April.8.Chile.politics

April.8.Chile.politics - Chilean Politics and the Allende...

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Unformatted text preview: Chilean Politics and the Allende Experiment April 8 Distinctive Features of Latin American Development Most severe social and economic inequalities in the world Class inequalities superimposed on racial and ethnic divisions Cycles of democracy and authoritarianism conditioned by the politicization of social inequalities i.e., cycles of political inclusion and exclusion of lower class groups Political and economic influence of the U.S. Stages of Political Development in Latin America 1820-1930: Oligarchic rule 1930-64: Populism and the onset of mass politics 1964-1978: Authoritarian backlash; "bureaucraticauthoritarianism" 1978-1998: Redemocratization and market reform 1998--?? : Latin America's "left turn" Theories of Democracy and the Chilean Case 1. Challenges to prevailing theories: Political culture (assumes that Latin/Iberian/Catholic cultures are impediments to democracy) Modernization theory (assumes that economic development and a large, educated middle class lead to democracy) Free markets and democracy (assume that free markets promote political liberty, democracy) 2. 3. Distinctive Features of Chilean Political Development ----- Long democratic tradition, 1840s -1973 with breaks in 1891 (civil war) and 1925-33 (military involvement) Unusually strong legislature and judiciary European-type party system with right, center, and left "thirds" and relatively well-defined class bases Liberals and Conservatives on the Right Radicals and Christian Democrats in the Center Strongest socialist and communist parties in the Western hemisphere, with strong ties to labor unions Relatively weak populist tradition Presidential System with Proportional Representation and Multiple Parties Election outcomes determined by coalitional alignments (i.e., compete as three blocs or two) -- 1958-64: Conservative victory over Allende with narrow plurality in three-way race -- 1964-70: Centrist (Christian Democratic) victory, supported by the right to defeat Allende and the Left -- 1970: Election of Allende at the head of a leftist coalition with a narrow plurality in three-way race Salvador Allende, President 1970-73 Major Reforms in Chile's "Peaceful Road to Socialism" Most radical experiment in social and economic reform under democratic institutions the world has ever seen Nationalize the copper industry (previously U.S. owned) Nationalize the banking system and hundreds of industries Massive expansion of land reform begun under Frei Sharp increase in wages; experiment with worker selfmanagement in industries New initiatives in health care, education, nutrition, distribution of basic goods and services Impediments Faced by Allende: Factors Leading to the Military Coup Minority government; not control congress, so unable to legislate; significant opposition from judicial branch Deepening economic crisis in 1972-73; foreign exchange bottleneck, increasing inflation and shortages of basic goods Small business strikes, economic hoarding and sabotage Contradictions in the governing coalition; Communists favor compromise, Socialists favor radicalization of reforms Loss of control over popular mobilization; peasant land seizures, workers take over factories Unable to negotiate a compromise with the Christian Democrats so they join the Right in opposition, call for military coup Shift in the military command "constitutionalists" lose ground to "interventionists" U.S. opposition, economic embargo and financial strangulation; CIA support for opposition forces The U.S. and Chile "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." -- Henry Kissinger "Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty." -- Edward M. Korry, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, upon hearing of Allende's election. "Make the economy scream [in Chile to] prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him" -- Richard Nixon, orders to CIA director Richard Helms on September 15, 1970 "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. It would be much preferable to have this transpire prior to 24 October but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end, utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden..." -- A communique to the CIA base in Chile, issued on October 16, 1970 National Security Archive on the U.S. and Chile http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/latin_america/c hile.htm Allende with Army Commander Augusto Pinochet Last Photo of Allende During Coup Chile's Presidential Palace under Aerial Bombardment Chile's Military Coup Chile's Military Junta Gen. Manuel Contreras, Director of the Secret Police (DINA) ...
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