Skip to comments.Setting the Record Straight On Allende, Once More
Posted on 04/25/2003 8:39:19 AM PDT by Mister MagooEdited on 04/22/2004 11:48:48 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
At 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 11, 1973 Chilean President Salvador Allende made a radio announcement that the Chilean navy had "isolated" the port city of Valparaíso against his command. Within a half-hour there came another broadcast, this one from inside the defense ministry building in Santiago but not from inside the government. It instructed Mr. Allende to hand over his office to Chile's Armed Forces and National Police which, it said were "united" to liberate the country.
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All elected governments are not by nature good; likewise, all dictatorships are not inherently evil. When representative government becomes a conduit for evil, as it did in Republican Spain in the 1930s or in Chile in the 1970s, it sometimes falls to a nation's military to defend the nation (rather than the government) from its domestic enemies. Few come away with clean hands from such a war -- but the alternatives in such cases are usually even worse.
Such was the case in Chile, 11 September 1973. At the request of the judicial and legislative branches of the Chilean government, General Pinochet led a military coup that overthrew the nation's executive branch, and its chief, the communist dictator Salvador Allende. After destroying the communist government, Pinochet established a military dictatorship in Chile and conducted a protracted war against remaining communist insurgents who were waging a terror campaign in the streets of Santiago. At the same time, Pinochet's government dismantled the ruinous, highly centralized Soviet-style economic regime Allende had established (inflation rate: 1,200%!) and encouraged the development of a laissez-faire capitalist marketplace. Over the next decade the junta reorganized Chile politically, successfully negotiated peaceful resolutions to conflicts with Peru and Argentina, hosted His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and established a new constitution for the nation. In March of 1990, Pinochet voluntarily resigned his office and turned the reins of power over to an elected government. He retired from the army not long after, and was declared a Senator for life by the government of Chile in 1998.
Did Pinochet get his hands bloody in the process of saving his country? Yes. However, the forces acting against the peace and security of Chile were vicious terrorists on the scale of al-Qaida, and there is no completely "clean" way to fight such criminals. His regime used torture, brutality, and executions where necessary to ferret out and neutralize communist insurgents.
Occasionally brutal though it may have been, however, the Pinochet regime was never a cult of personality or an ideological dictatorship; the goal was always to win the war against the communists, not to build an edifice of personal power for the General. While harsh, the police state Pinochet headed was at least a true police state -- a state dedicated to maintaining order and enforcing the law, not merely a means of satisyfing the arbitrary whims of its leaders. Whatever its excesses, the Pinochet regime was far preferable to the inhuman communist gulag that Allende sought to establish.
The mark of the true patriot is his willingness to sacrifice his all -- health, wealth, reputation, and life -- to defend his homeland. This Gen. Pinochet has surely done; today he is an international pariah, pilloried and condemned by pampered Westerners who mostly have no experience in personal sacrifice. Instead of sitting back and watching as his homeland from becoming a Castroite nightmare, he took action -- and for his trouble he has been slandered, imprisoned, shot at, and all but damned by globalist busybodies, woould-be assissins, and the intelligentsia of the West. Without his intervention, Chile would have become another Cuba -- a prison state; as it is, Chile is peaceful, free, and relatively prosperous, the brightest light in the entire continent.
More: The Chiliean Anti-Communist League (all pinions expressed therein are not necessarily those of B-chan) .
Everything that you said in your post is completely accurate. Someone in Spain once told me that everyone knew that Franco was by far the lesser of two evils (the other evil being, of course, Communism). Spain's political life had been disrupted by anarchists and Communists since the beginning of the 20th century, and the Communists had tried every means to seize power. The one that triggered the Spanish Civil War was the fact that the radical left essentially took over an elected (by a very slim margin) moderate left-wing/liberal coalition government and clearly had every intention of turning Spain into a communist state, before the military uprising lead by Franco stopped them.
Interestingly, this same person, who is rather liberal, also told me that even the period of repression after the war was necessary, because everyone knew that the Communists would make another attempt to take over somehow unless they were completely suppressed.
My friend said that what was finally resented about Franco was that, even after the danger had passed, he maintained a very tight rein on life in Spain and unfortunately could not see his way to turning over power to a constitutional monarchy represented by Juan Carlos II during his lifetime. This happened upon his death, of course, and Spain then made a fairly easy transition into a modern democracy.
It's interesting when you compare the progress of states like Spain and Chile after their transition to democracy and capitalism, and the chaos in the former Soviet states as they have tried to make the same transition.
Absolutely. The dirty little secret the Left never mentions it that Chile was well on its way to a LEFTIST coup which would have installed another Castro, and it would STILL BE IN POWER, and Chile today would be more like Zimbabwe than like Spain or Portugal.
The days before the coup were ones of numerous assassinations and terror by the LEFT against the enemies who would stand in their way to total power. I have Chilean friends of both the left and the right and the picture of those days is quite different than the socialist written pap that passes for history...
(the Chilean transition after Pinochet ceded to losing the YES/NO referendum was also remarkably smooth, thanks to both the skill of the Chilean President Aylwin and the cooperation of Pinochet and his bureaucrats)
Someone who argues for the continuation of democratically chosen communism ANYWHERE sounds like a fool or an enemy of freedom. Pinochet was a hero who saved Chile. If that spin bothers you, go back to Democrat Underground or have a few glasses of Beaujolais with Her Satanic Majesty, the junior Senator from New York.
Allende was not a complete failure. He made a very good target.
We should imagine you a conservative because.....???????
Indeed I can! Of the ones I've read, none is better nor easier to digest than The Last Crusade by Warren H. Carroll of Chistendom College in Front Royal, VA. Dr. Carroll presents the history of the war clearly, concisely, and fairly, but definitely from a Catholic point of view. I think you'll find it both entertaining and informative (the story of the siege of the Alcazar alone is worth the price of the book!) Read it and know how a Catholic patriot lives and dies.
Title: The Last Crusade
Author: Warren H. Carroll
Publisher: Christendom Press
Year of Publication: 1996
Length: 232 pages