Exactly 44 years ago the USA orchestrated a violent coup d’etat against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, and imposed a brutal Neo-liberal regime led by Augusto Pinochet.
To say that Neo-Liberalism had a painful birth in Chile would be an understatement. During General Pinochet’s ruthless dictatorship over 3,000 people were “disappeared” (captured and tortured to death) whilst another 28,000 were detained without trial, most of them suffering torture and in many cases sexual abuse. Aside from those tortured and killed, and the families that survived them, other victims of this savage US-backed dictatorship included protesters who were burned alive in the streets by police, and musicians who had their fingers broken before being machine gunned to death.
1973 ~ The Other 9/11
Those who are unaware of the details about Pinochet’s blood-soaked two-decade reign should read about them, but take care not to eat beforehand.
He was a merciless overseer of torture, rapes and thousands of political executions. He had the hands and wrists of the country’s greatest folk singer Victor Jara broken in front of a crowd of prisoners before killing him. He had democratically elected Socialist President Salvador Allende shot dead at his desk. His specialty was torturing people in front of their families. As Naomi Klein has written so expertly in The Shock Doctrine, he then used this period of shock and slaughter to install a nationwide laboratory for neoliberal economics. If Pinochet’s friend Milton Friedman had a theory about cutting food subsidies, privatizing social security, slashing wages or outlawing unions, Pinochet would apply it.
The results of these experiments became political ammunition for neoliberal economists throughout the world, including Britain.
Pinochet was in charge of this human rights catastrophe. And yes, he was also someone who Margaret Thatcher called a friend. She stood by the General even when he was in exile, attempting to escape justice for his crimes. She said to Pinochet, “Thank you for bringing democracy to Chile.” Thatcher’s government directly supported Pinochet’s murderous regime, financially, via military support, even military training, which we know now took place in Dundee University.
The Shock Doctrine
Film by Michael Winterbottom, based on Naomi Klein’s terrifying book ”The Shock Doctrine : the Rise of Disaster Capitalism’’
Every September memorials are held for the 9/11 attacks in the US. Yet few recall the far more destructive 9/11 that occurred 28 years before.