OP-ED: Pinochet | Brutal Dictator or Patriot?
By Natalia Godoy
January 14, 2019
Although historians portray Pinochet as a gruesome dictator, ruling Chile with an iron fist, many of his accomplishments have led Chile to prosperity. Pinochet saved Chile from communism. By doing so he initiated a free market, created a constitution, drastically reduced the proportion of people living in poverty, advanced human liberty, unleashed the forces that brought democracy and the rule of law. Many reforms that has made Chile one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America. Let me remind you that before Pinochet came to power, Chile was living under socialism. In this dark history, that is widely unreported, the rate of kids dying was above Syria and Venezuela combined.
In the early 1970s, Chile’s progress slowed down as it’s elite class flirted with socialist policies very similar to politicians like Bernie Sanders. This meant higher taxes, removal of gun rights, and the end of private property and businesses. Once the government abandoned socialism under Pinochet, it began an economic reform that created lots of opportunities and returned the country to economic stability. Chile’s children were now safe and no longer dying of starvation just like modern-day Venezuela that is going through a similar event.
Yes, it’s true that Pinochet ruled with an iron fist and indeed he was indicted and charged with several numbers of crimes. But were his executions really necessary? Could he have just been civil and diplomatic? Or was the situation so drastic that he needed to use force, where force was necessary?
Allende’s Chile: Communist Utopia or Misery?
Everyone has the right to make their own assumptions, especially if you are far away and not affected by it. If you have romanticized the idea of socialism in your head you might want to reconsider it. Some comments I’ve heard from leftists are out of touch with the actual history of my country. Let me tell you the story of the so-called “soft, civilized and wonderful Marxism” in Chile.
Within months of Allende assuming power, armed gangs of leftist thugs invaded homes and took over factories. It was all done with the support of Fidel Castro, which saw Allende’s Chile as the new beachhead for Cuban-style communism throughout Latin America. Allende’s regime set to implement dogmatic far-left reforms, for which he had no mandate, confiscating property, debasing the currency (inflation at one point topped 1,000 percent), seizing businesses, intimidating the opposition and bankrupting newspapers which dared to criticize him. When I lived in Chile I knew many hard-working families that had businesses and properties that were taken from them and literally left them on the streets. There was an incredible shortage of food and strikes as farms were taken by communist cadres. Many people died, especially children.
Pinochet and the Chilean Army were patriots and rejected Allende’s regime. The radical left was now systematically arming itself for a full-blown Communist revolution. Before Parliament was completely engulfed by socialist policies Pinochet and the generals seized power. The brutal ineptitude of the Allende years are now well-documented.
We cannot forgive Pinochet for what happened under his watch but it is important not to fall for left-wing exaggerations about him. He did indeed used force but it would have been much worse for a lot more people if Chile has been turned into a Marxist enclave by the Soviet Union and Cuba. Their goal was to turn Chile into a major center of subversion for the purposes of exporting Communism to the rest of Latin America.
We can all agree that some of his tactics to fight the rise of Marxism were extreme and nobody denies that. He was charged and convicted for his crimes. Why is it that the same people that hate Pinochet love Castro? When will Democrats and liberals feel outraged and recognize Castro’s crimes?
“Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail.” – Benito Mussolini
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About the Author
Natalia Godoy is a Chilean American, full time accomplished political writer. She has dedicated her life to reaching out to the Latino community. Has contributed with freelance interpretation services to local churches and is a former radio show host in Seattle, WA. She has been involved in helping Latina victims of domestic violence abuse. She has appeared as a guest in various conservative media platforms. She’s currently working on publishing her first book and building her “Red-Pill site” to further spread the conservative cause.