Letter: Whither Pinochet?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Mr Neil claims that the Allende regime had created chaos, but omits to say that much of the economic chaos that existed in Chile in the early Seventies was the creation of right-wing elements (which the US helped to finance). The allegation that "a relatively free society was on the brink of Marxist terror as Allende's tanks took to the streets" is wholly uncorroborated.

Mr Neil sounds like an apologist for right-wing excesses. It's as if he is saying the excesses were unfortunate but necessary. He also cites (as counter-examples) left-wing excesses. Here he seems to be saying that Pinochet was not as bad as these guys, so we should leave him be. If human rights are universal then all abusers of those rights should be made to account for the abuses that are perpetuated by them or in their name and not just left-wingers.

Finally, there are many documents that have just been made available under the Freedom of Information Act in the US. Some of these documents have been made available for viewing - via the Internet - by an organisation called the Peace Foundation. These documents are records of what US statesmen (such as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger) proposed vis-a-vis Chile - both before and after Allende became president. I suggest that Mr Neil visits this website.

BARRY K GASPER

Bourne, Lincolnshire

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