you post your diary in Spanish anyway, with an English summary?

    Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:09:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Another sendoff, this one from the Washington Post's longtime South America correspondent, Pamela Constable, who wrote a book about Chile under Pinochet:

    Pinochet, who died Sunday at age 91, was a man with a mission. He genuinely believed he was doing the right thing, carrying out a grim duty in order to save his country from evil. In every speech and interview, the strongman of Santiago returned to the same theme: his sacred, patriotic calling to rid Chile of communism, whatever the cost.

    "I am a man fighting for a just cause; the fight between Christianity and spiritualism on the one hand, and Marxism and materialism on the other," he told a magazine interviewer in 1984. "I get my strength from God."

    But when Pinochet spoke of the need to "extirpate" communism from Chilean soil, it sent chills down my spine. As victims emerged from secret prisons, we learned what that verb really meant: fingernails pulled out, electric shocks applied to genitals, mock-rape by dogs. To this day, I remember the faces and the voices of weeping men, ashamed to confide the terrible things that had been done to them.

    An equally tragic legacy of Pinochet's rule was that it exacerbated the divisions that had split Chilean society during the presidency of socialist Salvador Allende, whose revolutionary ideals inspired the young and poor -- and horrified the old and wealthy.

    Instead of healing those wounds, Pinochet rubbed them raw. Instead of restoring civilian rule after overthowing Allende in 1973, he shut down Chile's democratic institutions. Military rule created a nation of sycophants and cowards, where neighbors did not speak for years, where office workers looked away as people were dragged into unmarked cars, where elegant housewives held pro-military parades and teenage slum-dwellers were tear-gassed.

    Even this week, many Chileans reacted to Pinochet's death with the same extremes of adoration and hatred that were common when he was still in power. Perhaps only now that he is gone, and one of his regime's torture victims, Michelle Bachelet, occupies the presidential palace, can the reknitting of Chile's social fabric finally begin.
    by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:51:29 AM EST
    Even this week, many Chileans reacted to Pinochet's death with the same extremes of adoration and hatred that were common when he was still in power. Perhaps only now that he is gone, and one of his regime's torture victims, Michelle Bachelet, occupies the presidential palace, can the reknitting of Chile's social fabric finally begin.
    Sure, Bachelet decided Pinochet wouldn't get a State funeral, the family decided that no members of the government were welcome at the funeral, and the Minister of Defence showed up anyway and was booed by the crowd. Let reconciliation begin.

    Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:18:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I like that very much.. coming from the WP...sometimes they do good reporting...

    A pleasure

    I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

    by kcurie on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 01:16:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A Dictator's Double Standard

    AUGUSTO PINOCHET, who died Sunday at the age of 91, has been vilified for three decades in and outside of Chile, the South American country he ruled for 17 years. For some he was the epitome of an evil dictator. That was partly because he helped to overthrow, with U.S. support, an elected president considered saintly by the international left: socialist Salvador Allende, whose responsibility for creating the conditions for the 1973 coup is usually overlooked. Mr. Pinochet was brutal: More than 3,000 people were killed by his government and tens of thousands tortured, mostly in his first three years. Thousands of others spent years in exile.

    [...]

    It's hard not to notice, however, that the evil dictator leaves behind the most successful country in Latin America. In the past 15 years, Chile's economy has grown at twice the regional average, and its poverty rate has been halved. It's leaving behind the developing world, where all of its neighbors remain mired. It also has a vibrant democracy. Earlier this year it elected another socialist president, Michelle Bachelet, who suffered persecution during the Pinochet years.

    Like it or not, Mr. Pinochet had something to do with this success. To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum.

    [...]

    The contrast between Cuba and Chile more than 30 years after Mr. Pinochet's coup is a reminder of a famous essay written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the provocative and energetic scholar and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who died Thursday. In "Dictatorships and Double Standards," a work that caught the eye of President Ronald Reagan, Ms. Kirkpatrick argued that right-wing dictators such as Mr. Pinochet were ultimately less malign than communist rulers, in part because their regimes were more likely to pave the way for liberal democracies. She, too, was vilified by the left. Yet by now it should be obvious: She was right.

    Deep breaths, smashing your computer screen won't help and you can't afford a new one ..... What motherfucking  liberal media?!!@!)#(*

    Damn, I guess I know what to expect when Jaruzelski dies <snark>. Showed great promise fighting the Nazis by enforcing political orthodoxy as political comissar during and after WWII. Commendable firmness in dealing with unrest caused by uppity workers in 1970 and again in 1981 opposing economic reform and demanding free trade unions and free speech. Stepped down voluntarily and left behind a vibrant democracy and thriving economy.... and had those sexy dark glasses that go so well with a uniform, just like Augosto...  Sweet fucking god.  Perhaps a gushing editorial in tomorrow's Post on the fifteenth anniversary of martial law? Gotta show appreciation to ALL heroes of freedom's march.

    by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:12:44 PM EST
    Yeah, I saw that editorial just after I linked to Constable's piece.  I'm really just speechless.
    by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:20:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Now we know how to fix Iraq: install a brutal right-wing dictator to pave the way to liberal democracy.

    Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I thought that's what Saddam was.
    by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:33:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I thought Baath was lefty?

    And it is not guaranteed that after the US is done with Iraq the whole exercise won't look like a detour.

    BTW, Saddam hasn't been executed yet, has he?

    <tinfoil>The US can mount an undercover operation to help an insurgent faction rescue Saddam from prison</tinfoil>

    Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

    by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:36:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Right and left really don't have the same meaning in this part of the world as they do elsewhere, but yes, technically the Baath party started out as hard left/Arab socialist mixed in with other ideologies.

    At any rate, I can hear them now:  "We tried to install a dictatorship that would evolve into a democracy, but that darn socialism ruined everything."

    You could, however, also say that they tried to install Chalabi in Iraq, thereby keeping with the pattern....

    by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:55:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    This is the editorial pages... how can they do such a travesty..

    now it turns out that Chile was not in very bad economic shape when the democratic rule was restablsihed...

    Now it turns out that the reasonably ceneter (left-of center someitmes) polticis hav enothing to do with Chile success now...

    Liberal media.. yeah.. but int he spanish sense of the word liberal!!!

    A pleasure

    I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

    by kcurie on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 01:18:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Hehe... You hould send your Jaruzelski comparison as a LTE.

    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 05:10:55 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


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