General Augusto Pinochet (shown), former President of Chile, is being persecuted for his successful stand against Communism.
According to the collective wisdom of the Washington political classes, the media “experts,” and the self-anointed champions of human rights, a great new day has dawned for the “rule of law.” One of the most vicious villains of all time, they say, has been arrested and now awaits his day before the bar of justice. The verdict is already foreordained, it would seem, and virtually unanimous. Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Jack the Ripper each appears to have more defenders in his corner than does this “arch-criminal.” But then, who would dare voice support for one universally accused — and so obviously guilty — of such heinous offenses as genocide, murder, torture, terrorism, and crimes against humanity.
We are speaking, of course, of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, former President of Chile and, since his arrest on October 16, 1998, a prisoner of the Labor Government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was arrested and detained in response to a warrant issued by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, a Socialist Party militant who has used his “investigative” powers to pursue targets singled out by the relentless hounds of the global “human rights” network.
It matters not, say the voices of virtue, that General Pinochet had traveled to England under diplomatic immunity, both as a former sovereign head of state and in his current capacity as senator. Or that eminent Spanish and British jurists have pointed out that Spain has no jurisdiction over, and Garzon no authority to seek extradition for, the crimes alleged against the former Chilean strongman. Nor does it matter to the professional compassion lobby that the 83-year-old Senator Pinochet is ill and was arrested on his sickbed while recuperating from back surgery at a private British clinic. These and many other important considerations are of no moment to the shrill, international, anti-Pinochet chorus. This man, they shriek incessantly, is a “bloody dictator,” a “vicious tyrant,” a “mass murderer,” who “overthrew the legitimate, democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende,” and then unleashed “a systematic reign of terror” against Chile and the “people of conscience” who had come to that country to help advance the new frontiers of socialism.
According to reports by various anti-Pinochet activists, the Chilean strongman is guilty of the torture, murder, and/or disappearance of some three thousand persons during his 17-year rule, from 1973 to 1990. Very serious charges. And worthy of righteous outrage — if true. But really, does it take a certified geopolitical genius to recognize that there is something terribly wrong with this picture?
Shouldn’t any reasonable, fair-minded person be asking: “Why is there such a blatantly disproportionate allotment of wrath focused on this man? And why such intensity and depth of feeling on the part of his detractors?” After all, by world standards today, General Pinochet, it must be admitted (even by his harshest critics) does not qualify even for entry-level status to the rogues’ gallery of butchers and terrorists who enjoy worldwide approbation and honor. Fidel Castro, Hun Sen, Yasir Arafat, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Red China butchers Li Peng and Jiang Zemin all know they have little to fear from the “human rights” phonies who prattle ceaselessly about Chile’s uniquely odious record.
Even as Spanish authorities sought to extradite Pinochet, Spain was playing host to Cuba’s Castro at the Ibero-American Summit in Oporto. Comrade Fidel’s Stalinist legacy includes an estimated one million refugees and tens of thousands of political prisoners rotting in his brutal jails. Survivors of those hell holes, like Armando Valladarez and Anthony Bryant, testify that sadistic torture is routine and systemic throughout the Cuban gulag. More than 60,000 of Castro’s victims have drowned fleeing his “workers paradise.” According to Cuban scholar Dr. Armando Lago, Castro’s regime has executed an estimated 30,000 opponents.
The “human rights” hypocrisy of the “liberal” political elite is shared (and is made politically acceptable) by the “liberal” media elite. A study of media reporting on human rights more than two decades ago found that in 1976 the Washington Post ran nine human rights articles on Cambodia, four on Cuba, one on North Korea — and 58 on Chile. The New York Times conditioned its readers with four human rights stories on Cambodia, three on Cuba, none on North Korea, and 66 on Chile! The same kind of grotesque imbalance held true for much of the rest of the media. And the same holds true today.
The incredible double standard operating here is candidly explained by Willy Meyer, a parliamentary spokesman for Izquerida Unida (United Left), Spain’s renamed Communist Party. “We do not consider that Fidel Castro is a dictator,” says Meyer. “We respect the Marxist-Leninist legality by whose definition political persecution, torture, and disappearances cannot exist in Cuba.” “We are dividing the world between good guys and bad guys,” Comrade Meyer declared. “There is a vacuum in the international enforcement of human rights and we realize that whoever seizes the initiative to punish violators wins the high ground.”
Unfortunately, such candor is all too rare among the fanatical “Get Pinochet” crowd. But it is easy to see that Meyer’s explanation neatly fits the transparent double standard that is applied to Pinochet and all others “on the right.” A fair assessment of the facts in the case of Augusto Pinochet will reveal that the current round of demonization is a continuation of the furious smear campaign launched against Señor Pinochet in 1973 when he and the Chilean military overthrew the Marxist regime of Salvador Allende. He has never been forgiven by the Communists or the international Marxist left for that heroic act, or for saving the economy that Allende had ruined and turning it into an economic showcase. For the past 26 years, the same international network of Communist and Marxist-Left individuals and organizations — the Institute for Policy Studies, the Washington Office on Latin America, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, et al — and their political and media allies, has relentlessly attacked Pinochet and his remarkable achievements. They are the force behind the incredible black propaganda and disinformation offensive aimed at Señor Pinochet.
The truth, in short, is this:
• Salvador Allende and his Marxist-Communist coalition party Unidad Popular, employing massive electoral fraud and with financial backing from the Soviet Union, barely squeaked out a plurality of 36 percent in Chile’s 1970 presidential elections.
• With an army of some 14,000 foreign Communists, Allende began to transform Chile into a totalitarian dictatorship.
• Allende’s administration was thoroughly packed with Cubans, Soviets, and other international Communists.
• In short order, the Allende forces had looted the treasury, destroyed the economy, illegally expropriated thousands of private farms, homes, and businesses, and unleashed a wave of terror.
• Chile’s judiciary and legislature, as well as prominent leaders of all sectors of Chilean society, repeatedly condemned Allende’s actions and called upon the military to intervene.
• The Pinochet-led coup was supported overwhelmingly by the Chilean people, who also voted to approve the new constitution offered by the junta.
• Documents and arms captured when Allende was overthrown on September 1l, 1973, proved that Allende was planning to stage his own coup on September 19th, and to slaughter his opposition.
• The international Communist apparatus has continued an unceasing war of terrorism, subversion, and propaganda against Pinochet’s Chile ever since.
• The Pinochet junta reacted with remarkable restraint toward its violent opponents.
• The Pinochet junta has never received credit for the peace and freedom it delivered to the Chilean people, or for the marvelous economic and social reforms it accomplished.
• President Pinochet, as he promised, voluntarily stepped down from power, returning the reins of government to civilian control, after establishing stability, security, and constitutional reform.
Now, let us expand on the above points. General Pinochet’s accusers always begin with the charge that his military junta overthrew the “democratically elected” government of President Allende. This seems to offer proof, right from the outset, of an autocratic, dictatorial bent that lends credibility to later, more ugly, charges. Some of the Allende champions will admit that their hero was “Marxist” (which carries a warmer, fuzzier, less threatening ring than “Communist”), but all of his camp followers deny that he intended to turn Chile into a Cuban-style dictatorship.
But Salvador Allende was no fuzzy “social reform” Marxist. His Unidad Popular and his government were filled with hardcore Communist revolutionaries like Luis Fernandez Oña, Orlando Letelier, Luis Corvalan, Daniel Vergara, Pedro Vuskovic, Jacques Conchol, Carlos Altamirano, Pablo Neruda, Hernan del Canto, Volodia Teitelboim, Eduardo Paredes, Carlos Toro, Valenti Rossi, Clodomiro Almeyda Medina, and Alfredo Joignant (to name but a few). Señor Oña is particularly noteworthy, inasmuch as he not only was the second in command of Cuba’s military intelligence, “G-2,” but was Allende’s son-in-law, married to the President’s daughter, Beatriz Allende. Oña had been Castro’s intelligence liaison to Che Guevara in Bolivia. It was Comrade Oña who organized Allende’s personal Praetorian Guard, known as GAP, Grupo de Amigos del Presidente (Group of Friends of the President). Oña placed this group of armed thugs under the control of Max Joel Marambio, who was trained in Cuba.
Senator Luis Corvalan was secretary-general of Chile’s Communist Party and one of Allende’s closest allies. Like Allende, he was no social reformer. As a disciplined, Moscow-controlled Red he counseled Allende against the rash actions advocated by some of the hothead revolutionaries with itchy trigger fingers. “We need time to prepare ourselves for the exigencies of a civil war,” he warned.
One of the preparations involved obtaining funding from foreign Communist Parties. After the coup, a “Dear Comrade” letter of March 21, 1973 from Communist Party official Antonio Benedicto in Spain to Senator Corvalan was found. Benedicto was reporting on the progress of his negotiations for Allende for loans from the Communist Parties of France and Spain. He informed Corvalan that the best prospects for major loans might be through Interagra, the cash-rich export organization of the French Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, “chaired by comrade Jean Doumeng.” Benedicto noted that “Interagra is known as ‘The Party Cashbox’ because it is controlled by the French CP [Communist Party].” Comrade Benedicto opined to Corvalan that “it would be possible to obtain loans in the course of this year for about 150 million dollars, in France and Spain alone.”
Cuban-trained Eduardo Paredes was the first to head the Investigations Department (ID), Chile’s analog to the FBI, under Allende. Photos show Paredes instructing Allende in guerrilla warfare and the firing of automatic weapons. On April 11, 1972, Paredes returned to Chile from one of his frequent trips to Cuba. He brought with him 13 large crates that he refused to open for Chilean Customs officials. He insisted they contained only art objects, cigars, and mango-flavored ice-cream — all gifts from the Cuban people. After Allende was deposed, a huge arsenal of weapons was discovered in Allende’s residence — along with a bill of lading for the Cuban crates. The ice cream and cigars turned out to be rifles and machine guns.
Paredes’ assistant director of Investigations was Communist Party stalwart Carlos Toro. It was Paredes and Toro who headed the “investigations” of the terrorist group known as the People’s Organized Vanguard (VOP), responsible for the assassination of former Vice President Edmundo Perez Zujovic and the murder of numerous civilians and policemen. It did not escape the notice of many observers that whenever the ID captured VOP members, the assassins invariably ended up corpses before they could reveal who was the brains behind their campaign of terror; some evidence indicates it was either Paredes or Toro — or both men — who were covering their trail by liquidating their own liquidators.
Senator Carlos Altamirano, secretary-general of the Socialist Party, was another Allende sweetheart. The Chilean Socialist Party, it should be noted, was even more radical than the Communist Party — and far less disciplined. They were for armed revolution — now! On August 7, 1973, a group of Communist sailors aboard the cruiser Latorre and the destroyer Blanco were arrested for a conspiracy to mutiny and assassinate their officers. The sailors were associated with MIR (Movement of the Revolutionary Left), a Maoist group committed to revolutionary violence. Most outrageous was the discovery that two of Allende’s top congressional allies, Altamirano and Oscar Garreton, were ringleaders in the conspiracy. Altamirano defiantly admitted that he had conspired to instigate the mutiny and said he would do it again to “defend” the Allende regime.
Senator Volodia Teitelboim, another key Allende supporter, was a member of the Communist Party Central Committee and a regular propagandist for the Chilean CP during the Allende years over Radio Moscow. Allende’s foreign minister, Clodomiro Almeyda Medina, a self-described Maoist, befriended every Red regime and facilitated the transformation of Santiago into an international Mecca for terrorists and Marxists of every hue.
Such were the “democratic” elements who helped bring Allende to power. But they did not fly their true colors so openly when they were pushing the Allende ticket in 1970. Like most politicians, they carried the banner of moderation when campaigning before mainstream voters. Even so, they managed to snooker only 36 percent of the electorate. Actually, it was significantly lower than that since the Allende forces had engaged in ballot stuffing and other “irregular” practices. Violations of the election laws escalated sharply under Allende’s rule. According to the March 1973 report of a commission chaired by Jaime del Valle Alliende, dean of the faculty of law at the Catholic University of Chile, Allende’s Unidad Popular (UP) perpetrated massive electoral fraud in the March 1973 parliamentary elections. “This monstrous machinery aimed at destroying the genuine expression of majorities continues in force,” said del Valle in a telecast on the University’s Channel 13 (which Allende subsequently shut down). “Having discovered the easy road to fraud,” the distinguished Dean of Law charged, “it is reasonable to assume that after the last election the volume of fraud has increased much more than we have seen…. Chilean men and women: Our nation is the victim of infamy.”
But Allende’s infamy in the 1970 election fraud was but a foretaste of more and bigger crimes to come. With only a plurality of 36 percent (and fraudulent at that), Allende needed the support of the majority Christian Democrat Party, so that Congress would ratify his relative victory and confirm him as president of the republic. In order to obtain the Christian Democrats’ support and allay their concerns about the heavy presence of Communists and other Marxist elements in his Unidad Popular, he signed — and publicly announced his complete agreement with — a Statute of Constitutional Guarantees. This constitutional amendment reaffirmed freedom of the press, education, electoral process, and the non-involvement of the military in political matters. In typical Leninist fashion, however, he quickly showed that he considered his promise no more than a pie crust — meant to be broken.
In an interview with the French Communist writer Regis Debray, published in Punto Final on March 16, 1971, Allende cynically confessed that his agreement to accept the Statute was merely “a tactical necessity.” Moreover, he said, “At that time the main thing was to take over the government.” He told his followers, “Santiago will be painted red with blood if I am not ratified as President.”
However, “President” Allende proceeded to paint Santiago red with blood even after he was ratified. In typical Communist style, he wasted no time in grabbing power — and exercising it, lethally. His armed GAP thugs were just the start.
Award-winning journalist James R. Whelan, one of the few genuine U.S. experts on Chile, in his perceptive book, Allende: Death of a Marxist Dream (1981) aptly described GAP as a “Praetorian Guard of private gunslingers.” Whelan observed: “Their trademarks were Fiat 125 automobiles (blue), submachineguns, and bullyboy manners. They had no precedent in Chilean history, and no place in Chilean law. The Law of Internal Security prohibited the existence of armed forces in Chile other than the army, navy, air force, Corps of Carabineros, and Gendarmerie of Prisons. So, too, did Article 22 of the Constitution.”
Fidel Castro landed in Chile in November 1971 and, with Allende’s enthusiastic blessing, toured the country for 25 days, giving revolutionary speeches in favor of the Allende regime and pledging his support for the revolution. That’s the only kind of promise Red Fidel always makes good on. Castro’s number three man at the Cuban embassy in Santiago (which had swollen incredibly to 1,500 persons) was Juan Carreto Ibanez, a member of Cuba’s G-2, who headed the Latin American Liberation Movement and ran a guerrilla training center in Santiago.
On July 29, 1973, Castro dispatched Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, his number two man as deputy prime minister, and Manuel Pineiro, chief of the Cuban secret service, on an unannounced mission to Santiago. In a letter he sent with them, Castro said the pretext of their visit would be to discuss plans for the upcoming meeting of the so-called non-aligned countries, but: “the real purpose is to find out, from you, the situation, and offer you, as always, our willingness to cooperate in the face of the difficulties and angers blocking and threatening the process of making Chile Socialist.”
Besides sending hundreds of his best agents, Castro had already established his “willingness to cooperate” by providing Allende with enough rifles, pistols, machine guns, and other weapons to arm more than 20,000 guerrillas. In addition to the international terrorist brigades who flooded into Chile, the bulk of Allende’s guerrilla army of conquest was recruited from the poblaciones, the insta-slums, created by Allende’s policies.
Only five months after the Allende claque took office, daily reports from all over the country exploded with news of expropriations of farms, empty lots, buildings, and factories — both by official action, and by the criminal acts of armed, revolutionary thugs. Under the guidance of Communist cadres, who were usually supplied with government funds, food, and other provisions, unemployed peasants and laborers were recruited to build huge slum settlements that grew into a double-tiered cordon around Santiago. These poblaciones, also known as callampas (mushrooms), sprouted overnight on the peripheries of large cities. These “Red Zones,” controlled by Allende’s Soviet/Cuban-directed cadres, became off-limits to the police, military, and other constitutionally authorized authorities. The purpose of this plan was unmistakably clear: The Allende forces were preparing to launch a full scale civil war, and the armed-and-occupied poblaciones were vital to their pincer strategy.
Many of the poblaciones recruits were destitute peasants who had been forced to come to the cities after having been evicted from their farms by Allende’s Communist “agrarian reform” programs. Dr. Susan Huck, who visited Chile a year after the overthrow of Allende, wrote in the November 1974 American Opinion (a predecessor of THE NEW AMERICAN) that “by September of 1973, over 5,800 farms had been expropriated, giving the Marxists control of sixty percent of all irrigated land in the country and thirty percent of the unirrigated arable land. By replacing farmers with Marxist ignoramuses, only nineteen percent of the arable land under government control was even planted.”
Time after time, rural property owners, like their urban counterparts, attempted to fight these illegal actions in the courts. And, time after time, Chile’s judicial officers, recognizing the illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral nature of the expropriations, ruled in favor of those whose property had been taken. That did not matter to Allende and his worldwide supporters, who prattled incessantly about their pretended reverence for the “rule of law.” Angelo Codevilla, professor of international relations at Boston University, told THE NEW AMERICAN that “Pinochet’s critics, and the American media in general, have studiously ignored the hard fact that the Allende regime illegally ignored, violated, and refused to enforce more than 7,000 court rulings. His was a totally lawless government.”
Dr. Huck, on her return from Chile, noted that “not a single land title was given to any landless peasants during the entire Allende regime. That part of ‘land reform’ was total eyewash, as it is in every Marxist country.” The results of Allende’s agrarian program were entirely predictable. Chief among those results were food shortages. Which then gave Allende an excuse to impose rationing. Dr. Huck reported that “food production plunged and the bill for food imports … soared from $100 million annually to $650 million. The Reds had managed to cut wheat production by a whopping fifty percent in one year. When the junta took over, it confronted a truly hair-raising situation — four days’ grain supply, and barely enough money in the Treasury to pay for two days’ food imports!”
President Pinochet, in the important book, The Crucial Day: September 11, 1973, an extensive interview with the General-President, recounts how his experience with food shortages and rationing in a previous socialist administration had played a key role in the development of his political consciousness, and prepared him for what was to come under Allende. When the election of 1946 brought Gabriel Gonzalez Videla to power, then-Captain Pinochet and his fellow officers were not overly concerned because, as he put it, “we officers looked on political strife as an activity peculiar to the civilian population and wholly irrelevant to our profession.” “Nevertheless,” he noted, “in those days we could not help noticing that wherever we went people had only one central topic of conversation: It was always the fact that Señor Gabriel Gonzalez Videla had been elected President thanks to the communist vote and that his victory with the help of such partners would mean every kind of disturbance in Chile.”
Pinochet initially dismissed such talk as mere political squabbling by those who had lost the election. Soon, however, he found these warnings and predictions completely accurate. Within a few months of Videla’s inauguration, his socialist policies had created shortages and rationing. The people began to experience difficulty in obtaining basic food staples — bread, flour, cooking oil, meat, fish, milk, sugar — as well as other goods. Chileans were introduced to a standard feature of socialism: the rationing queue. Recalls General Pinochet: “In the mornings long lines of people would form before the stores, particularly the bakeries. Initially these queues of men, women, and children would start to form during daylight hours, but after a few weeks they could be seen from the earliest hours of dawn. They also became longer each day, so that in order to obtain bread or other staples, some people had to wait all night before the store. This anxiety over obtaining provisions became daily more intense….”
Captain Pinochet quickly realized that shortages and rationing provided a pathway to power for unprincipled politicians and outright subversives. “Obviously the stomach, that is to say food rationing, is a means for men to be easily subjected,” Pinochet noted, “and also a basic principle of communist tactics….” Pinochet was particularly struck by the discovery that the Communists (and their Marxist allies), while professing great compassion for the plight of the workers and the poor, were themselves not only living high on the hog, but doing everything within their power to increase the suffering of Chile’s most destitute classes.
As Communist-inspired demonstrations and violence escalated, the government was forced, in October 1947, to employ the constitutionally provided Emergency Area decree to avoid complete social breakdown and civil war. Pinochet and other military commanders were given orders to arrest the Communist leaders and agitators. After arresting Communist Angel Veas, the government-appointed Intendente of the Tarapaca area, Pinochet made an interesting discovery: “Warehouses controlled by the Intendente were found bursting with cartons of canned food, cans of oil, flour, pasta, and a thousand other items. I was to see the same thing happen again during the Unidad Popular [Allende] government.”
He recognized the Communist program well, observing: “One of the most well-known and traditional tactics of Marxism is to stop the improvement of a people’s welfare by any means … and promote from the beginning any destructive distribution of capital, facing away from economic reality, until growing poverty is brought about, even chaos, if possible, arising from uncontrolled inflation and leading eventually to the annihilation of private economic activities.”
The Allende socialists did indeed use the insidious weapon of inflation to add to their program of planned chaos, wiping out personal savings and earnings with the power of the printing press. Lieutenant Colonel Patrick J. Ryan (USMC), in a 1976 monograph for the American Chilean Council, provided this summary: “Upon its October 1970 stand down, the Frei Government turned over an excess of US $343 million in international reserves to the Allende Government. Less than three years later, in September 1973, Chile had a deficit of more than $300 million, or a net loss of approximately US $650 million. The Allende Government’s officially acknowledged rate of inflation was 508%. Independent economists pegged the figure closer to 700% — either way, one of the highest inflation rates in the history of the world.”
It will not surprise those familiar with the Communist origins and collectivist history of the United Nations to learn that much of Allende’s socialist program was designed and implemented by professional UN apparatchiks. British journalist Robert Moss wrote in Chile’s Marxist Experiment (1973): “It is significant that the majority of the members of Chile’s new class of Marxist technocrats — headed by Pedro Vuskovic [Minister of Economics] … and Gonzalo Martner, who took over the state planning agency, ODEPLAN — had worked for the [UN] Economic Commission on Latin America, or the [UN] Food and Agriculture Organization, or some other of the U.N.’s technical agencies.”
“The role of economic planning was in their eyes not confined to increasing production … or improving the general standard of living,” said Moss. “ It was part of the process of creating a socialist revolution. Within this perspective, they were willing to shrug off the appalling economic consequences of their program…. It became … clear that their whole economic strategy was concerned with power, not with productivity, efficiency, or even any novel experiment in socialism.”
Allende’s transparent lust for power was well recognized in Chile by the time of the 1973 coup. On August 23, 1973 the Chamber of Deputies, the equivalent of our House of Representatives, adopted a resolution charging: “It is a fact that the present Government of the Republic [the Allende administration], from its inception, has been bent on conquering total power, with the evident purpose of submitting all individuals to the strictest economic and political control by the State, thus achieving the establishment of a totalitarian system, absolutely contrary to the representative democratic system prescribed by the Constitution.”
Earlier that month, on August 8th, the General Council of Chile’s Bar Association issued a declaration charging that Allende’s egregious violations of the Constitution threatened “collapse of the rule of law,” and asserting that the “obvious fracturing of our legal structure can no longer be tolerated.” Still earlier, on May 26, 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous resolution denouncing the Allende regime’s “disruption of the legality of the nation” by its failure to uphold judicial decisions.
The total ruthlessness of the Allende drive for power was not fully realized until after he was overthrown. Then numerous documents were discovered revealing the bloodbath he and his foreign controllers had planned for Chile.
Chile’s Senate had voted in November 1972 to remove Alfredo Joignant, an extreme radical of the Socialist Party, as mayor of Santiago because of “repeated violations of the Constitution.” Not to be deterred, Allende appointed Joignant head of the Investigations Department, which was gradually transformed into a Gestapo.
In Joignant’s office safe were found a number of incriminating secret reports. The reports had been made by Joignant’s Communist agents who had infiltrated the military and the police, with extensive details about individual officers, including the personality and political leanings of each, his home, family, usual schedule, and routes followed daily. The purpose of the reports was to identify those who were to be liquidated.
Another find was a Communist Party document of June 30, 1973, intended for the inner core of the Communist hierarchy. It stated: “In case of confrontation [civil war], a group belonging to the Communist Party which is highly specialized will physically eliminate the opposition leaders.” (Emphasis in original.)
It also revealed the Reds’ plan of destruction against the common people of Chile: “The objective of storing candles, matches, foodstuffs, kerosene, etc., will be exclusively for the survival of the militants since in case of confrontation electricity and water plants will be destroyed.” (Emphasis in the original.)
But the big find was a secret plan with the code name, “Plan Z,” found in the presidential palace in the office safe of Daniel Vergara, Under Secretary of the Interior. Plan Z provided detailed instructions for the intended massacre of a large percentage of Chile’s officer corps, who would be gathered in Cousino Park on September 19th for an annual military celebration and review. Some 600 politicians, journalists, and conservative leaders were also slated for elimination.
However, if the Allende forces had prevailed, the bloodletting would not have stopped with those select targets. Opposition to the Allende program was so widespread and vigorous, and Allende was so determined and pitiless, that a Communist-style bloodbath and a savage civil war seemed certain. In the final months of his reign, Chile was virtually paralyzed, as truckers, transportation workers, business owners, and professional groups went on strike.
Like all Marxists, Allende claimed that his policies were being carried out in the name of, and for the benefit of, “the people.” But it was “the people” who rose up to throw him out, and who implored the military to save them from his oppression. It was the women who sparked the growing demonstrations of popular opposition with their famous “march of the empty pots.” Chilean women by the thousands took to the streets, armed only with empty pots and pans as noisemakers, to march in defense of their homes, their families, their children, and their security — all of which were being trampled into dust by the Allendeites. Popular outrage against Allende intensified when his thugs — wielding stones, clubs, chains, and bottles — viciously attacked the women, who were legally, peacefully petitioning for redress of grievances.
It was at this crucial juncture, when utter disaster, despotism, and bloody civil war threatened, that Augusto Pinochet and the military saved Chile. But don’t take our word for it. One week after the coup, on September 18th, three former Presidents of Chile — Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, Jorge Alessandri Rodriguez, and Eduardo Frei Montalva — attended a ceremony at the Church of National Gratitude to say exactly that. Former President Videla said: “I have no words to thank the Armed Forces for having freed us from the clutches of Marxism.” Moreover, he added, “they have saved us … because the totalitarian apparatus that was prepared to destroy us has been itself destroyed.” According to President Frei, “The military has saved Chile and all of us…. A civil war was being well-prepared by the Marxists. And that is what the world does not know, refuses to know.” This statement came from no right-winger, but a politician who was himself a Marxist!
Yes, the world did not know then, and still does not know today, the truth about Chile, Allende, and Pinochet. But it is not correct to say that the world “refuses to know.” Rather, there are powerful ruling elites colluding with the Communists, now as then, to keep the world from knowing the truth. All of the facts that we are presenting here have been readily available to the professional smearbund that has been spreading lies about Chile for three decades.
The story of how Augusto Pinochet saved Chile is an inspiring story of dauntless courage, faith, and honor. General Pinochet himself credits God with the success of the relatively bloodless coup, pointing to the many turns of “fate” that not only saved him and his fellow plotters from exposure and certain death, but also time and again opened doors for them, while closing doors for their enemies. Following the pattern of all Communist dictatorships, Allende had instituted an extensive spy network. So the greatest danger was that plans for the coup would be discovered before Pinochet could coordinate with the other Armed Services and deploy the Army units for a rapid, decisive blow that would oust the Allende forces without sparking a prolonged and bloody civil war.
On the morning of September 11, 1973, Pinochet’s forces surrounded Allende in La Moneda, the fortress-like Ministry of Defense in Santiago. After the Air Force delivered a few well-aimed rockets into the building, the once-swaggering bullyboy revolutionaries surrendered. All except Allende, that is, who committed suicide — ironically, with a machinegun that had been given to him as a present and bearing this engraved salutation on a gold plate: “To my good friend Salvador Allende. Fidel Castro.”
The general’s persuasive attributions to Divine Providence notwithstanding, much of the credit for the success of the coup must be given to Pinochet himself, for his brilliant strategy, methodical planning, prudent selection of officers, discretion, and cool courage under pressure. The best accounts of the coup and the events leading up to it, are to be found in Allende: Death of a Marxist Dream, by James Whelan, and The Crucial Day by Editorial Renaciamento. Unfortunately, neither book is now in print.
General Pinochet says that he felt the military vocation since childhood. “Quite possibly,” he says, “the tales of heroic deeds and similar subjects, followed by reading the History of Chile, gradually impressed my spirit deeply with the value of the service of arms. Anyway, since I was a child I had the idea that the goal of my life should be to become an Army officer and to devote my life to the career of arms.”
After four years of strict military instruction and rigid discipline, he left the Military Academy in 1936 as an infantry alferez — a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in the Chilean Army. His staunch anti-Communist convictions developed from both personal experience and intense study over a 20-year period, beginning in 1948.
“My rejection of Marxists-Leninists arose from my knowledge of their doctrine,” he explained in The Crucial Day. “I first came in contact with it when I was in charge of the communists relegated to Pisagua in January and part of February 1948, and later when I was Delegate for the Chief of the Emergency Area in the Schwager coal-mining district. There I also had to [deal] with communists, their doctrine and methods, and went into the concept of scientific socialism. In my reading I noted with concern how Marxism contributes to alter the moral principles that should uphold the society, until such principles are destroyed, in order to replace them with the ideological shibboleths of communism.”
Pinochet understood the nature of the enemy he was facing, as far too few political and military leaders have. Again, from The Crucial Day:
The better I knew these relegates as I listened to their arguments, while I progressed simultaneously in reading Marx and Engels, a conception totally different from what we had thought of the Communist Party began to take shape before me. It was not just another party. There was a great and very profound difference. The way they analysed the different subjects revealed a system that upset everything and left no faith or belief standing. How right His Holiness [Pope] Pius XI was when he said this doctrine was “intrinsically perverse.” I confess that from that moment I felt a profound desire to go into these concepts and study them to find out their purposes, because I was much concerned that such pernicious and contaminating ideas should continue to be disseminated in Chile.
At the end of 1953 Pinochet was appointed professor at Chile’s War College, and while teaching he enrolled in the law school at the University of Chile. “I think the greatest benefit to me from having been a law student,” he recalled years later, “was that I went deeper into subjects I had known only in passing. With real pleasure I studied Roman Law, Economics, Constitutional History, Constitutional Law.”
In early 1960 Pinochet was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and at the end of the year was designated commander of an infantry regiment. At the end of 1963 he was appointed assistant director of the War College. In 1968 Pinochet was appointed chief of staff at the Headquarters of the Second Army Division in Santiago. Before the end of the year, he was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of the Sixth Army Division, the position he held when Allende came to power on September 4, 1970.
As a vocal anti-Communist, Pinochet expected his military career to come to an abrupt end under the new regime. “My fate did not take the course I imagined that day,” he later recalled. “Apparently Allende mistook me for General Manuel Pinochet [no relation] as he had done several times before, and I, remembering the tactics they use, kept quiet and acted with caution.”
In January 1971 Pinochet was promoted to the rank of Major General, and the following year was appointed Chief of the Army General Staff. Then through a further series of quirks of fate, he was named Acting Commander in Chief of the Army, and, finally, Commander in Chief of the Army.
Contrary to the black propaganda which holds that General Pinochet is a “ruthless, iron-fisted dictator,” an honest survey of the facts shows that he reacted with heroic restraint against the traitors and foreign intruders who sought to deliver Chile into totalitarian hands. He offered Allende safe passage from the country. Allende refused, preferring suicide. Those who accepted Pinochet’s offer found he kept his word. Considering the egregious nature of the crimes they had committed and the vengeance they had planned for Chile, the thousands of foreigners who were deported received incredibly soft treatment. Likewise the Chilean citizens who were imprisoned for their treasonous acts. Many of these “martyrs” were soon sprung from jail, thanks to the intervention of Henry Kissinger and similar pressure from other American Insiders of the pro-Marxist, pro-world government Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
It was Kissinger’s intercession, for instance, that brought about the release of Orlando Letelier, who served the Allende regime in a variety of posts, including ambassador to the United States and Minister of Defense. He also served the Soviet Union and Cuba, as an agent of influence for the KGB and the DGI. When Letelier was murdered by a car bomb in Washington, DC in 1976, he was catapulted to special sainthood status in the Communist martyrology by the CFR-dominated U.S. media. A recent Associated Press article referred to Letelier only as “a former Chilean ambassador opposed to Pinochet.” Likewise, in a recent Washington Post op-ed, Kenneth Roth (CFR) of Human Rights Watch called him “a former foreign minister and Pinochet critic.”
That is lying by omission, like referring to Mafia kingpin John Gotti as merely an Italian-American with a pizza delivery business. Letelier was killed just as he was preparing to head for Cuba — with a briefcase full of incriminating documents. Those “Letelier Papers” revealed a great deal about Soviet espionage-disinformation-strategic deception operations in America and the amazing network of professional radicals, politicians, government officials, and journalists who were (and in many cases, still are) aiding these operations. Letelier operated principally through the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Marxist front for Soviet-Cuban intelligence, and the IPS spin-off known as the Transnational Institute.
The contents of Letelier’s briefcase showed not only that he was regularly receiving and disbursing funds from Soviet and Cuban intelligence services, but that he also had good contacts on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch. His contacts included Senators Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, and James Abourezk; Representatives John Conyers, Bella Abzug, George Miller, and Toby Moffett; Assistant Secretary of State William D. Rogers (CFR); and Sol Linowitz (CFR), then head of the Ford Foundation-sponsored Commission on United States-Latin American Relations, and later head of “our” negotiating team for the treacherous Carter-Torrijos treaties on the Panama Canal.
Without an understanding of this ongoing network, it is impossible for Americans to understand the forces and motives behind the current campaign to get Pinochet. Take Peter Kornbluh, for instance, who heads a private (but official-sounding) outfit called the National Security Archive, which is described by the Associated Press as “a private group that works to preserve and open government records on national security matters.” Kornbluh has received a lot of attention lately for publicizing documents released by the Clinton Administration purporting to show President Pinochet’s culpability for various crimes with which he has been charged. (We have reviewed many of those documents and have seen no such proof therein.) What no one in the media has bothered to point out is that Kornbluh is a veteran apparatchik from the IPS-Letelier network. It was IPS fellow Kornbluh who arranged the crucial meeting between the Sandinista junta leaders and Senators John Kerry and Tom Harkin, just eight hours before the congressional vote on aid to the Contras. The senators’ trip provided a huge propaganda coup that is credited with stopping the aid.
Working with Comrade Kornbluh then was Reed Brody (CFR), a former New York Assistant Attorney General and member of the pro-Communist National Lawyers Guild. He is the author of the 1985 “Brody Report,” which was published by the radical Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), one of the IPS network affiliates, as a propaganda gift to the Communist Sandinista regime in Managua. Brody now works with the above-mentioned Kenneth Roth at Human Rights Watch, which is a leading player in the “Get Pinochet” gang. Although he is often quoted by the major media, and is frequently given prime op-ed space to dish up his poison, his left-wing pedigree and work for the Sandinista thugocracy is never mentioned.
The governments of the United States, England, and Spain, which are aiding this campaign, are populated with alumni from the old IPS/Communist network. The most notorious of the IPS veterans in the Clinton camp are Anthony Lake (CFR) and Morton Halperin (CFR), both of whom played key roles during the Carter Administration’s “human rights” attacks on anti-Communist governments. Another Carter retread is IPS cadre David L. Aaron (CFR), a Marxist who worked with Letelier. He has been holding various posts in the Clinton regime, such as ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Then there’s Karl F. Inderfurth (CFR), a former staff member of Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence, who was “briefed” by Communist agent Letelier in Letelier’s home on multiple occasions and used this Soviet-supplied disinformation in attacks on U.S. intelligence. He was appointed by Clinton to the U.S. mission to the UN.
Over in England, in the Socialist regime of Tony Blair, it’s a similar story. Blair’s Interior Minister, Jack Straw, who was a central player in the decision to arrest Pinochet, was a Marxist student agitator in the 1970s who organized demonstrations against Pinochet. Blair’s trade and industry minister Peter Mandelson is another whose motives and connections should be questioned. As Martin Argostegui pointed out in Insight magazine, some of the British press has revealed that “Mandelson, while chairman of the British Youth Council during his university years, organized a delegation to attend the 1978 Communist Youth Festival in Cuba, whose main acts were repudiating Pinochet while supporting Castro — even while the Cuban regime was filling concentration camps, sending troops to garrison Soviet proxy states, and supporting terrorists throughout Latin America.” Lord Justice Leonard Hoffmann, one of the British law lords who ruled against Pinochet’s appeal, is the unpaid director of the fund-raising arm of Amnesty International, the group that has played a central role in the campaign to put Pinochet on trial.
Mr. Blair’s government, which has seen fit to free IRA terrorists convicted of murder, torture, and terrorism, is singularly obsessed with aiding the international Marxist Left in its persecution of Pinochet, even denying him permission to receive Holy Communion on Christmas, and subjecting him to humiliating restrictions and round-the-clock surveillance in relatively tight living quarters (not the “12-bedroom mansion” often reported in the press). “Look, it’s no secret that most of these leaders [in the campaign against Pinochet] smoked dope together and demonstrated together in the 1960s and ’70s,” Professor Angelo Codevilla told THE NEW AMERICAN. “What is this about? It’s not about human rights, that’s for sure,” noted Codevilla. “It’s about using the color of law and pseudo-judicial proceedings for private vengeance and for advancing an ideological agenda.”
The Communists, the Marxist Left, and the one-world internationalists hate Pinochet not only because he led one of the few counter-revolutions that succeeded in ousting a Communist regime, but also because he is a Christian patriot who stands for everything they oppose. They also despise him because he has so thoroughly exposed the bankruptcy — economic, political, social, and moral — of socialism with his free-market reforms. In just a few years, the Pinochet junta transformed the devastated Chilean economy (collapsing under triple-digit inflation, wage and price controls, food shortages, rationing, nationalized industries, collectivized agriculture, expropriated properties, etc.) into a thriving, prosperous nation.
Under the guidance of economists schooled at the University of Chicago by Professor Milton Friedman, the junta scrapped the entire structure of stifling statist controls that had been put in place by Allende. Import tariffs of 100 percent were reduced to ten percent and subsidies were dramatically slashed or abolished. Over 200 businesses were returned to their rightful owners.
Chile’s export base was diversified and the country’s traditional reliance on copper exports declined from 80 percent to under 40 percent. Foreign investment laws were liberalized, which, together with its other reforms, gave Chile the most favorable investment climate in South America. Foreign capital flooded in and domestic savings and investment soared. Taxes were cut and government spending was drastically reduced. Wage and price controls, innumerable regulations, and union “closed shop” rules were all abolished. Social security was privatized, and hundreds of thousands of government bureaucrats and workers went back to work in the private sector.
Professor Angelo Codevilla wrote, in the November/December 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs:
Between 1970 and 1990 Chile changed dramatically. In 1970, when Eduardo Frei transferred the presidency to Salvador Allende, Chile had enjoyed six years as the beneficiary of worldwide prosperity and record prices for its copper exports. Chile was the second largest recipient of foreign aid per capita. Yet only half the homes in the country had inside bathrooms. In 1990, after Pinochet — despite 16 years as an international pariah and the target of trade boycotts, disinvestment and foreign aid cutoffs — about nine out of ten Chilean homes had them.
Moreover, Codevilla noted:
After Frei, 82.2 babies per thousand died in infancy. After Pinochet, that figure fell to 17. Reduced infant mortality plus better nutrition and sanitation increased life expectancy from 63.6 years in 1970 to 71.8 in 1990. In 1973 the Chilean government had 650,000 employees. By 1989 the Chilean people had only 157,871 central government employees to support and to obey. By 1992 polls showed that people of all classes rated their satisfaction with bureaucracy as 5.2 out of 7.
By 1980, the Pinochet government had drawn up a remarkable constitution similar to our own which was approved by 68 percent of the voters. “Chile’s reformers,” wrote Angelo Codevilla, “tried to think of as many ways as possible, tiny steps along with big ones, to reduce political patronage and to remove government from the majority of people’s lives while maintaining a safety net for the poorest.” The constitution, he noted, “attempted to outlaw pork-barrel politics by making it as difficult as possible for laws to benefit or disadvantage specific sectors, activities, or geographic zones. It requires the congress, whenever it passes a spending bill, to specify from where the money will come.”
And what of Chile’s military, so viciously reviled by the U.S. media? “To its credit,” said Codevilla, “the Chilean military did not try to become a new ruling class. No former member of the military government followed the U.S. practice of going into business as a lobbyist, or the Latin American practice of getting a government franchise for a particular business. Moreover, the military government never tried to build a political party or movement that would support it.”
Perhaps Pinochet’s most important contribution to Chile’s “miraculous turnabout” was the privatization of that country’s Social Security system. Under the compulsory, government-run Social Security system, Chilean workers paid up to 25 percent of their earnings, yet the system was broke. The new privatized system, enacted in 1980, continued to pay the elderly who had become dependent on the government system, while allowing every worker the freedom to opt out with a private pension savings account (PSA). Under the new system, each worker is required to contribute at least ten percent of his earnings (of his first $25,000) to his PSA, which is his personal private property. These contributions are invested in capital markets through private investment managers.
“During the first month, 25 percent of Chilean workers … opted out of the government-run system,” Jose Pinera, a principal architect of the system, reported in the July 1997 issue of The Freeman. “By the end of the first year, 70 percent of Chilean workers chose to open tax-deferred pension savings accounts. By the end of the second year, 90 percent had.”
On July 30th of this year, the Cato Institute released the most recent study on Chile’s pension system, authored by L. Jacobo Rodríguez, assistant director of the Institute’s Project on Global Economic Liberty. Mr. Rodriguez writes: “Today, more than 95 percent of Chilean workers have their own pension savings accounts; assets have grown to over $34 billion, or about 42 percent of gross domestic product; and the average real rate of return has been approximately 11.3 percent per year, which has allowed workers to retire with better and more secure pensions.”
“Chilean Social Security reform under Pinochet,” Mr. Rodriguez told THE NEW AMERICAN, “by any measure, has been an astounding success.” Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman agrees. His memoirs, Two Lucky People, written with his wife, Rose, and published last year, deal extensively with the Chilean reforms. The Pinochet government, he told THE NEW AMERICAN, “should be receiving praise and appreciation from the rest of the world for throwing off socialism and demonstrating how free markets and limited government lead to greater personal freedom and prosperity.” Instead, he noted, General Pinochet has been under relentless attack for 26 years. The current persecution, he believes, is “outrageous, absolutely outrageous.”
But what of all those charges of murder, torture, and disappearances? That’s just it; so far they are only charges. And considering the sources of those charges (as we have already noted) there are very good reasons for skepticism. As has happened so often in the past with disinformation operations against a besieged “right-wing” government, the U.S. and European press have been treating the “human rights” charges as fact before they have been verified.
Undoubtedly, some people were murdered and tortured, and some disappeared. That began under Allende. And after his regime was overthrown in 1973, the terrorist war against Chile continued. In 1984 alone, there were 735 terrorist bombings. Responsibility for most of these acts was claimed by the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (MRPF), created by the Chilean Communist Party and supported by Cuba, Nicaragua, Libya, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. Many Chilean officials have been assassinated by these terrorists, and Pinochet himself has been the target of several assassination attempts. On September 7, 1986 President Pinochet and his ten-year-old grandson narrowly escaped death when their motorcade was ambushed by terrorists armed with automatic rifles, rocket launchers, bazookas, and grenades. Five members of Pinochet’s police and military escort were killed and 11 were wounded in the attack.
Chile has been the target of a sustained, murderous, international terrorist campaign — for nearly 30 years. When terrorists are killed in clashes with the police or armed forces, their identities are often unknown. In which case, the corpses may be put on public display so that relatives may claim them. When no one claims them, they are buried as “unknowns.” This undoubtedly accounts for some of the “disappeareds.” In any ongoing, bitter, desperate war of this type, extralegal retribution and retaliation is almost inevitable. Individual private citizens, private militias, or military or police units may take the law into their own hands, sometimes to avenge the murder of their relatives or fellow officers. And their aggression may be directed not only at actual terrorists, but at those whom they suspect of aiding the terrorists. However, we have seen no evidence to sustain the charges that Pinochet ordered, knew of, or approved of, any plan for the use of murder or torture against his political opponents.
It is remarkable that those who are the harshest critics of Pinochet for his use of force against a real terrorist threat to his nation, are more than willing to excuse President Clinton’s abuse of lethal force at Waco against people — including women and children — who were, under even the most wild surmise, only a potential threat. The same Pinochet haters support Bill Clinton’s demands for vast new police-state powers, supposedly to combat terrorism. Yet we in the United States have never experienced anything close to the level of terrorism that has been visited upon Chile.
Nevertheless, President Pinochet, true to his word, voluntarily stepped down from power after reestablishing order, justice, security, prosperity, and the rule of law in his country. In 1988, in obedience to a national plebiscite, he called elections for a return to civilian rule, even though he had the full backing of the military and sufficient popular support to maintain his junta’s control. How rare such an occurrence has been in history.
General Pinochet is a deeply religious man, a devout Roman Catholic who, reportedly, prays the Rosary daily and, when possible, attends daily Mass and receives Holy Communion. He is also a devoted family man, still “very much” in love, he says, with his wife of 56 years, and always ready to play with his adoring grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In an interview with the London Telegraph (the only one he has given during his captivity), General Pinochet was asked how he would like to be remembered. He answered: “I would like to be remembered as a man who served his country, who served Chile throughout his entire life on this earth. And what he did was always done thinking about the welfare of Chile, and never sacrificing his tradition to hand it over to other countries.”
And, surely, that is how he will be remembered by millions of his countrymen who recognize the tremendous debt they owe to this heroic patriot, and who daily pray for his release and his return home to his beloved Chile.
Photo of Gen. Pinochet: AP Images