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"New From Helion - The Downfall of Salvador Allende & Democracy in Chile 1973" Topic

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743 hits since 3 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Cacique Caribe04 Apr 2018 1:21 p.m. PST

Pinochet really helped Allende become a hero and martyr for the Left. Maybe it would have been better to wait until Allende's regime was in even more decline (but before everything degenerated to utter chaos and into some sort of prolonged civil war).

Then again, the other Marxist leaders (USSR and Communist China) would have simply sent more money and called for "volunteers" to keep his rule going, on life support. Allende got money from those two powers early on, but was turned down later when he went to the USSR for more in 1972. Maybe they didn't want to lose more money on that money pit. Still, if he had continued his rule, I think he would have kept on trying and finally gotten the funds.

PS. Other than simply falling on the same month and date, there's really no comparison between that coup and our terrorist attack on 9/11/01.

Gwydion05 Apr 2018 7:35 a.m. PST

A repugnant overthrow of a democratically elected government that undermined the moral position of the West in the Cold War. Overthrowing elected governments was supposedly the mark of the USSR. By following suit we made ourselves as morally dubious as them.

If Allende's government had failed (without the aggressive financial attacks Nixon ordered) then, depending what happened, might have been the time to intervene. As it was we allowed every fellow traveller in the world the luxury of pointing out that we were no better than the USSR. A shameful episode.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 8:34 a.m. PST

Bringing this up kind of undercuts the moral indignation of Russians "interfering" in democratic elections…. Naming no names.
>cough cough cough<
Guatemala, Iran, South Vietnam…
"But they were commies!" Or inconvenient.
To quote Sean Hannity's favorite preacher, "The chickens have come home to roost."

But, hey. We're the good guys.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

Enough of the "knee-jerk" reactions. Allende was your typical socialist dictator whose corrupt regime was pushing Chile into economic chaos.

The military "freedom fighters"(to use a popular term to some) removed a corrupt regime which had destroyed the economy, incited civic violence, and pushed opposition leasers into exile or worse.

Was Pinochet a warm fuzzy teddy bear? No way, but he did save the country and its citizens from societal destruction and economic collapse.

Cacique Caribe05 Apr 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

Gwydion: "If Allende's government had failed (without the aggressive financial attacks Nixon ordered) then …"

Yes, they came right after Allende started nationalizing most of the resources and industry, and after promising even closer ties to the USSR. Allende was smart enough that he must have seen that coming, and probably even hoped the US would react exactly that way.

I wonder … if Allende had been "replaced" by a stronger member of his own Marxist administration (perhaps with the blessing of the USSR and China), would he still be viewed by the Left as a hero and martyr, or as a villain and dangerous puzzle piece of some sort that needed to go? It's not as if the USSR and China hadn't tried that before in other parts of the world, when they needed to sink their hooks deeper.


McSorley Inactive Member05 Apr 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

I met a girl from Chile once, the friend of a friend. Being a pompous young twit at the time (and wanting to impress her), I apologized for the U.S. role in Allende's overthrow. "Oh no", she said "It was a good thing"

Cacique Caribe05 Apr 2018 10:24 a.m. PST


LOL. Well, that's certainly interesting! :)

PS. About the decline:

hornblaeser05 Apr 2018 12:40 p.m. PST

Yes it was a "good" thing throwing people alive and bound out helicopters at open sea. Perhaps she wouldnt be as glad after being tortured in Allendes prison.
It was a part of the domino theory, and it was important to keep the chileans from nationalising the copper mines from the US firms.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 1:19 p.m. PST

Better than a tire "necklace".

Cacique Caribe05 Apr 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

Hornblaeser: "Yes it was a ‘good' thing throwing people alive and bound out helicopters at open sea."

Allende may have needed to be replaced, but I say that the coup was a "good" thing? Or anything that happened after the coup? Or are you referring to what the Chinese student said in McSorley's post?

Now, if in Chile both the Judicial and Legislative branches have the combined constitutional authority to ask him to step down, did they also have the authority to enforce it, if Allende refused to do as they ordered?

Constitutions usually have term limits, but that doesn't mean that a person in the Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches are guaranteed a seat for that entire time. There are usually checks and balance mechanisms in the same constitutions to permit the removal* of someone from office if, after some point in their elected term, it is deemed that their continued presence poses an even greater risk to the nation than simply allowing that person to complete the term.

I'm just saying that maybe he should have been removed using constitutional means, and it would then be up to Allende to decide how to leave (walking or dragged).

Now, if the Soviets had plans to orchestrate his removal, I seriously doubt they would have left the replacement choice up to chance (popular vote). If the people were already dissatisfied with Allende they would not have risked elections. The replacement would have been handpicked by them, and perhaps called "interim" President for a long while before they felt comfortable enough to stage "elections".

There are many documented facts that some people seem to leave out about what was really tried before the coup on Allende:


* By using Chile's military (Pinochet or any other general), if it was absolutely necessary.

Gwydion05 Apr 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

Allende headed the legitimately elected government and Henry K jumped in with the goon squad and murdered him.

Shame on all of us involved in those organisations that enabled this travesty of foreign relations.

It wasn't for us to remove a man doing what he had been elected to do. This was a shameful act that almost destroyed the legitimacy of what we fought for.

Henry Martini05 Apr 2018 4:58 p.m. PST

Some years ago I had a girlfriend whose family had fled Chile after the coup. Her dad was a socialist academic, and they only survived a 'visit' from the army due to the sympathetic attitude of a couple of soldiers who'd been assigned to search their house for evidence of politically damning material, but merely pretended to do so. Her student boyfriend, a member of the socialist militia, was murdered by the military. This was just one of countless crimes against humanity committed by Pinochet's lackies.

Red358405 Apr 2018 10:22 p.m. PST

Sadly for certain TMP members fascist regimes such as Pinochet's or Apartheid era SA are a model of good government…they seem able to overlook the mass killings and imprisonments as long as the trains run on time…

Cacique Caribe06 Apr 2018 12:06 a.m. PST


Oh the irony in this photo, taken November 1971, just a couple of years before the coup. If these guys spoke to each other at all on Castro's month-long tour of Chile, I would have loved to have been the proverbial "fly on that wall".

And I'm sure that, at that time, Castro and Pinochet must have thought they were so different from each other. Castro already had quite a head start on Pinochet, but soon the "the mass killings and imprisonments" of their own people would make them both look like brothers of a different mother.



Red358406 Apr 2018 12:37 a.m. PST

I'm not sure that conflating one flavour of dictator with another necessarily makes Pinochet seem any cuddlier…still, good try at diversion…

Cacique Caribe06 Apr 2018 1:11 a.m. PST


Wow. That wasn't my motive at all. I don't see Pinochet as being cuddly or good. Or that he was "a model of good government". Or that all that matters is "the trains run in time"*. Because I never said nor intended to convey any such ideas.

Sorry you missed the point(s) though.

My main point is how Allende saw Castro as a friend, DESPITE his body count, and how Allende's defenders vilify Pinoche BECAUSE of his. Like I said, brother of a different mother. Apples to apples, though many people today prefer to believe and to preach newspeak.

A very important secondary point for posting that picture is the fact that, smack in the middle of the Cold War, Allende was aggressively courting one of America's self-declared enemies. And, seeing as how Allende was no fool, he must have known (and perhaps even expected) the sort of reaction and sanctions he would get from the US. It was predictable. Even my Leftist grandmother (who adored Allende, by the way) said that he must have been planning and hoping for that all along.

Anyway I'm done here.

* Or even that they had way cooler uniforms. :)

CorroPredo06 Apr 2018 6:32 a.m. PST

Dan, I'm thinking that for "certain TMP members" it would be ok if they were communist or socialist dictators. Am I right?

Legion 406 Apr 2018 6:35 a.m. PST

I do remember back in the day Latin America including Cuba some would stay something "33&1/3 Revolutions" … Regardless those regions have had a history of something like that. And is some cases still do … sadly …

And many believe there was some former Nazis who made it to Central & South America before, during & after the WWII. It appears to some they had some "influence" in those regions.

Of course we know the USSR was Castro's "Patron" so to speak, for quite some time as well …

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