Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The truth about Chilean Revolution - by José Piñera

So much is being spoken about the events on Chile - 1973. Most of them put the blame of the "coup" on CIA and U.S. - Pinochet was nothing more than an US proxy.

But the truth is a little complicated. This text recovers the real nature of that military intervention, and makes clear that all the movement had its roots on Chilean soil and in defending her Constitution.

The Truth About the Chilean Revolution
by José Piñera

(updated march 15th, 2000)

It is true that Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile in 1970 by means of a democratic election (although with only 36.6% of the vote). Nevertheless, it is equally true that his government lost its democratic character by repeatedly violating the Constitution. The Economist said it clearly at the time: " The temporary death of democracy in Chile will be regrettable, but the blame lies clearly with Dr. Allende and those of his followers who persistently overrode the Constitution" (September 15, 1973).

In effect, President Allende became a tyrant when he broke his solemn oath to respect the Constitution and the Chilean laws. There are numerous evidences to that effect (including a clear statement of the Supreme Court), but the most important one--and widely unknown outside of Chile--is the momentous Agreement of 23 August 1973 of the Chamber of Deputies (the Lower House of the Chilean Congress), which I have translated and posted as "The Declaration of Breakdown of Chilean Democracy".

In this Agreement, it is presented a list of the legal and constitutional violations of President Allende's government, and it is agreed to "make representations" of this "grave breach of the legal and constitutional order of the Republic" to, among other authorities, "the Armed Forces". At the same time it agrees to "make representations to them that, by virtue of their function, of their oath to remain faithful to the Constitution and the law, ... it is up to them to put immediate end to all the situations referred to above, which infringe the Constitution and the law".

So, since no feasible mechanism existed in the Chilean Constitution to remove a President who had lost his democratic nature, the House of Deputies, in a two third vote that included all the representatives of the Christian Democratic Party (the party of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva), made "representations" to the Armed Forces that it was up to them to "put immediate end" to these constitutional violations. It must be agreed that this was, in fact, an unequivocal call to remove by force the President who had initiated the use of force with the purpose of imposing a communist dictatorship.

The Armed Forces, led by the person who was then the Commander in Chief of the Army, General Augusto Pinochet, and claiming to be following theAgreement of the House of Deputies, removed Allende (who committed suicide -My note: it is changed. Read here) and took power eighteen days later, on 11 September 1973, vowing to restore democratic rule once the circumstances allowed it.

Therefore, the origin of the Pinochet government is that of any revolutionary one, in which only the use of force was left in order to remove a tyrant. And, as Benjamin Franklin, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, once said, "rebellion against a tyrant is obedience to God".

When a President elected by a third of the population is removed, and especially if his government has fomented the creation of armed militias as Allende's indeed did (see P. Johnson and J. Wheelan), it is inevitable that a state of "civil war" should ensue. In some countries conflicts of this nature have produced hundreds of thousands of victims. For example, the Spanish civil war brought around one million deaths. Even the United States civil war, also the product of a Constitution which was not clear concerning whether the right for a state to opt out of the Union existed or not, resulted, more than a century ago now, in 650,000 deaths (more than the total of the fallen in all U.S. wars of the 20th century).

Lamenting each one of the victims, Chileans and foreigners, who fell in Chile, and condemning each one of the abuses which both sides committed in the embryonic civil war which lasted for years, it is important to point out that the Chilean revolution produced a minimal number of deaths when compared to any historic standard. Even the Report of the Commission which President Aylwin's government, antagonistic to President Pinochet's, set up (the so-called "Rettig Report"), concluded that in the 17 year period around 2,000 people died.

As in any revolutionary period, there were excessive restrictions on individual rights during President Pinochet's government and I denounced them at the time (see "What Jose Piñera said about democracy and human rights during the military government?"). For which reason, I can affirm with the same independence that the deaths out of combat were not a systematic policy of the state during those years, but violations of the law carried by the intelligence services in their fight against terrorism.

The guilty should have the full rigor of the relevant laws applied to them, and that is exactly why, at this present time, the General who was head of the DINA (National Intelligence Service) when these violations were committed is in prison serving a seven year sentence.

In addition to the historic economic transformation carried out by the free market economists, the achievement which meant avoiding a war with Argentina, and the voluntary transition to a democratic government, the truth demands recognition that former President Pinochet led a legitimate rebellion against tyranny and that the origin of Chile's civil war --and its victims-- lies with former President Allende and his marxist Socialist party.

José Piñera


Blogger Luís Afonso said...

this post "emerged" now that Pinochet is dead.
See the links:

10:30 AM  
Blogger SuzanneL said...

that can hardly be the "truth," go read more.

10:38 PM  
Blogger FreeDrinker said...

It is important that people remember the marxist criminal that was Allende and all the suffering and misery that his failed socialist ideas brought on the chilean people

7:45 PM  
Blogger Danny Valls said...

I really am surprised that people like you can choose to ignore history and fall for this garabage. First of all, Allende was elected by a landslide of over a 51%. Secondo fo all, the Milagro Chile, was no more a miracel than it was a nightmare for the vast majority of CHileans. What you call change the constitution by the Allende team was nothing more than establishig fair trade in a country hit by economic policies favoring foreign coorporations. And third Piñera, by way of apologizing to the Pinochet coup shows that him, and people like you are simply ignorants and need to do some reading, actually ....a alot of reading.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First of all, Allende was elected by a landslide of over a 51%."

It is hard to take you seriously when the first thing you say IS A LIE..... Allende wa elected with barely 30% of the votes, in fact he has to be appointed by the senate since he had so little votes.

"Secondo fo all, the Milagro Chile, was no more a miracel than it was a nightmare for the vast majority of CHileans."

Check the economic indicators, Chile was broke with 1000% (thats 4 figures) inflation under Allende's illegal socialist regime but by the 90's Chile was a succesful free market economy with respect for the rights and property of its citizens.

"What you call change the constitution by the Allende team was nothing more than establishig fair trade in a country hit by economic policies favoring foreign coorporations."

No, actually he broke the chilean laws by supporting the criminal acts of his socialist asociates that promoted armed conflict and violence, he also tried to smuggle weapons to his terrorist supporters (succeded actually), he accepted money and influences from the KGB and the DGI and he tried to rewrite the constituion without the aproval of the chilean parliament or the chilean voters which was a violation of his constitutional powers.

"and people like you are simply ignorants and need to do some reading, actually ....a alot of reading."

Buddy you just made a fool of yourself with your supposed "facts".

Just so you know by 1973 the "CODE" which was a coalition of parties opposing Allende's illegal regime had 60% of the votes.

In fact Allende never had a majority on anyththing.

Have a nice day

BTW: "Landslide of 51%"..... LOL!

7:04 PM  
Blogger Brandee said...

Have you read the book La Conjura? It goes very in depth about what happened well before and after the events of September 11th, who was involved and why, etc. And it is based on tons of interviews, written documents, etc. I thought it was fascinating.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Dan Bunn said...

Its very difficult to unpick the economics of it as there was a depression at the time (years prior to Allende's election) and then the reaction to the radical changes, such as nationalisation by the established elite (who had the financial power through concentration of wealth). Obviously nationalisation will always initially affect the economy detrimentally, whilst the financial elite kick back but that doesn't negate it's benefits once established.

So its very difficult to say with any clarity who was responsible and interpret the economics.

Whatever your conclusion he was democratically elected president (36% was enough by the constitution and agreed by congress) Plus the third largest vote was for a party much closer to Allende's than the second placed Alessandri's - so in modern politics it is likely these two would have formed a coalition, but the constitution said that was not necessary.

So you can argue till you are blue in the face but his legitimacy was not in question.

So for anybody to think that a fascist military dictator is better than any democratically elected leader is highly offensive.

The idea that Chile's current economic state justifies a military dictator is an incredible dangerous and sickening idea.

If as you say the majority were against Allende then a military coup would never have been necessary as a popular uprising would be enough - especially with a sympathetic military.

Pinochet did no more good than Hitler or Stalin - apologists should be ashamed of themselves.

Was the brutal military regime more constitutional?

Plus I don't think anybody says that the coup was entirely the US, of course they required internal allies but there is absolutely no question that they supported and assisted in the overthrowing of an elected leader and his replacement with a fascist dictator for nothing more than their own interests - without the US it is unlikely there would have been a coup.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Dan Bunn said...

* If you disagree with the above you are saying that the people cannot be responsible for their own government and the way they are governed or trusted to decide the nature of the society in which they live. In other words you don't believe in democracy you believe in fascism.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Stefan Johansson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:02 PM  

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