Socialist torture victim wins in Chile

Tip via reader Daniel

A torture victim in the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, a former defense minister and a medical doctor, socialist Michelle Bachelet parlayed her ability to connect with voters into becoming Chile’s first woman president.

Her father was tortured and killed by Pinochet thugs. Pinochet came to power when the US backed a vicious coup that overthrew their democratically elected President.

Someone should tell congressional Democrats that when you stand up and fight for what you believe in, sometimes you win big.


  1. Not a good comparison, Bob. Her party is pro-market, pro-American, and indistinguishable from the American Democrats. For European and Latin American parties, you have to shift every label one or two moves to the right to get an American equivalent.

  2. The White House issued a congratulations that was less than enthusiastic and US-based stocks dipped in Chil upon her election.

    She’s promised to work for equality and build social programs, as while she’s no revolutionary, she’s to the left of Democrats now – maybe like a liberal 60’s Democrat.

    She’s also said, no forgive and forget about Pinochet, and I can’t fathom someone whose father was tortured and killed in a US-backed coup would be overly friendly to the US.

  3. The White House considers with less than enthusiasm anyone who doesn’t approach Dubya on bended knee, ignoring the long history of anti-American rhetoric from Latin American politicians who are delighted to accept American favors and otherwise further US policy in the region. They may not talk the talk that flattery-prone Dubya loves, but they sure walk the walk.

    Her party is free-market oriented which, regardless of the difference she would feel with the Nixon involvement in Chile, still trumps most things. Simply because she’s anti-Pinochet does not automatically mean that she’s anti-American. Her party, after all, is still friendly to the University of Chicago school of economics!

  4. Chavez sure isn’t walking the Dubya walk!

  5. Neither are the Bolivians, and the Argentines hardly have any love lost for the IMF or the Americans. My point is simply that every country has a very different political climate, and it’s a big mistake for the left to make the same mistake that the right does and paint everybody as identical.

    My sense is that Chavez is not going to be another Simon Boliver, and certainly not a San Martin. I think a lot of people will be disappointed with him over time. Americans on either the left or the right always seem to need heroes over accurate assessments….

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