We are able to understand much of the social implications of our times, the right-wing insanity and the third world response to tyranny and oppression from the the classic example of Chile. When new forms of social Catholicism gave rise to Christian Democracy in Chile in the mid-sixties, the correlation between Church statements and the program of the Christian Democratic Party was very striking. Each position reinforced the other. The Christian Democrats echoed the papal condemnations of Marxism, stating that communism is diametrically opposed to Christianity. They re-iterated that in a communist regime the workers have no rights, except those the state wishes to allow them, and in such countries there is no opportunity for a "legitimate strike" nor for "free unions". By standing up for the truths against totalitarian communism, they missed the point by misunderstanding the implications of the Social Gospel. Confusing social democracy and reform with communism, they in effect opposed the election of Allende who was considered "Marxist." With this confusion, Frei won the election.

Things changed somewhat by the late 60's and there were steady gains by the left. With the growing sympathy for more radical political solutions by some younger Catholics, the bishops realized that continual close identification of the Church with a staunch anti-Marxist position could be counterproductive - especially given the very real possibility of a leftist victory in 1970.

However Salvadore Allende had been perceived by the right-wing, he was democratically elected and spoke the truth. Allende is quoted as saying "Even Bolivar himself once said 'the United States seeks to submerge America in misery in the name of Liberty. Our basic, most vital, principle is one of anti-imperialism.'" Allende won the elections and angered the United States who thought that Chile would would go down the same path that Cuba did.

ITT offered the American Central Intelligence Agency $1 million to help overthrow Allende. President Nixon, Secretary of State Kissenger, and CIA director Richard Helms succeeded in their efforts to "make the economy scream" by implementing economic and political sabotage within the country. They conducted covert operations to overthrow the democratically elected Allende who was successfully trying to make a reality of Christian thought. Military assistance was increased and arms were sent to Chile in order to bolster the army to overthrow Allende's government and smash Chilean democracy in order to bring back their version of "economic freedom." "Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende," said the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, three years before the US supported coup. "Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty." It is the nature of the beast to think that they are doing God a favor by killing true Christians.

More than 30,000 people were murdered, including President Allende, resisting the military coup of Sept. 11, 1973. Chile has the United States to thank for the dictator Pinochet who immediately took over the country and then thousands of people "disappeared" and were presumed dead. Hunger and starvation replaced the community-based nutrition and food programs of the Allende government.

The United States in its pride and ignorance blundered again in the interference of the internal affairs of a foreign government for economic gain. Is it any wonder why these nations hate the United States so much? The brutal Pinochet regime in Chile remained in power for far too many years because of the military coup by the United States and was assisted by the U.S. until only recently, despite massive violations of human rights. According to the official report by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet, 3,197 people were killed or missing under his rule after he seized power in 1973 in what was called the "caravan of death."

Pinochet was finally apprehended while recuperating in a London hospital from a minor back operation on October 16, 1998 on a warrant from Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon on charges of crimes against humanity during Pinochet's murderous 17-year rule in Chile. Harboring the murderer, British Home Secretary Jack Straw ruled against extraditing him to Spain to stand trial for torture and other human rights violations. Like Pilate, Straw washed his hands of the affair but this can only hurt his future like nothing else has ever done.

Pinochet came home to Chile amidst protests and cheers. About 200 opponents of his 1973-90 rule chanted "Justice! Justice!" upon his homecoming and his opponents called for him to be put on trial at home. Many held up photographs of loved ones who were among more than 3,000 people who died or disappeared at hands of Pinochet's secret police after he toppled elected President Salvador Allende. This is not over, there are still these relatives of hundreds of dissidents who disappeared during Pinochet's wicked regime to deal with and they are still seeking justice. Pinochet faces 59 lawsuits in Chile filed by the relatives of the victims as well as political and labor groups and he may just stand trial. The military will try to prevent any action taken against Pinochet because that would implicate them as well. And there is still Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland to deal with. Because of his ailing health and protection of the military, he may never stand trial. Pinochet suffered three minor strokes during his confinement, British doctors said. He also suffers from diabetes and wears a pacemaker and has been under doctor's care since he has been home. The Chilean government is said to be furious at the military's "hero's welcome" staged for former general Augusto Pinochet. There has now been a call for Senator Pinochet to either stand trial for the crimes of which he is accused, or be declared insane and thus removed from his lifetime position as a senator.
[207, 233, 239, 281, CNN]

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