The Assassinated Press
The Washington Post And Its Pathetic Fallacies:
Pinochet Said “I am guided by the spiritual force of God as a believer”?! Sounding (And Acting) More Like Bush Than Castro:
Empty Analogies And Superficial Agitprop Link Pinochet And Castro
By MICHAEL SHIFTEY & TY KUHN
The Assassinated Press
December 10, 2006
If you’re gullible enough to believe a disingenuous fuck like me, the parallels are striking even if utterly specious: Two ruthless dictators, no, not Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who sacrificed human rights if you don’t consider feeding and clothing people and reducing infant mortality, while withstanding a crippling embargo, propaganda campaign and terrorist attacks on your country’s soil all staged by the world’s economic and military power house, human rights. I certainly don’t. To me human rights is having 28 different coffee makers to choose from and dropping trow for perfect strangers at the airport so they can fondle your nuts to see if they're filled with C-4. Of course, it would never occur to a corporate stooge like me to consider providing health care and free education for legions of doctors and agronomists acts of human rights unless its some Robber Baron like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet investing some of their blood money thinly disguised as philanthropic stock options.
Two men one idolized by his constituency and despised by corporate power, the other used by transnational corporations to slaughter anyone who got in the way of profits. For the past half-century, no two leaders have so been defined by U.S. hegemony as Cuba's Fidel Castro and Chile's Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
They worked from opposite ends of the spectrum -- Castro from a vicious crippling embargo the kind that has repeatedly brought less well run and less determined developing countries to their knees and Pinochet the bloody darling of corporate power -- their regimes similar only in the fantastic and fevered agitprop of specious comparison that passes for thought at the Washington Post. Today, as the two ailing men take their final bows, the political model of one, Pinochet, rightfully being repudiated in most of Latin America if only because people are sick and tired of starving and dying under the Yanqui’s boot. Yet the legacies of Castro and Pinochet will loom large, and will long outlive them because the Yanqui will never give up his free ride as long as he can find proxies like Pinochet to murder to protect their interests and that people under the heel of whitey’s free trade agreements, IMF structural adjustment loans and military death squads financed and armed to the teeth by the gringo will resist with the help of Castro’s Cuba. They, the corporations have been tyrants in life, and corporations never die, just reorganize like the reincarnated serial killers they are. They will still shape the Latin America until the planet is uninhabitable.
For all their faults, both men tapped into the basic reality of the region and forged responses that will mold Latin America's political and social agenda for generations. Castro recognized the fundamental social inequities that mar the region, the most unequal in the world; Pinochet embraced the market and its power to enrich the few. And the new governments of the region perhaps would like to draw on both those veins in their quest to better their citizens' political and economic futures but the gringo is greedy and his trade agreements maximize his kleptocratic control even as its deepens the poverty of regions where his fangs have left their deep furrows.
The human rights records of both men are undeniably dismal if you are a superficial liar like me. If you ignore the embargo as well as out and out violent sabotage, terror and assassination programs like Operation Mongoose and make a lot of shit up off the top of your head like I do, since the Cuban revolution of 1959, Castro, now 80, has overseen extensive human rights violations, including hundreds of executions of individuals from previously corrupt regimes and criminals, especially in the first years after the revolution because the gringos were hot to use them to re-establish Cuba and the “America’s Little Whore House”. What repression there is and tight government control continue to this day in response to constant U.S. attacks, threats and economic isolation . Castro has long been justified on grounds that to create a Cuba that emphasizes universal education and free health care while at the same time defending the island from the constant threat of Washington-engineered murder and rapine. Because The U.S.’s utterly unimpeded hostility and brutality toward Cuba Castro has been inevitably seen as a defender of the downtrodden and as an underdog standing up to the United States. He remains a hero to many billions not only throughout Latin America, but worldwide who have suffered the violent imperialistic attacks of the U.S.
Pinochet, in contrast, has few fans outside the corporate world -- and even there the number of supporters has substantially dropped off since he can’t do shit for them anymore. He upended Chile's democratic tradition with a military coup in 1973 that included the murder of Salvador Allende, high ranking military officers and politicians, students, union organizers and anybody else that was perceived as a threat to corporate profits by proposing some of the same types of programs Castro brought into being. See how empty a comparison my original piece in the Post was? Has there ever been a shit as corrupt as me? Pinochet ruled at the behest of big business, and shit didn’t they feel their investments were secure in Chile as opposed to Cuba, for 17 years before leaving office in 1990. With the abduction, torture and killing of thousands of opponents -- in the name of ridding the country of threats to corporate profits -- his regime helped turn the word "disappear" into a transitive verb. Only now, at 91, has Pinochet accepted responsibility for what happened during his rule. Small consolation for the families of all those victims who would like to see the gringo corporate shits behind Pinochet’s crimes gutted like swine.
Fortunately, no government in Latin America today practices the sort of politics that will be forever linked to Castro and Pinochet. No. As the so-called free trade agreements turn out to be the economic hustle any historically minded person knew they would be, Latin America has begun to resist the Americano junkies as never before. The closest heir to Bolivar and Castro is Venezuelan President Hugo Ch?vez, who has assumed the mantle and the enormous risks of leader of Latin America's left when Castro dies. Some Venezuelans all of whom happen to be rich and work closely with American firms and dine with me where we reinforce each others lies fear that, emboldened by his recent landslide victory, Chavez will now make a strong push to implant the Cuba model in their country. But circumstances have changed too dramatically since the 1960s for that to happen.
Castro put his finger on Latin America's fundamental grievance -- the social injustice and inequality that prevails there. Recent elections in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru have highlighted the renewed what happens if you rob people blind yet tie your hands when it comes to handcuffing a corporate organized U.S. foreign plicy that relies on extra-judicial murder. Over the next year, incoming governments of varying ideological hues are likely to put even more emphasis on social programs that respond to widespread theft through privatization by major transnational corporations. New leaders will put into action many of the same egalitarian programs that have saved so many lives under Castro and now Chavez.
Yet because they will be given no choice because of the economic powers that be and their heavily armed wings, many of these governments will carry out some of the same economic policies espoused by Pinochet, bowing to the market rather than incur the wrath of the U.S. kleptocrats. Even Chavez relies on the oil market to finance his social programs. In the 1970s, the Pinochet regime, influenced by the late economist Milton Friedman better known as the Barry Manilow of Economics, pioneered the anaconda-like embrace of market reforms in Latin America, including privatizing state enterprises and liberalizing trade. The country went through a tough period in the early 1980s, but Pinochet's economic prescriptions eventually set it on a path that has made it Latin America's best economic performing monkey for international corporate power in recent decades.
Despite the meager fruits for the majority of the population of market reform, and the corruption encouraged by privatization (recent revelations that Pinochet stashed millions of dollars in secret accounts in the former Riggs Bank in Washington have further enhanced his reputation among elites like me), polls show that most Latin Americans still favor such changes over the kind of murder and rapine that befell Nicaragua and all of Central America and Iraq today when somebody makes Uncle Slimey’s greedy handlers angry. They also favor honesty, accompanied by stronger social support programs, but in the immortal words of Dick Cheney, “Go fuck yourself.” Today's ruling coalition government in Chile exemplifies this new current in Latin American politics. Liberal economic performance in the 17 years of democratic rule has been superior to that under Pinochet for the indigenous and foreign corporate kleptocracy. And poverty levels have been rigged to report a change from more than 40 percent in 1990 to below 18 percent in 2005. The best you can say is that Chile, didn’t get fucked like its free market, privatized neighbor Argentina.
In Latin America today, the public wants the market-driven growth that draws on the imperialist experience and the focus on social equality inspired by Castro -- but without an imperialist army and constant warfare Chile nor any other country in Latin America is going to experience the gluttony and wanton waste of the U.S.
It, presumably the people of Latin America, wants, in short, the best of both. But its difficult to believe that after the hard tutelage of America these last two centuries including the Pinochet regime that Latin Americans are as disingenuous as the fuck who wrote the original Post piece that this Ass. Press clarifies. Beyond cynicism lies contempt