But we saw hopeful signs with the banding together of the democratic opposition, the soul searching that led to them presenting a more credible alternative, a team that could Chile to the rule of law and manage the economic transition. At that point you had an outpouring of positive energy. He was faced with a disruptive group of Communists. Augusto Pinochet He was Mostly, they felt betrayed. The last thing they expected was to hear the view that Bolivia was more advanced in civic discourse. Jeane Kirkpatrick as our Ambassador to the UN also sat in on the Cabinet and was stating that we should work closely with the military leaders in Latin America, because they were closer to our ideals and all. Though Bolivia was also in turmoil, by comparison this felt like stepping into a cauldron. ROE:  In July 1985, I took an assignment as a political officer in Chile. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question. They knew that Pinochet’s repression damaged Chile’s image, and that the boycotts hurt economically. Losing the plebiscite completely stunned him. In 1980, a new constitution was approved, which mandated a single-candidate presidential referendum in … We’ll be watching closely to see how this process evolves…”. They’ve been through some real turmoil, but they have a lively free press. After that encounter, the parties supporting participation in the plebiscite began recruiting en masse. They adopted those reforms on their terms. Almost 40 … The political paranoia fostered by his regime was meant to keep people divided. We were able to provide some assistance through the National Endowment for Democracy in terms of how one organizes campaigns, since enough time had gone by 1973 was the last election. Most observers faulted the government for making the two recessions much deeper than necessary and this may have cost Pinochet a lot of political support. It is said that Gen. Pinochet sought the support of his closest military allies to overthrow the results. Lagos wanted to let them know that when the “no” vote prevailed, it wasn’t going to hurt the economy, that the opposition leadership was committed to keep the basic economic framework in place and work to humanize it. That image was greatly padded, and now we’ve seen the revelations about the millions he funneled abroad.…. The Communist party believed that only armed conflict could end the dictatorship. People knew that Pinochet had given up. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. He was a bloody dictator. We thought the opposition could win as long as elections proceeded as planned. Of course, the pundits admitted that you can only implement severe fiscal austerity if you have an iron fist. They resisted Pinochet’s moves to undermine his own constitution. The Embassy no longer echoed the right’s criticism of the opposition. The opposition gained strength when it abandoned the strategy of social mobilization in favor of an electoral strategy. He remained as Army Commander. They would bring out the soldiers and there would be massive confrontations and bloodshed. The Europeans had been supporting the opposition financially, in a patchwork approach. Within a year of the plebiscite, key opposition forces moved from raw confrontation politics to a willingness to work through the political process. When in power, Pinochet instituted vast reforms to try to cure the Chilean nation which had been left in a deep economic, social, political and constitutional crisis. The IB History examination is very keen that students learn to compare and contrast the methods and conditions which led to the rise to power of single party state rulers - sometimes insisting that they are from different parts of the world, and / or that one is a right-wing dictator whilst the other is a left-wing dictator! Your own constitution mandates better rules.”. This may result in the adoption of a new law. A huge audience in Washington followed these conversations.…, His actions spoke that message. A national referendum was held on October 5, 1988 to determine whether the Junta, and its leader Pinochet, should stay in power for another eight years. Pinochet was a typical dictator—until 1988. https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/augusto-pinochet-5818.php The evolving national consensus and the eventual plebiscite victory grew out of tremendous suffering that Chileans had experienced. The plebiscite was in October of ’88. Pinochet rose to power following a U.S.-backed, violent coup by the Chilean army on Sept. 11, 1973, which ousted the country’s democratically-elected president, the … I helped convince Juan Ignacio Garcia that Cívitas and Monica Jimenez did not have a political agenda and were legitimate actors. It was gloomy, conflicted. The case stayed red hot. ©Copyright 1998-2021 Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training A street sign shows the name of the September 11 Avenue in Santiago, renamed during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship which still remanes. We guessed, I guess is the way I would have to put it, based on the polling that had been done by organizations we confidence in, including people who were, what should I say, were very much non-partisan, as well as those inclined one way or the other. Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. Ambassador Barnes corroborated this report and determined that it was a plausible threat. When he went to meet with Pinochet or the members of his junta, he would report every word that was said. He said, “I think the “no” vote has won.” He’s very outspoken in general and not liked by Pinochet for that reason. Interested in Recording Your Oral History, Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training. A portion of the Congress was appointed, and the President could not remove the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Five days before the plebiscite, Monica called me in Valparaiso where I was doing a pre-election assessment. As a result, I follow my detailed treatment of the Rise of Mao in China with a shorter"mini-unit" on Pinochet in Chile. The Congress and the NGO community kept up pressure in the effort to develop credible information for the Justice Department. You had groups of people, one for example which was taking no sides on the plebiscite outcome or not, but was saying it was Chileans’ obligations as citizens to vote. This gradually began to snowball in the sense of citizen participation. On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile by force. Thousands and thousands of chileans were killed. Under the leadership of Monica Jimenez, the head of Catholic University’s School of Social Work, Cívitas mounted a non-partisan voter education campaign to convince people their vote would be counted and to assist them in registering. No violence, however. Augusto Pinochet stablished a dictatorship that ended the socialist empire (extermine leftism) . There was a joyous feeling of release and celebration nationwide. BARNES: Pinochet had, as I think he himself said from time to time, had made a gift to the people of Chile in the form of a new Constitution, having done away with the previous one, the Allende and earlier periods. To register, people had to pay the equivalent of nearly 5 dollars to get an ID card and then get on the electoral rolls. Answer Save. The September 11, 1973 coup against Socialist president Salvador Allende led to the brutal dictatorship under Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet, who immediately began to round up thousands of opponents in stadiums and elsewhere and have them killed. He also held up his finger to Pinochet and said basically, “J’acuse, I accuse you, Pinochet, of years of torture, murder and violence; I accuse you of not telling the truth.” Nobody had dared to stand up to Pinochet as an equal. Some mainstream political parties joined in, but those in charge were mostly the trade union vanguard, students and the radical left. As former dictator Augusto Pinochet was preparing to ... Defenders of the dialogue said there was nothing to lose. Lagos talked back without hesitation and subdued the hecklers. The coup in which General Augusto Pinochet seized power in 1973 was the bloodiest in 20th century South America. Few in the opposition knew how to best them. Pinochet became the President of the country and ruled it for the next 17 years. Beggars held out their hands at every street corner. It would be the last opportunity to fix the results. They were like political cabaret, with great music and light-hearted lyrics. But some critics were scathing in their appraisal. Of course, the plebiscite vote was in favor of the new Constitution. Combination of those sources, our judgment was that the “no” vote would probably win some margin more than a narrow margin. During the fourteen years of democratic government following Pinochet, Chile’s economy maintained fiscal stability while strengthening its social net. 3 Answers. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government or of ADST. Pinochet was involved in Operation Condor, a cooperative effort by several South American governments to remove leftist opposition leaders, often by murder. General Augusto Pinochet (pronounced Pinoshe), an Army general, led it. The September 11, 1973 coup against Socialist president Salvador Allende led to the brutal dictatorship under Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet, who immediately began to round up thousands of opponents in stadiums and elsewhere and have them killed. We were engaged, but more subtly than during the Allende period. Theberge kept his distance from the leading opposition figure, Gabriel Valdez, the President of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC). As a result the other three refused to go along, which one could not have predicted at that time. The initial plan held that Pinochet would rule only for a year, to be succeeded by the chiefs of the navy, police and air force. I was stumped at first — how do you say to Pinochet that we’re here to undermine you and assist the rebirth of democracy? The PDC, PPD, the radicals, conservatives and eventually the Partido Socialista won recognition. It was brutal,” she said. I helped promote emerging women leaders through IVs [International Visitor program] and lunch sessions hosted by PAO Marilyn McAfee. Not having rule of law means you won’t have transparent governance or marketplace; you won’t build investor confidence or have economic sustainability. The government of the United Kingdom was also pro-Pinochet. Chileans are proud of their country as a middle class haven, a country that escaped the worst colonial oppression of the lands that supplied Spain’s gold and silver. Pinochet would allow opposition voices to have television time, but only for a few minutes at midnight. Lagos, who was elected President of Chile in 2000, visited the U.S in the pre-plebiscite period. One sort of had to wonder what was going on. The 1988 plebiscite was a plebiscite in the sense it was more of Pinochet, another eight years of Pinochet, or go to a competitive election. • 1990 He steps down as head of state but remains army commander-in-chief and is later made a senator for life. Despite being charged first by a court in Spain in 1998 and then in his native Chile, Pinochet eluded prosecution by claiming he was mentally unfit to defend himself in legal proceedings. 2 decades ago. The courts mandated fair, equal time and changed the rules of the game. Pinochet hated and mistrusted us, but some elements in his government were moderating their stance, either to make a more presentable case to the world, or because they understood the imperative for change…. But the TV showed a little after that, a half an hour or so later, were pictures of the other commanders of the Armed Forces, that is, the Air Force, the Carabineros, the Navy going toward the Presidential Palace and obviously a meeting of the junta with Pinochet. Pinochet led a 11 September 1973 coup which deposed Socialist President Salvador Allende. A month later, Pinochet led the military coup that overthrew Allende. The new U.S. approach emboldened the opposition. We opened up close channels with the democratic socialist wing of the opposition, which the U.S. had previously tended to equate with the Allende left. But they refused and Gen. Pinochet had to accept defeat. Pinochet ruled with an iron fist. He asked me to arrange a key part of the trip. Chileans felt frustrated and depressed. On September 11, 1973, a military coup forced the democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende out of power. We set up a voluntary visitor program through USIS [U.S. Information Service] to facilitate his goal of meeting with Wall Street people. Two of the four junta members were asserting their independence from Pinochet – Air Force Commander Matthei and Carabineros Commander Stange. People would tell different things to the pollsters based on whether or not they trusted them or thought the balloting would be fair. The police would douse the protesters with water canons, spray tear gas, and start shooting with little provocation. President Salvador Allende committed suicide that day in La Moneda palace. The ’76 car bombing in Washington that killed Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier [who served during the presidency of Socialist President Salvador Allende and who, as a political refugee from Pinochet’s government, took an academic position in Washington, D.C.. You had asked about public reactions to those trying to push U.S. ideas on another country. And that experience left a big debt to pay. So I brainstormed with Jorge Castillo, …a stalwart in the Political section. The polls were pretty imprecise. (Actually they would have needed a six-foot-five box because the Ambassador is a tall man.) They’re also acutely aware of their economic interdependence. She said Jorge had solid information that Pinochet intended to stage a mini-coup the night of the election. General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (b.Valparaíso, on November 25, 1915–d. Augusto Pinochet is known for being the leader of a military junta that overthrew the socialist government of Pres. The election count would be called off. About 56% of the people did not want that. The opposition leaders wanted the world to know they were not about vengeance or divisiveness. The message we crafted was: “We have deep, long-standing ties and common interests with Chile and its people. So on the Sunday before the election he had the Chilean ambassador to the U.S. called in. • During that panel discussion probably around eleven o’clock or so the panel came on and this particular individual who had been a minister in a previous government years back and had a good reputation, he said, “I think the “no” vote has won.” Still nothing on the government channels. Augusto Pinochet. The aspect of the plebiscite one worried about was that if some way the government would find a modality for skewing it or if not worse than that. ROE: Kirkpatrick’s 1979 article in Commentary magazine argued that the U.S. should work with authoritarian governments like those of Chile, Argentina and South Africa because they were more likely to lead to democracy than were revolutionary regimes of the left. Then, after his last and remarkable radio address, he shot himself rather than becoming a prisoner. How stood our policy towards Chile when you went there? That was his constant theme, but it was falling flat because the country was deeply divided under him. They’ve been the tiger of Latin America. Milton Friedman, the guru of the monetarist school of economists based at the University of Chicago, taught and groomed quite a few of Pinochet’s top advisors. It was becoming ungovernable. Barnes had a photographic memory. They didn’t act triumphant, because no one, not even the old-line Communists, wanted the country to suffer more suicidal feuding. The national debates in the Congress are completely free, open — they’re nationally televised and attract a huge audience.” When I mentioned the vibrant civic life, a few guests looked about ready to have heart attacks on the spot. Harry Barnes served as Ambassador to Chile and recounts the efforts the U.S. made to establish contact with the democratic opposition and to ensure the plebiscite would be free and fair. It was supported by the government of the United States of America . Our officials in Washington told the envoy bluntly that if anything happened to disrupt the election, the U.S. president would denounce it in the loudest possible terms around the world and that nothing of that kind would be tolerated. BARNES: If you can have flood gates that are good things, the flood gates opened. We support the goal of a transition to democracy. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. He was eventually accepted and he graduated in 1937 as an infantry officer. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. Our policies and actions had deep resonance, but they were not the main story. The Pinochet regime undercut their efforts to get public service announcements and paid television advertising. When Chileans elected Patricio Aylwin president in 1989, his government and successive administrations kept in place the bulk of the economic reforms. Another turning point came when Ricardo Lagos challenged Pinochet directly. Santiago, on December 10, 2006) was a Chilean general who became Chile's head of state (or leader) from 1973 to 1990. The “no” vote won with nearly 56%, thus ending the Junta’s 16 years in power. Tens of thousands were tortured, disappeared, killed or exiled during his campaign against the pro-Allende communists and socialists. They rocked people with an upbeat message. Charlotte Roe served as a Political Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Santiago during that time. U.S. assistance to the opposition was non-partisan, because there were no candidates in the plebiscite, just a vote to say “si” or “no” to the regime. Apparently, our counter-threat was effective. The Coordinadora’s TV ads were brilliant. I often sat in on these. His 17-year regime was responsible for numerous human rights violations, some of which were committed as part of Operation Condor, an illegal effort to suppress political opponents in Chile and abroad in coordination with foreign intelligence agencies. Relevance. The Constitution provided that after eight years there would be an election in which the people of Chile would have a chance to decide whether they wished to have Pinochet continue or be replaced. Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (n. 25 noiembrie 1915, Valparaíso, Chile – d. 10 decembrie 2006, Santiago de Chile, Chile), cunoscut mai mult ca Augusto Pinochet, a fost un general, om politic de dreapta și dictator chilian, care a îndeplinit funcția de Președinte al Republicii Chile între 1974 și 1990. The plan was to provoke violence and claim it came from the left. He had the elected President, Salvador Allende, killed to become president. He came to power as a member of a council of military leaders after the overthrow of the communist government of President Salvador Allende.Pinochet … Three months before the vote, Pinochet’s own Supreme Court overturned the junta-approved election regulations saying, “This doesn’t meet the fairness test. You can impose them without worrying about the democratic political process. From a government that was elected by the people, the power shifted to the military officers. We later heard from members of the junta that the stop-the-election plan was real. The military government planned to implement a provision of the 1976 constitution to recognize certain political parties in a formal process, but few Chileans believed this would take place or lead to positive change. Your IP: 192.36.38.206 The US suffered from a near obsession with an idea of a global communist conspiracy where everything was believed to be controlled by Moscow. It was an onerous process. 4. We thought the procedural instruments the government had put in place could create the framework for a free and fair election, if the military regime didn’t abort the process. Augusto Pinochet, the son of a customs official, was born in Chile on 26th November 1915. That would provide democratic forces a glimmer of hope. It triggered a cutoff of military aid and a decades-long investigation of the role of top officials including Pinochet himself in the assassination. But the U.S. Congress kept a close eye on human rights violations, and the Embassy raised its voice on those issues. Generally, the Chicago Boys (CB) recipe for privatizing and removing trade barriers and balancing the macroeconomic variables was judged to be a success. The human rights officer… Don Knight, who also arrived in the summer of ’85, was the labor and human rights officer. ROE:  As we approached the plebiscite, the U.S. provided $1.5 million in assistance to ensure that the plebiscite would have a level playing field. He told me later that when the four of them had assembled, that Pinochet had already prepared a draft of a proclamation extending the state of emergency in effect annulling the plebiscite. In the end it was a major element in Pinochet’s downfall. It’s very dark there.” I said, “There must be some rays of light or else people couldn’t cope.”…. He was assassinated by Pinochet’s agents in 1976]… transformed U.S. relations with Pinochet. In 1980, a new constitution was approved, which mandated a single-candidate presidential referendum in 1988, where a candidate nominated by the Junta would be approved or rejected for another 8-year period. The Cívitas campaign gained ground. At one point Juan Gabriel Valdez, who later became Chilean Ambassador to the UN, offered to provide sensitive information on the case and I connected him with Ambassador Barnes. In 2004, a Chilean judge placed him under house arrest. BARNES: We thought it could be quite close, because Pinochet had and appealed still to people old enough to remember the Allende era and some of the problems of that era. Talking with people in the provinces, I saw a tremendous groundswell of support for the “no” side. In the early 1980s the U.S. frequently bashed the PDC and other center-left opposition parties for not banning the communists from taking part in the protest demonstrations. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. And speaking of interference in another country:  sending hit men to assassinate a foreign minister in the U.S. capital was about the limit …, Chilean society was fractured under Allende and even more so under most of Pinochet’s reign. People felt they had begun to overcome the darkest part of their recent history. In 1988, there was a plebiscite in Chile. The middle class was unhappy about the repression but also weary of these futile confrontations. Our main focus was to ensure that Chileans had a chance to have their votes count in the plebiscite and the capacity to make the transition to democracy. • 1988 Pinochet loses a referendum on whether he should remain in power. That decision built confidence. Late Chilean military leader Augusto Pinochet wanted to hold on to power when he lost a referendum on his rule in 1988, newly declassified documents in the US suggest. Concertación candidate Patricio Aylwin (Christian Democrats) won decisively, heading the first democratically elected government in 16 years. The front office tapped me to draft Barnes’ credentials speech. Instead I said, “It was a fascinating place. Chile is a legalistic, constitutional country that prides itself on respecting the law. So it was a confidence game. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. He curried a reputation of being an uncorrupted dictator. THE world got its first glimpse of Augusto Pinochet on September 11th 1973. She also fervently criticized President Carter’s human rights policies. • Q: We were deep into the Reagan period. Pinochet continued to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army until March 1998, when he retired and became a senator-for-life in accordance with his 1980 Constitution. The opposition had coalesced into what was called the Coordinadora, eighteen political parties under one tent running a single “no” campaign for the plebiscite. Cloudflare Ray ID: 626416431aead42f However, Pinochet was arrested under an international arrest warrant on a visit to London in October 1998 in connection with numerous human rights allegations. Pinochet maintained power by dissolving parliament, banning all political parties and trade unions, and allegedly murdering thousands of Chileans who stood in opposition to his rule. The effect was electrifying. That was a key opening. With 1988 that was eight years later. A partial view of the National Stadium, which served as a jail for prisoners during Augusto Pinochet's dictatoship. He was interviewed by Kennedy beginning in April 2001. The pro-Pinochet hawks disseminated a rumor that when Barnes left Chile, it would be in a six-foot box. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. Favorite Answer. In an interview conducted by Charles Stuart Kennedy beginning in January 2005, she shares her impressions and conclusions on the political climate before and after the plebiscite, the economic advice from Milton Friedman and the “Chicago Boys,” and how the Letelier assassination proved to be the last straw for support in Washington. As the 1988 plebiscite loomed, Washington was hungry to find out if there really was any chance for a fraud-free election. The people were asked whether Pinochet should rule for another eight and a half years. The 1970s and 1980s were a long, dark time for Chile. This was debatable, but it tagged her as pro-dictator. He outlawed the political parties. Well, Chileans didn’t want the CB model imposed by an academic institution in the U.S. or anyone else. how did Augusto Pinochet gain power with the "great Man" theory and the crisis theory? More than 3,000 were killed in the September military onslaught, which began when fighter jets bombed the Presidential Palace while the democratically elected President, Salvador Allende, was still inside. People felt that Chile had been saved from a terrible path of social and political warfare that would permanently scar the society. The outgoing cultural attaché, Peter DeShazo, opened his house to Democratic Socialists as well as to Christian Democrats and other opposition leaders, but Ambassador Theberge strongly discouraged these ties. I remember attending a dinner party that was top heavy with this group. The opposition to Pinochet made itself felt through massive street demonstrations. Pinochet, under pressure from other countries was forced to accept the results, and stepped down from power in 1990. In 1984, a year before the plebiscite, he gave a speech in Antofagasta, a bleak, troubled industrial port about halfway between Iquique and Valparaiso that used to be a mining center. Presidential and parliamentary elections took place as scheduled on December 14, 1989; Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin won and took office on the following March. Supported by the people, the flood gates opened people divided unexpectedly lost a plebiscite in.. 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