When my human rights contacts heard I was considering Santiago, they said, “Oh you don’t want to do that. The opposition had coalesced into what was called the Coordinadora, eighteen political parties under one tent running a single “no” campaign for the plebiscite. We’ll be watching closely to see how this process evolves…”. RISE TO POWER THE COUP D'ETAT In September 11 1973 the military of the Conservative party of Chile, with help of USA Overthrow Salvador Allende. You can also read about the failed coup, El Tanquetazo, as well as about Argentina’s transition to democracy. 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 Congress and the NGO community kept up pressure in the effort to develop credible information for the Justice Department. We support the goal of a transition to democracy. Pinochet proclaimed himself president of the military junta(dictatorship) that followed. It would be the last opportunity to fix the results. 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. Another turning point came when Ricardo Lagos challenged Pinochet directly. He was assassinated by Pinochet’s agents in 1976]… transformed U.S. relations with Pinochet. how did Augusto Pinochet gain power with the "great Man" theory and the crisis theory? 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. The election count would be called off. This was debatable, but it tagged her as pro-dictator. Students then conclude this study by writing an essay on … The message we crafted was: “We have deep, long-standing ties and common interests with Chile and its people. No violence, however. The case stayed red hot. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. During Ambassador Barnes’ first few weeks, he went to visit Gabriel Valdes [the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile under President Eduardo Frei from 1964 to 1970 and who was a vocal opponent of the military dictatorship, right] in his office. 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. It was supported by the government of the United States of America . Q: We were deep into the Reagan period. Your own constitution mandates better rules.”. Cívitas, one of the main civil society organizations, ran a nationwide campaign to re-register all the Chileans who wanted to vote. This may result in the adoption of a new law. Ambassador Barnes corroborated this report and determined that it was a plausible threat. 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. Two of the four junta members were asserting their independence from Pinochet – Air Force Commander Matthei and Carabineros Commander Stange. 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. However, Pinochet was arrested under an international arrest warrant on a visit to London in October 1998 in connection with numerous human rights allegations. 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. 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. The political paranoia fostered by his regime was meant to keep people divided. (Actually they would have needed a six-foot-five box because the Ambassador is a tall man.) Pinochet was very confident. How you vote is up to you, but vote. The Cívitas campaign gained ground. But I got wind of something that would have completely thrown the election. Our policies and actions had deep resonance, but they were not the main story. Pinochet conceded in a dazed, semi-defiant, somewhat disoriented speech. People knew that Pinochet had given up. Mostly, they felt betrayed. They’re also acutely aware of their economic interdependence. But they refused and Gen. Pinochet had to accept defeat. You had asked about public reactions to those trying to push U.S. ideas on another country. They found a way to come together and recover their democratic ethos.…, Pinochet brought a different kind of technocrat into government from the middle class. A transformation was underway. We were engaged, but more subtly than during the Allende period. Though Bolivia was also in turmoil, by comparison this felt like stepping into a cauldron. He curried a reputation of being an uncorrupted dictator. About 56% of the people did not want that. This changed after Ambassador Harry Barnes’s arrival. This gradually began to snowball in the sense of citizen participation. 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. 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. He said, “I think the “no” vote has won.” He’s very outspoken in general and not liked by Pinochet for that reason. The police would douse the protesters with water canons, spray tear gas, and start shooting with little provocation. They married the Chicago monetarists to a Chilean version of the New Deal. He was interviewed by Kennedy beginning in April 2001. Of course, the plebiscite vote was in favor of the new Constitution. Almost 40 … So it was a fairly dramatic evening. When he went to meet with Pinochet or the members of his junta, he would report every word that was said. Q: What happened afterwards from your perspective? Q: Prior to the plebiscite, how did we see the vote going, provided there was no military interference? BARNES: If you can have flood gates that are good things, the flood gates opened. Some mainstream political parties joined in, but those in charge were mostly the trade union vanguard, students and the radical left. On hearing the news of the coup, Allende dashed to his seat of government in the capital. A street sign shows the name of the September 11 Avenue in Santiago, renamed during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship which still remanes. In 1988, there was a plebiscite in Chile. To register, people had to pay the equivalent of nearly 5 dollars to get an ID card and then get on the electoral rolls. 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. One patrician learned that I’d served previously in La Paz and asked me, “Well, how was Bolivia?” expecting that I was going to say, they live in caves, they eat off of the street. 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. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government or of ADST. They adopted those reforms on their terms. 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. Pinochet was a typical dictator—until 1988. One of my close contacts was Jorge Jimenez, the brother of Monica Jimenez, who ran Cívitas. Pinochet had received 44 to their 56 percent in the plebiscite. 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. The government of the United Kingdom was also pro-Pinochet. 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…. THE world got its first glimpse of Augusto Pinochet on September 11th 1973. Pinochet led a 11 September 1973 coup which deposed Socialist President Salvador Allende. If they wanted him to be replaced there would have to be a competitive election. They knew he would be around for a year or two, before the first free elections in 20 years would take place. 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. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. Several years after stepping down, he was charged with war crimes concerning his time as president but died in 2006 before being convicted on any charges. That was a key opening. 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. Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. ROE:  In July 1985, I took an assignment as a political officer in Chile. General Augusto Pinochet took control of Chile in September 1973 following a military coup which had ousted the previous incumbent Salvador Allende. The effect was electrifying. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question. Learn how to update your browser. https://www.e-ir.info/2015/05/14/an-assessment-of-the-pinochet-regime-in-chile Even the pro-democracy conservatives began finding their voices. It’s very dark there.” I said, “There must be some rays of light or else people couldn’t cope.”…. One of the things the people of Chile had a chance to approve was that Constitution in a plebiscite in 1980. They knew that Pinochet’s repression damaged Chile’s image, and that the boycotts hurt economically. Three months before the vote, Pinochet’s own Supreme Court overturned the junta-approved election regulations saying, “This doesn’t meet the fairness test. A huge audience in Washington followed these conversations.…, His actions spoke that message. That was his constant theme, but it was falling flat because the country was deeply divided under him. 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. 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. Augusto Pinochet stablished a dictatorship that ended the socialist empire (extermine leftism) . On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile by force. 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. The front office tapped me to draft Barnes’ credentials speech. 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. Some three decades after the right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet left power by way of a national plebiscite, more than a million Chileans took […] Large In a year now notorious for the dismal pandemic that has gripped the globe, as well as the far-right authoritarianism that has blossomed in its midst, a remarkable opportunity is facing Chile. 2 decades ago. 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. Beggars held out their hands at every street corner. I analyzed the implementation of political laws under the 1976 constitution, the emerging civil society organizations and political party dynamics. I often sat in on these. Chile is a legalistic, constitutional country that prides itself on respecting the law. • 1990 He steps down as head of state but remains army commander-in-chief and is later made a senator for life. As the 1988 plebiscite loomed, Washington was hungry to find out if there really was any chance for a fraud-free election. The courts mandated fair, equal time and changed the rules of the game. It triggered a cutoff of military aid and a decades-long investigation of the role of top officials including Pinochet himself in the assassination. Chileans began planning for the national elections in December of ’89. So a lot of emphasis from the standpoint of those of us on the outside, this was pretty much a coordinated effort. They still have a long ways to go to cut bureaucracy, but post-Pinochet Chile reduced poverty by thirty percent in a decade, which few countries can boast. With 1988 that was eight years later. Ambassador Barnes kept the lines of communication open to both sides, playing such a deft game that Pinochet had to think twice before openly attacking the U.S. Pinochet’s military junta was a quasi-cabinet that also doubled as his legislative counsel. 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 briefed the news reporters on that issue. 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. 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. In the days that followed his military coup, hundreds of people, were rounded up and taken to the two main sport stadiums in the capital, Santiago. Outgoing Ambassador James Theberge was in the Kirkpatrick mode. 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. 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. They’ve been through some real turmoil, but they have a lively free press. The evolving national consensus and the eventual plebiscite victory grew out of tremendous suffering that Chileans had experienced. Generally, the Chicago Boys (CB) recipe for privatizing and removing trade barriers and balancing the macroeconomic variables was judged to be a success. The polls were pretty imprecise. He covered all the demonstrations, worked closely with Solidaridad, the Catholic human rights agency, and visited imprisoned trade union leaders.…The political officer whom I replaced had formed relationships with most democratic political parties except the Socialists. 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. They didn’t act triumphant, because no one, not even the old-line Communists, wanted the country to suffer more suicidal feuding. It was brutal,” she said. He asked me to arrange a key part of the trip. The Communist party believed that only armed conflict could end the dictatorship. Theberge kept his distance from the leading opposition figure, Gabriel Valdez, the President of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC). Apparently, our counter-threat was effective. People would tell different things to the pollsters based on whether or not they trusted them or thought the balloting would be fair. Thousands and thousands of chileans were killed. • Augusto Pinochet did not retire-He issued a referendum asking the people of Chile to accept or reject his government.He lost the referendum letting him to lose … 4. [Fernando] Matthei, the Air Force general was stopped by a reporter and was asked what had happed. The human rights officer… Don Knight, who also arrived in the summer of ’85, was the labor and human rights officer. Jorge, a medical doctor, was the opposition liaison with the military. Chileans felt frustrated and depressed. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. 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. Within a year of the plebiscite, key opposition forces moved from raw confrontation politics to a willingness to work through the political process. His gesture sent shockwaves throughout the Pinochet government. The Embassy no longer echoed the right’s criticism of the opposition. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. The night of the plebiscite – what was very strange was that state TV ran only one report about seven o’clock in the evening and the results at that point should that the “yes” vote, the government vote, was ahead . Chileans see their country as a place of “convivencia” which roughly translates as “living together harmoniously.” The Chilean sense of order and social justice is a legend that began with Pedro de Valdívia. Pinochet had destroyed all the registration rolls and established a national identification system. A partial view of the National Stadium, which served as a jail for prisoners during Augusto Pinochet's dictatoship. Pinochet became the President of the country and ruled it for the next 17 years. That’s why the first Barnes-Valdez meeting was such a profound shift. Five days before the plebiscite, Monica called me in Valparaiso where I was doing a pre-election assessment. There was a joyous feeling of release and celebration nationwide. The people were asked whether Pinochet should rule for another eight and a half years. A Chilean commission investigating human rights abuses under the former military leader Gen Augusto Pinochet says there are many more victims than previously documented. The Coordinadora’s TV ads were brilliant. Pinochet was trying to say, “After me, chaos” in the style of Louis XIV, “Aprés moi, le deluge.”. It wasn’t a huge margin, but it was an adequate margin…. He remained as Army Commander. People felt they had begun to overcome the darkest part of their recent history. As a result, I follow my detailed treatment of the Rise of Mao in China with a shorter"mini-unit" on Pinochet in Chile. But the U.S. Congress kept a close eye on human rights violations, and the Embassy raised its voice on those issues. General Augusto Pinochet (pronounced Pinoshe), an Army general, led it. Lagos talked back without hesitation and subdued the hecklers. Losing the plebiscite completely stunned him. He was a bloody dictator. Augusto Pinochet had been in power since the coup he led as Army commander on September 11, 1973. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. In the end it was a major element in Pinochet’s downfall. 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! 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. In 1980, a new constitution was approved, which mandated a single-candidate presidential referendum in … We set up a voluntary visitor program through USIS [U.S. Information Service] to facilitate his goal of meeting with Wall Street people. 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. So I brainstormed with Jorge Castillo, …a stalwart in the Political section. It is said that Gen. Pinochet sought the support of his closest military allies to overthrow the results. The PDC, PPD, the radicals, conservatives and eventually the Partido Socialista won recognition. A portion of the Congress was appointed, and the President could not remove the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I helped convince Juan Ignacio Garcia that Cívitas and Monica Jimenez did not have a political agenda and were legitimate actors. 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. 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.. But some critics were scathing in their appraisal. Meanwhile Pinochet’s government was making political parties into legitimate actors, while demonizing them in its propaganda. The 1980 constitution imposed by Pinochet further concentrated his powers. Barnes had a photographic memory. One sort of had to wonder what was going on. 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. You can impose them without worrying about the democratic political process. She also fervently criticized President Carter’s human rights policies. As former dictator Augusto Pinochet was preparing to ... Defenders of the dialogue said there was nothing to lose. Instead I said, “It was a fascinating place. 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. On September 11, 1973, a military coup forced the democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende out of power. So it was a confidence game. He unexpectedly lost a plebiscite that would have extended his rule over Chile for an additional eight-year term. Following a legal battle he was released on grounds of ill health, and returned to Chile in March 2000. 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. General pinochet lose power through a referendum, A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. 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. They would bring out the soldiers and there would be massive confrontations and bloodshed. Favorite Answer. ROE:  Another decisive moment happened when the first election results came in. Presidential and parliamentary elections took place as scheduled on December 14, 1989; Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin won and took office on the following March. Both the opposition and the shadow reform elements in the government wanted to build bridges not only with Europe but also with Southeast Asia. They’ve been the tiger of Latin America. 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. We thought the opposition could win as long as elections proceeded as planned. He maintained a pretty friendly relationship with the military government. Junta members Stange and Matthei also said so publicly.…That killed any possibility of them subverting the process. 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. This was one of Lagos’ first rallies as president of PPD, the center-left party he founded in 1987. 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