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The humanity of resistance can’t be erased by a Pinochet or a Friedman
The Pinochet coup was the first application of “shock therapy.” The intellectual author of shock therapy, Milton Friedman, needed a dictator and unlimited violence to implement his ideas.
I have long felt haunted by the fate of Chile. I can’t help but feel a strong attachment because the people who were involved, and were “disappeared,” tortured and killed, were me and many of my friends and fellow activists.
Not literally, for I was a boy in 1973 and lived on another continent. But if I were then, and there, who I am now, I would have shared the fate of Chileans who believed a better world was possible.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Pinochet coup. The first “9/11.”
I continue to be struck by the fact that participants in the government of Salvador Allende freely apologize for their mistakes. It is no revelation to say President Allende’s Popular Unity government was not perfect. It was full of people who previously had been shut out of political participation — is it reasonable to expect perfection from them? But contrast their thoughtful reflection with the coup plotters and those who took up posts in Augusto Pinochet’s murderous 16-year reign.
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