Pinochet - hero or villain?

#21
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate, it's probably worthwhile setting out a timeline of Pinochet's rise to power and how it was achieved. Helps if you look at what went on in the context of the 1970's and remember who the real players were:

1970 Democratic elections put Salvadore Allende into power in Chile. In the USA Richard Millhouse Nixon orders the CIA to prevent his inauguration.
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger supervises the set-up of Track II; a plan to get rid of Allende. Allocation of $10m to finance the plan whilst formally insulating the US embassy in Santiago from any involvement.

1972 Under sustained US economic pressure the Chilean economy is contracting with inflation running at 500% PA.

1973 The CIA finances general strikes throughout Chile and is heavily implicated in the sabotage of public infrastructure. US embassy has doubled in size with a third of diplomatic staff direct CIA employees.

August 1973 - Augustus Pinochet, a CIA asset is promoted CinC after assuring Allende that he will remain politically neutral.

September 1973 - Long planned and extremely violent coup d'etat takes place. Unions are banned. 250,000 people are arrested. 1,000,000 Chileanos flee the country into exile.

Torture becomes commonplace......Chilean army officers are being trained by US at The School of the Americas [torture central]. Men, women and children are disappearing.

December 2006 - Augustus Pinochet shuffles off this mortal coil; mindfull one hopes that a special circle of hell is reserved for him.

RM
 
#22
Bergen said:
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate, it's probably worthwhile setting out a timeline of Pinochet's rise to power and how it was achieved. Helps if you look at what went on in the context of the 1970's and remember who the real players were:

1970 Democratic elections put Salvadore Allende into power in Chile. In the USA Richard Millhouse Nixon orders the CIA to prevent his inauguration.
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger supervises the set-up of Track II; a plan to get rid of Allende. Allocation of $10m to finance the plan whilst formally insulating the US embassy in Santiago from any involvement.

1972 Under sustained US economic pressure the Chilean economy is contracting with inflation running at 500% PA.

1973 The CIA finances general strikes throughout Chile and is heavily implicated in the sabotage of public infrastructure. US embassy has doubled in size with a third of diplomatic staff direct CIA employees.

August 1973 - Augustus Pinochet, a CIA asset is promoted CinC after assuring Allende that he will remain politically neutral.

September 1973 - Long planned and extremely violent coup d'etat takes place. Unions are banned. 250,000 people are arrested. 1,000,000 Chileanos flee the country into exile.

Torture becomes commonplace......Chilean army officers are being trained by US at The School of the Americas [torture central]. Men, women and children are disappearing.

December 2006 - Augustus Pinochet shuffles off this mortal coil; mindfull one hopes that a special circle of hell is reserved for him.

RM
Whilst I wont try to dispute any of the above, Allende was not the innocent socialist many would like him to be seen as. He was terrorising his own people and the rampant inflation was a tool to destroy the wealth and influence of the middle classes and to encourage the working class to support his violent suppression of any opposition. Allende may have been elected, but he was intent on ensuring that he and his successors would not have to be concerned about losing future elections.

Peter
 
#23
XROEW said:
......an evil, self serving little b*****d with a strange fetish .......
But aren't all Heads of Government ?
See ours for a prime example of self serving - fine he may not have personally despatched anyone (that we know of - yet :wink: ) but there probably are skeletons somewhere.......!?
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#24
Bergen wrote
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate,............
Seadog had written
An answer in the affirmative needn't mean support for his domestic policies.
The question stands. Dewy eyes do not mean support for torture and murder.

As Peter says, Allende was no saint though leftists worldwide might say otherwise. If Pinochet ends up in hell, he'll not be as close to the flames as
Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein (place reserved), Pol Pot, Joe Stalin (at the front), Adolf Hilter, Heinrich Himmler (next to Joe) and all those African-stand fast Amin- and even Latin American dictators whose names are forgotten (if ever known). Who is yer man in Sudan? The left seems quiet about Mugabe.

Had Allende been a right winger and Pinochet a Marxist general and the butcher's bill was the same, Guardianistas would now be dewy eyed.
 
#25
He put his country at our disposal during the Falklands War. For some reason that means something to me :?
Remember the old adage," My enemies enemy, is my friend". Where was our closest Euro. neighbour? Making sure the fcuking Exocets worked for the Argys.
There are a lot worse than him about.
RoofRat
 

jambosun

Lantern Swinger
#26
It's an interesting debate and while there have been plenty worse than Pinochet (and doubtless will be in the future) he was still a despicable and cruel individual. I was in Chile a couple of years ago and visited a coastal town called Pisagua in the north. It was a site of one of Pinochet's torture camps and a deeply distressing place. Just outside is a large graveyard with makeshift crosses marking the resting places of his victims. It is untended for the most part and several of the graves have collapsed leaving the dried out remains of their inhabitants on display.

I hope the bastard rots and sets aside a place for Mugabe next to him (soon hopefully)
 
#27
I am well aware that he gave us valuable aid just when we needed it but I would suggest he considered that aid a good investment, rather than freely given assistance. What did he get from Maggie in return, did he ask first, or just grap what was offered, there are quite a few questions still to be answered, something that we may never know.
 
#28
Funnily enough, I agree, or at least have some sympathy, with both Peter and Jambosun's views.

The three thousand(?) Disappeared, really pales into insignificance(as much as it ever can) when compared with some other regimes "disappeared" that have been around in the last few years.
RoofRat
 
#29
Seadog said:
Bergen wrote
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate,............
Seadog had written
An answer in the affirmative needn't mean support for his domestic policies.
The question stands. Dewy eyes do not mean support for torture and murder.

As Peter says, Allende was no saint though leftists worldwide might say otherwise. If Pinochet ends up in hell, he'll not be as close to the flames as
Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein (place reserved), Pol Pot, Joe Stalin (at the front), Adolf Hilter, Heinrich Himmler (next to Joe) and all those African-stand fast Amin- and even Latin American dictators whose names are forgotten (if ever known). Who is yer man in Sudan? The left seems quiet about Mugabe.

Had Allende been a right winger and Pinochet a Marxist general and the butcher's bill was the same, Guardianistas would now be dewy eyed.
General Pinochet's seating reservation will have little to do with the atrocities that he carried out against his people or whether the crimes he committed were left or right wing inspired. His real crime [in my opinion] was that he sold out his nation to the interests of another. He subjugated his own national interests to that of the USA and at the same time began to amass a personal fortune in foreign assets and bank accounts [the $28,000,000 uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg].

It is such a reassuring feeling to know that British politicians would never subborn our nation's interests to that of another nation. Would never put our troops in harm's way for a lie. Would never stand up in Parliament, face the people and treat them with utter contempt. Happy days.

RM
 
#30
Bergen said:
General Pinochet's seating reservation will have little to do with the atrocities that he carried out against his people or whether the crimes he committed were left or right wing inspired. His real crime [in my opinion] was that he sold out his nation to the interests of another. He subjugated his own national interests to that of the USA and at the same time began to amass a personal fortune in foreign assets and bank accounts [the $28,000,000 uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg].

It is such a reassuring feeling to know that British politicians would never subborn our nation's interests to that of another nation. Would never put our troops in harm's way for a lie. Would never stand up in Parliament, face the people and treat them with utter contempt. Happy days.

RM
I don't think any one has even suggested that the late Gen was an angel, he did much the same as any other dictator and I suspect that the good Dr Allende would have taken the same opportunities had he survived to do so, different paymasters but hey you make your choice and go with it.

There have been very few Soth Americam leaders elected or otherwise who have not used their position to feather their own little Swiss bank account. There are always contracts to award, friends to support and drugs to be sold.

Pinochet is but one of a por bunch
 
#31
Maxi_77 said:
Bergen said:
General Pinochet's seating reservation will have little to do with the atrocities that he carried out against his people or whether the crimes he committed were left or right wing inspired. His real crime [in my opinion] was that he sold out his nation to the interests of another. He subjugated his own national interests to that of the USA and at the same time began to amass a personal fortune in foreign assets and bank accounts [the $28,000,000 uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg].

It is such a reassuring feeling to know that British politicians would never subborn our nation's interests to that of another nation. Would never put our troops in harm's way for a lie. Would never stand up in Parliament, face the people and treat them with utter contempt. Happy days.



RM
I don't think any one has even suggested that the late Gen was an angel, he did much the same as any other dictator and I suspect that the good Dr Allende would have taken the same opportunities had he survived to do so, different paymasters but hey you make your choice and go with it.

There have been very few Soth Americam leaders elected or otherwise who have not used their position to feather their own little Swiss bank account. There are always contracts to award, friends to support and drugs to be sold.

Pinochet is but one of a por bunch
So the simple answer to the original question posed seems to be that Gusto was a villain and not a hero????
 
#32
Bergen said:
Seadog said:
Bergen wrote
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate,............
Seadog had written
An answer in the affirmative needn't mean support for his domestic policies.
The question stands. Dewy eyes do not mean support for torture and murder.

As Peter says, Allende was no saint though leftists worldwide might say otherwise. If Pinochet ends up in hell, he'll not be as close to the flames as
Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein (place reserved), Pol Pot, Joe Stalin (at the front), Adolf Hilter, Heinrich Himmler (next to Joe) and all those African-stand fast Amin- and even Latin American dictators whose names are forgotten (if ever known). Who is yer man in Sudan? The left seems quiet about Mugabe.

Had Allende been a right winger and Pinochet a Marxist general and the butcher's bill was the same, Guardianistas would now be dewy eyed.
General Pinochet's seating reservation will have little to do with the atrocities that he carried out against his people or whether the crimes he committed were left or right wing inspired. His real crime [in my opinion] was that he sold out his nation to the interests of another. He subjugated his own national interests to that of the USA and at the same time began to amass a personal fortune in foreign assets and bank accounts [the $28,000,000 uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg].

It is such a reassuring feeling to know that British politicians would never subborn our nation's interests to that of another nation. Would never put our troops in harm's way for a lie. Would never stand up in Parliament, face the people and treat them with utter contempt. Happy days.

RM
Bergen

He is not in the same league as your Africans he only managed to amass £28,000,000. Yer Pesident Mobutu of Zaire managed mere £52,000,000,000 yes 52 Billion while he people starved and were raped and pillaged by the military.

Pinochet was well down in the top 100 list friendly dictators. Uncle Joe Stalin held up by socilist to be all that was right in the world did for 32.000.000 yes thirty two million of his subjects. Pinochet was minor league and helped us out because the Argies are the enemies of Chile. They are still disputing island around the Cape Horn

Nutty
 
#33
RoofRat said:
He put his country at our disposal during the Falklands War. For some reason that means something to me :?
Remember the old adage," My enemies enemy, is my friend". Where was our closest Euro. neighbour? Making sure the fcuking Exocets worked for the Argys.
There are a lot worse than him about.
RoofRat
They were richly rewarded for the help they gave and don't forget that the French weren't the main culprits in making sure that Galtieri's AM-39's were integrated, functional and operational.

RM
 
#34
Bergen said:
So the simple answer to the original question posed seems to be that Gusto was a villain and not a hero????
Considering that he managed to retire and return the nation to democracy, and that many Chileans, not all I agree, think he was a great leader, perhaps he is not one of the greatest South American villain, and equally not a great hero, bit of a parsons egg really.
 
#35
Nutty said:
Bergen said:
Seadog said:
Bergen wrote
Before anyone gets too dewy-eyed over Chilean help during Corporate,............
Seadog had written
An answer in the affirmative needn't mean support for his domestic policies.
The question stands. Dewy eyes do not mean support for torture and murder.

As Peter says, Allende was no saint though leftists worldwide might say otherwise. If Pinochet ends up in hell, he'll not be as close to the flames as
Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein (place reserved), Pol Pot, Joe Stalin (at the front), Adolf Hilter, Heinrich Himmler (next to Joe) and all those African-stand fast Amin- and even Latin American dictators whose names are forgotten (if ever known). Who is yer man in Sudan? The left seems quiet about Mugabe.

Had Allende been a right winger and Pinochet a Marxist general and the butcher's bill was the same, Guardianistas would now be dewy eyed.
General Pinochet's seating reservation will have little to do with the atrocities that he carried out against his people or whether the crimes he committed were left or right wing inspired. His real crime [in my opinion] was that he sold out his nation to the interests of another. He subjugated his own national interests to that of the USA and at the same time began to amass a personal fortune in foreign assets and bank accounts [the $28,000,000 uncovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg].

It is such a reassuring feeling to know that British politicians would never subborn our nation's interests to that of another nation. Would never put our troops in harm's way for a lie. Would never stand up in Parliament, face the people and treat them with utter contempt. Happy days.

RM
Bergen

He is not in the same league as your Africans he only managed to amass £28,000,000. Yer Pesident Mobutu of Zaire managed mere £52,000,000,000 yes 52 Billion while he people starved and were raped and pillaged by the military.

Pinochet was well down in the top 100 list friendly dictators. Uncle Joe Stalin held up by socilist to be all that was right in the world did for 32.000.000 yes thirty two million of his subjects. Pinochet was minor league and helped us out because the Argies are the enemies of Chile. They are still disputing island around the Cape Horn

Nutty
Agree with you entirely Nutty; it seems that the consensus opinion is that Pinochet was a villain and not a hero in South America but if he had been in Africa he would have been perceived as an amalgam of Mother Theresa and the blessed St. Tony of London. I can't argue that one.

What makes me shudder is how we treated Rhodesia and by we I mean successive Labour and Tory governments. How could that idiot Ian Smith have deluded himself into thinking that just because he had flown Hurricanes for the RAF in WWII, been shot down and badly injured that we owed him anything?

I mean just because he led the least corrupt, best administered and prosperous country in Africa why would we have wanted to ensure that it remained stable?

The fact that there were far more Brits there than in the Falklands was irrelevent and our government was really in a quandary over whether Nkomo or Mugabe was the correct horse to back. Luckily the Brits had the wisdom and foresight to choose Mugabe and ensured the chaos that followed.

RM
 
#36
Do not forget one of the heroes of the revolution was an Irish man. name of Bernard O'Higgins. Don't know why he was fighting in Chile but he has streets named named after him
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#37
Alfredo Stroessner died recently. He was deposed by another general. AS was 'elected' over and over again, kind of like Hitler was 'elected'. You wouldn't want to be in Stroessner's bad books. Being second generation German may have been pivotal in his being well disposed towards Nazis fleeing Europe. Mengele for one. When Stroessner marched off for the big stand easy......not a peep from anyone.

To many on the left, outside Chile and not personally affected by Pinochet's regime, Pinochet's crime wasn't torture and murder and now, corruption. It was usurping a left wing poster boy.
 
#38
slim said:
Do not forget one of the heroes of the revolution was an Irish man. name of Bernard O'Higgins. Don't know why he was fighting in Chile but he has streets named named after him
Despite his name Bernard O'Higgins wasn't Irish; he was a native born Chileano. He took over the Chilean Navy from Lord Thomas Cochrane 10th Earl of Dundonald and ensured the tradition that the Chilean Navy has always had a ship named "Esmeralda" in commision.

He is widely regarded in Chile but especially in the south were he expanded into Patagonia and formed the Chilean city of Punta Arenas.

RM
 
#39
Seadog said:
Alfredo Stroessner died recently. He was deposed by another general. AS was 'elected' over and over again, kind of like Hitler was 'elected'. You wouldn't want to be in Stroessner's bad books. Being second generation German may have been pivotal in his being well disposed towards Nazis fleeing Europe. Mengele for one. When Stroessner marched off for the big stand easy......not a peep from anyone.

To many on the left, outside Chile and not personally affected by Pinochet's regime, Pinochet's crime wasn't torture and murder and now, corruption. It was usurping a left wing poster boy.

But to the people who really matter; the people inside Chile, Pinochet's real crimes are precisely torture, murder and corruption. Chileanos are overwhelmingly anti-Pinochet.

Let us not forget that Pinochet didn't just target left-wingers but anyone who dared to disagree with him. The present leader of Chile - Michelle Bachelet had a father who was an air-force Brigadier-General he was tortured on a daily basis for months until he died. Ms Bachelet and her mother were also tortured. This isn't about right-wing or left-wing - it's about right and wrong. Fortunately, although Pinochet escaped justice there are a slew of others who are in line for prosecution and both the French and Spanish have trials planned for them. The mills of justice grind slow; but they grind exceeding small.

RM
 
#40
Many thanks for the info Bergen. i was informed (wrongly it seems) that he was an Irish guy.

just checked on the web. His old man was Irish so according to the rugby rules he could have played for Ireland. Almost a bogtrotter
 
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