Saturday, December 16, 2006

Death of a dictator, Pinoccho dies

The news of the death of dictator Pinochet spread fast among circles throughout Latin America. I was in Sao Paulo at a film festival. As we heard the news, fellow political film makers embraced eachother with joy. As the meeting ended we opened bottles of beer and made a special toast: to the death of a dictator and for freedom. Traces of the dictatorship are alive and well in Chilean society. Currently Michelle Batchelet has ordered police forces to repress any street protests
that may interfere with the neoliberal order. Many activists have been put in jail in recent days, anarchists and mapuches fighting for self-determination. This short entry is dedicated to the some 3,200 Chileans who lost their lives fighting for a better world.















30 Years Since Chile's Military Coup, Allende Lives

Marie Trigona October 3, 2003

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!
These are my last words and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain.
I am certain that at least it will be a moral example
that will punish the felony, cowardice, and treason."
-- Salvador Allende, Sept. 11, 1973

For Latin Americans, Sept. 11 marked a cataclysmic event well before that same date in 2001 was etched in the conscience of the U.S. populace by terror attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Organization headquarters. On that date in 1973, Chile awoke to a U.S.-supported military coup against its democratically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende. By 12:15 p.m., Allende lay dead in La Moneda, Chile's presidential palace.

U.S. Involvement, End of People's Government

"The armed forces have acted with patriotic inspiration to take a nation out of chaos, a grave chaos that Allende's Marxist government caused," declared a triumphant Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte the night of Sept. 11. Chile's military junta (1973-1990) replaced Allende's democratic socialism with a tyranny of terror that continues to haunt the nation.

Allende's government was targeted as a threat to U.S. strategic policy in Latin America early on. White House tapes reveal that on Sept. 14, 1970, then-President Richard Nixon ordered measures to force the Chilean economy into bankruptcy. "The U.S. will not accept a Marxist government just because of the irresponsibility of the Chilean people," declared Henry Kissinger, Nixon´s secretary of State. "The CIA had a large role in the strike against Salvador Allende and the Chilean people," states U.S. author James Cockroft. "Big corporations like [the] ITT American telecommunications giant also played a large role in preparing the conditions for the coup in Chile. Economic blockades, destabilization of the economy, direct military participation were all part of the imperialist intervention of the CIA and U.S. military," continues Cockroft.

Four U.S. battle ships approached Chile's coast Sept.11, supposedly to participate in regional military practices. They maintained permanent contact with the coup leaders. Leading up to the coup, in July and August right-wing terrorists trained by U.S intelligence agencies carried out over 250 sabotage actions, exploding electric lines, targeting industry belts, and assassinating key civilians. In October 1972 the Chilean Transport Confederation called a general strike, financed by the CIA, which paralyzed the nation. Months before the military coup, the Chilean army began immobilizing worker-controlled factories by organizing operatives and testing the possible reactions of the working class to a coup. "Three years of economic war permitted the White House and internal opposition to win an important sector of the middle class. It's here the official rebels found the base of support to develop their plans," expresses Patricio Guzmán in his moving film The Battle of Chile.

"Economic methods to destabilize progressive governments were perfected in 1973," comments Cockroft. Even while confronting attempts at destabilization, Allende's approval among public opinion rose. On Sept. 4, 1970 Allende, as candidate of the Popular Unity Front, was elected with 36.4% of votes. In March of 1973, Allende's party won legislative elections with 43. 4%. In response to employer lock-outs in industry, factories were nationalized and workers organized themselves to control production. Activists from MIR, the Leftist Revolutionary Movement, tell of expropriating buses with pistols in hand and working armed inside factories to guarantee that production and transportation continued.

Workers, peasants, students, and state workers rallied behind Allende in huge street demonstrations, by organizing community deposit centers where food was sold at cost, and by opening supermarkets closed during the business shut-down. On Sept. 4, 1973, in response to the perceived immanence of the coup attempt and a plebiscite planned for Sept. 11, the largest political act in Chile's history was held in Santiago's center, mobilizing tens of thousands of people.

Cockcroft notes that as a result of the coup, the Chilean oligarchy and the U.S. imperialists were able to install a repressive dictatorship and a neoliberal economic regime that left the majority of the people poorer than during Allende's government, when over half the population improved its economic condition. Pinochet immediately applied U.S.-prescribed measures of privatization and elimination of restrictions on the circulation of capital. Conditions favorable to foreign investors, including tax exemptions, and the lowering of environmental and labor standards sought to lure foreign investors.

But the neoliberal model imposed after Allende's fall was only possible through the brutal control of all political dissent, achieved by militarizing society and implementing a state of terror. "After Sept. 11 all military resources were used to repress the Popular Unity Front, with North American compliance and presence," Guzmán narrates. In the ensuing days, sport stadiums were transformed into concentration camps where thousands passed through the hands of the dictatorship's terror and torture; executions and disappearances became commonplace.

Over the next 17 years, Pinochet's dictatorship insured a submissive and dependent economy and a stranglehold on dissent. It is estimated that about 550 enterprises under public-sector control, including most of Chile's largest corporations, were privatized between 1974 and 1990. During the same period, some 3,000 people were officially declared dead or disappeared.

The Past that Lingers.....Read more

watch Images of a dictatorship

Marie Trigona

RENEGADE EYE

23 comments:

sonia said...

Traces of the dictatorship are alive and well in Chilean society. Currently Michelle Batchelet has ordered police forces to repress any street protests

Actually, Michelle Bachelet was a victim of torture under Pinochet. So to imply that she is a 'trace' of the dictatorship is pretty low...

Give it up. Chile is the richest and most prosperous country in Latin America. Anybody protesting THAT in Santiago is a dumb fool...

Compared to Castro and Chavez, Pinochet was an angel...

The only dictatorship IN THE ENTIRE WORLD that killed FEWER people than Pinochet's (3,000 dead)was Poland Jaruzelski's regime in the 1980's (90 dead)...

Victims of Communism run in TENS OF MILLIONS, not 3,000...

troutsky said...

Fascism lives on in the apoligists and haters of liberty.And those who measure the quality of life by GDP.The most frightening trend on the planet is the resurgence of those like sonia wishing to impose order (neoliberal or religious) through any means necessary,who justify torture and repression in service of the almighty dollar or any other god they worship.Read the right wing blogs right now and you will recognize the language of Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco and Pinochet.

sonia said...

Troutsky,

Let me rephrase your statement:

The most frightening trend on the planet is the resurgence of those wishing to impose TOTALITARIAN order by FALSELY PROMISING equality and social justice, but only delivering poverty, censorship, closed borders, and international tensions. Read the LEFT wing blogs and you will recognize the language of Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro and Chavez.

Renegade Eye said...

Sonia: My computer died, and my computer access is only with computers with filters. Even your blogger biography page is blocked. I miss seeing your blog. Since my computer died, I have read more books. I'd love to soon argue with you at your site.

I'm sure Marie didn't mean to say, Chile is today as it was under Pinochet. Even more democract societies can repress protest.

I think you know the language of the left, and the left blogs don't promote dictatorship. You have too many lefty friends to believe that.

To my friends at Google/Blogger. I seem to be blocked from commenting for now.

Marie Trigona said...

As for Sonia's comments, I'm not going to waste my time to respond. I have no intention to "dialogue" or argue with the enemy. Saying that Pinochet was an angel is probably the most disgusting thing I've read in a long time. In fact, I think her comments should be erased. Her remarks are reactionary and fascist and have no place on my blog. My blog entries are meant to inspire liberation, not reactions from fascists. The bourgeousie colonialists (which fits Sonia's profile pretty well) have all the media outlets and ideological state apparatus at their disposal. We should never give the voice to fascism, if we are to build tools for communication for our liberation, we shouldn't be willing to give spaces for fascists. That's why Sonia has her own blog, to applaud dictatorships on her own blog not mine.

I can't stop thinking about Chile these days, what it would have been like to celebrate with the people. The people who did not benefit from Pinochet's U.S. supported neoliberal model, which is the majority of the country. The people who lost a loved one, those who were tortured, those who witnessed it all. Bachelet has persecuted many activists, the most marginal I may add. Bachelet has condemend many Mapuche to prison for defending their soveireignty. They were accussed of terrorism acts, laws written under Pinochet that even a former political prisoner like Bachelet has been unwilling to revoke. High school students have been repressed: gassed, jailed, beaten for fighting for education.

Long live Chile!
Long live the people!
Punishment for all those guilty of genocide!
constuyendo poder popular!

LeftyHenry said...

Give it up. Chile is the richest and most prosperous country in Latin America. Anybody protesting THAT in Santiago is a dumb fool...

Compared to Castro and Chavez, Pinochet was an angel...


ahahahahaha yeah that is why the amount of malnourished people in Chile are twice that of Cuba.

Its also quite strange to see you support a fascist over a democratically elected leader.

The only dictatorship IN THE ENTIRE WORLD that killed FEWER people than Pinochet's (3,000 dead)was Poland Jaruzelski's regime in the 1980's (90 dead)...

Victims of Communism run in TENS OF MILLIONS, not 3,000...


Ya and who is making the stats?

Victims of Capitalism run in the 10s of thousands daily, millions yearly. The World Health Organization in 1988 found that we have the technology to feed a population 12 times the size as the one we have now, but global capitalism fails to feed even 1. So don't play that bullshit card sonia.

BTW marie, great post but you spelled Pinochet wrong in your title and should correct it.

roman said...

Marie,

You will not convince anyone with statements like the following:
"We should never give the voice to fascism, if we are to build tools for communication for our liberation, we shouldn't be willing to give spaces for fascists."
People who disagree with you are not automatically fascists! Freedom means no censorship to opposing points of view. We are here to debate. Erasing opposing comments is the first stage of Fascism. Do not go down this path if you are truly seeking liberty for all. We here in the states hold freedom of expression very near to our hearts. Any attempt to extinguish this right will be viewed with great suspicion indeed.

GraemeAnfinson said...

I agree with Roman, erasing comments is not needed. Conversations are boring when everyone agrees.

In my view, people on the left have trouble admitting that leaders like Castro, and his dictatorship, are counterproductive(I wouldn't put Chavez in the group at all, I don't know what Sonia is talking about). I couldn't give two shits about Castro. I wouldn't want to live with the government breathing down my neck, whether it is considered "right" or "left." The right wing doesn't want to acknowledge that their beloved capitalist societies create unchecked bureaucracies that reak havoc on the world by trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of it, leaving millions of dead bodies in their wake.

Nicholas said...

In the local rag around my small town they reported the death and in summing up his leggacy they said the following (I am summing up): "His legacy was mixed, on one hand his brave anti-communism fighting the Soviet Union and Cuba on the other hand his illegal methods and disappearances."

I was really appalled!

Sonia: please, citing high GDP is silly and does not take into account anything like unequal distribution of wealth, suppression of unions etc. Second, Black Book of Communism is s propagamda piece with rather inaccuarate numbers on deaths and to what they can be attributed to. Also think about the US occupation of Iraq and the 650,000 extra deaths as a result (Lancet Study).

sonia said...

Saying that Pinochet was an angel is probably the most disgusting thing I've read in a long time.

I have always find it VERY strange why Leftists have bestowed such celebrity status on Pinochet. After all, even among RIGHT WING dictators, there are plenty who were far worse than him (both in terms of the number of people killed and the social inequality). Few people criticize Argentinian mass murders from the 1970's junta (their names are virtually unknown outside Argentina). Guatemala's butchers aren't household names neither. Burma's genocidal rulers are pratically anonymous. Uganda's Adi Amin is famous, all right, but more as a clown than pure evil. There is no real hatred when leftist talk about Amin.

So why Pinochet ?

I think it's because Pinochet is viewed as a traitor to the left. Pinochet was Allende's close personal friend, promoted by Allende who fired numerous honest, pro-democratic Chilean army generals in order to install this anti-democratic tyrant. Allende thought (wrongly) that Pinochet would be loyal to him and arrest only Allende's enemies. Pinochet was to be Allende's attack dog. Well, the attack dog betrayed his master and the rest is history.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Another article about Pinochet, we had a party celebrating that bastard's death.

In any case, well done Marie for not replying to Sonia as it is a waste of time.

This is another link: http://www.marxist.com/pinochet-dead-kill-system141206.htm

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

PS: Sonia statistics by the UN shows 2 billion live in less than 2 dollars. Grow up and read the difference between Stalinism and Communism (and now she would copy paste her Dad was a Communist bla bla bla)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the bigger font at the end! Your blog has awful font for one that has such looooong posts…

Pinochet. Yeah, he was a prize cunt. But I get the feeling that everybody (left and right) is getting very excited about the death of the old bastard because they don’t have any real ideological battles to fight TODAY.

Pinochet is a historical character whose crimes were part of the Cold War bullshit. But that’s over, gone…

But it was so much easier then, wasn’t it? And now it’s all changed. Let’s move on….

BEATROOT (CAN'T SIGN IN ANYMORE ON MY NAME FOR SOME REASON0...

Marie Trigona said...

Two quick comments, Pinoccho is the nickname for the torturer Pinochet. It's the Spanish version of Pinochio.

I just came across this article which I thought was great. The author, Laura Carlsen is a seasoned writer and great person. Thanks Laura, for writing this.

The Death of the Defense of Dictators

http://news.nacla.org/2006/12/14/the-death-of-the-defense-of-dictators/

jams o donnell said...

I won't shed a tear for Pinochet. It is a pity he did not face justice for his crimes.

One thing that does irk is that Pinochet seems to have overshadowed the acts of other dictators. Rios Montt is a case in point even though there is a chance (albeit small) that he may face trial for his acts.

Not that I am saying we should belittle what Pinochet did of course.

Jae said...

This type of conversation plays itself over and over in the blogosphere -- passionate and well-meaning people who argue over cults of personality (Pinochet vs Castro!) while the puppetmasters at the CIA and other U.S. spy agencie are pretty much left alone. So much death and destruction worldwide has been conceived by these bastards; I hope there will be a comeuppance soon.

troutsky said...

It is the tactic of the intellectually impoverished to set up "straw man" arguments such as Sonias' "celebrity status" or "no REAL hatred of Amin" attempts.She claims without a shred of evidence something exists and then uses it to try to prove a point. How would she judge the authenticity of everyones "hate"? Who bestows celebrity status?

But unlike Marie, I am glad she is allowed to display this poverty of analysis on this site so we can de-construct her methods and perhaps learn the flaws in reasoning and distorted knowledge that animate the arguments of others of her political persuasion.

As for beatroots point about lack of current ideological battles? Is this meant to be sarcastic? Isn't there value in looking at history to see if there are lessons for our own historical moment?

Renegade Eye said...

I've always had opposition on my blog, sometimes from my own comrades.

I agree the left should start mentioning people as Amin, before the progressive masses, look to neocons for help.

beatroot said...

Of course the guy was an old cunt, but I get the impression that both the depleted right and the depleted left are using his death as a way to try and re-ignite some passion into their lack of politics.

Mike B) said...

Another one bites the dust. Gee...we've had the Tukmenstan dictator kick it; Uncle Miltie Friedman; Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Peanutshit here. Wow! It's a good year for the Grim Reaper and for all of us, a very Merry Christmas!

ramo said...

But he was never brought to justice. And this is not what they tought us about bad guys when I was a kid!

clash said...

@Sonia: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2067626.ece

May be this will give you an insight and stuff to blather more about Chile.

He was an old skunk!

Trivia of the day: In asia, you get alcohol & ciggies for the cheapest price in Manila. Where a 2 tablets can cost you a fortune.

May be Pinnochet days did the same in Chile too...

clash said...

inThanks for linking me here! :)

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