Thursday, September 11, 2014
September 11, 1973 Chile
On this day in history in 1973, the United States, after years of working to destabilize Chile and install capitalist politicians, succeeds in a fascist coup that leaves socialist president Allende dead in the Capital, supposedly by suicide by the rifle that Fidel Castro gave him.
After the death of Allende - the first elected Socialist president in South America - the United States installed the right-wing dictator General Pinochet.
According to Wikipedia, the military under Pinochet’s new regime “killed thousands of Chilean Leftists, both real and suspected, or forced their “disappearance”. The military imprisoned 40,000 political enemies in the National Stadium of Chile; among the tortured and killed desaparecidos (disappeared) were the U.S. citizens Charles Horman, and Frank Teruggi. In October 1973, the Chilean song-writer Víctor Jara, and 70 other political killings were perpetrated by the death squad, Caravan of Death(Caravana de la Muerte).
The government arrested some 130,000 people in a three-year period; the dead and disappeared numbered thousands in the first months of the military government. Those include the British physician Sheila Cassidy, who survived to publicize to the UK the human rights violations in Chile. Among those detained was Alberto Bachelet (father of future Chilean PresidentMichelle Bachelet), an air force official; he was tortured and died on 12 March 1974,. The right-wing newspaper,El Mercurio (The Mercury), reported that Mr Bachelet died after a basketball game, citing his poor cardiac health. Michelle Bachelet and her mother were imprisoned and tortured in the Villa Grimaldi detention and torture centre on 10 January 1975.”
Henry Kissinger, President Nixon, and a so-called economist named Milton Friedman are responsible for these atrocities.
The interesting part about this whole event is that the Chilean people pretty much hated Allende. Then Pinochet took over and de-nationalised huge chunks of Chile’s economy, thus renewing foreign business’s interest in Chile, which had dropped off dramatically due to Allende nationalising almost every major business in Chile at the time. However, this all came at the cost of sending income inequality rates sky fucking high for 20 years until the junta got thrown out in 1990. Yes, the CIA was, to a very large degree, propping up the coup, but the coup was in fact popularly supported. Of course, supporters of the coup’s opinions tended to change after the junta killed their families under suspicion of them being dissidents. In summary, the story of Chile’s transition from stable American-style democracy, to stable socialist democracy, to spectacularly unstable military dictatorship, then back to democracy is as fascinating and complex as it is bloody.
Remember real US History. Don’t let the flagwavers erase this shit.