…a son of a bitch is DEAD.
Augusto Pinochet, the former military dictator of Chile who was revered by supporters for leaving behind the most stable country in Latin America but reviled by critics who say he ruled with a complete disregard for human rights, died Sunday. He was 91.
Pinochet suffered a heart attack a week ago, and an announcement by the Santiago Military hospital said his condition worsened suddenly on Sunday.
He was one of the most controversial political figures of the 20th century and had been in poor health in recent years, suffering from diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and the effects of at least three mild strokes that his family said had left him with mild dementia. Before his death, the retired general lived in virtual seclusion and was seen in public rarely, walking with a cane and the help of bodyguards.
Pinochet will be most remembered for leading a military coup that toppled the world’s first democratically elected Marxist president, Salvador Allende, on Sept, 11, 1973. Allende had named Pinochet commander-in-chief of the armed forces just 18 days before the coup.
In recent years, declassified U.S. government documents have shown that the Nixon administration began a program to destabilize the Allende government, which had earned President Richard Nixon’s wrath by nationalizing U.S. copper mines and other foreign-controlled businesses, rural estates and banks and recognizing Cold War foes of the United States such as Cuba, North Korea and North Vietnam. Led by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Washington financed labor strikes, propaganda and military plotters, paving the way for Pinochet’s rise to power, some historians have argued. "It is not part of American history we are proud of," former Secretary of State Colin Powell said in 2003.
Gee, Unka Colin, isn’t that the understatement of the decade. As is that “controversial” bit. I’m surprised anyone could see a controversy about him, as he was unquestionably despicable and irredeemable. Controversy? Shyeah.
I’m also surprised there is anyone left who could actually feel sad about this, but Maggie Thatcher, bless her clattering tin heart, will oblige us by squeezing out a few crocodile tears:
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher is “greatly saddened” by the death of Augusto Pinochet, said a spokesman.
Chile’s former military leader, who has died aged 91 in hospital, backed the UK during the Falklands conflict.
Baroness Thatcher also pressed for his release after his arrest in London in 1998 over alleged human rights abuses.
He was an evil, fascist wretch who murdered and disappeared thousands, not to mention tortured the father of the current Chilean president to death, but since he backed Britain in the senseless squabble over the Malvinas (who should have declared independence from both the imperialists and the dictatorial junta), he was an okay guy. She even had tea with him before objecting to those nasty, unmannerly Spaniards for daring to arrest him on human rights charges. What a grand, impeccable lady that ol’ Milk Snatcher is!
If there is indeed a hell, they’re gonna have to build a couple more extra-hot furnaces just for those two.
PS: God/dess bless CBC. The announcer just read out that “Augusto Pinochet is dead…and it’s a safe bet how most of the world will remember him!” Yeah, I’ll say! They’re also reporting riots in the streets, and showing jubilant people dancing in celebration. They’re also noting that he overthrew a democratically elected leader, and that the US backed him.