Letter: Whither Pinochet?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Andrew Neil says: "Castro's killings and brutal repression of human rights dwarf even the most exaggerated accounts of the former Chilean dictator's evil ways."

This is simply untrue. Even the show trial executions in Cuba which caused consternation among many of Castro's allies around the world were a tiny fraction of the killings in the Santiago Stadium. The latter were also carried out without any pretence of a judicial process. Moreover, the killings in the immediate aftermath of the Pinochet coup were only a prelude to the systematic elimination of leaders of the left and of the trades unions.

The "brutal repression of human rights" in Cuba did not consist of mass tortures and "disappearances" of political opponents, as in Chile. Indeed, the bulk of Cubans who "voted with their feet" did so for economic reasons; even those who left for political reasons did not flee, as did the majority who left Chile, in fear for their lives.