Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Washington Post on Pinochet

The Washington Post makes the case I was trying to make on Pinochet with admirable clarity. Both the horror of his regime and its achievements are properly accounted for and the comparison with Castro is an important one.

By way of contrast, Fidel Castro -- Mr. Pinochet's nemesis and a hero to many in Latin America and beyond -- will leave behind an economically ruined and freedomless country with his approaching death. Mr. Castro also killed and exiled thousands. But even when it became obvious that his communist economic system had impoverished his country, he refused to abandon that system: He spent the last years of his rule reversing a partial liberalization. To the end he also imprisoned or persecuted anyone who suggested Cubans could benefit from freedom of speech or the right to vote.


Dave Cole said...

I believe that Attlee and Allende have politics similar politics. Would you have supported a US-backed military coup that abolished democracy and all the other crimes?

Think about it before you answer and think about the implications for what you're saying.

Matthew Sinclair said...

I don't think that's remotely true. Firstly, his attitude to the constitution, admittedly not an issue here. Secondly, some of his views were massively crackpotish and I don't think you can remotely characterise his views as similar to Attlee's.

He was thoroughly heading the direction of Castro. Also, calling it a US-backed coup is overly simplistic... it was primarily a Chilean army operation.