The Dictator's Shadow Life Under Augusto Pinochet PDF/EPUB

The Dictator's Shadow Life Under Augusto Pinochet Augusto Pinochet Ugarte An atypical dictator if there ever was one This book told through the coupling of a firsthand memoir with in depth analysis of Chilean politics past and present is the work of Chilean socialist and current Chilean politician Heraldo Munoz Munoz who was an avowed supporter of Marxist Socialist President Salvador Allende when he came to power in the early 1970s begins the book with a chapter profiling his personal experience in the nation of Chile on September 11th 1973 when General Augusto Pinochet along with other military commanders Gustavo Leigh Jose Merino and Cesar Mendoza executed a Nixon sponsored coup d'etad which installed Pinochet as the President General of the Republic Munoz carries on to detail the strident anti communism of Pinochet and how it attracted the diplomatic sympathy of the infamous Henry Kissinger This incredibly detailed book carries a litany of names and dates hence why it is a deceptively long read I personally picked up this book because I was interested in learning about the implementation of Milton Friedman's University of Chicago trained economists and how their privatization currency deregulation and pension reform turned the country around Munoz touches on economics lightly showing that despite popular opinion Pinochet was not a free market ideologue but rather a pragmatist who was sympathetic to Chicago ideals but never went fully along with it In fact Pinochet implemented minimum wage hikes currency devaluations and bank bailouts all to the dismay of the Chicago Boys Because Munoz specialises in Foreign Policy much of the book details General Pinochet's tense relationship with the Carter and Reagan administrations as well as his experience working underground throughout the 1980s with various groups to attempt to foster a democratic movement in Chile working closely alongside future presidents Ricardo Lagos and Patricio Aylwin I found the chapter on Pinochet's 1998 arrest in London to be very a enlightened account of the arcane nature of international law as well as doing an excellent job of highlighting a cross section of opinions espoused by a plethora of sources during that very interesting time from Jack Straw to Margaret Thatcher to the Wall Street Journal to several western European GovernmentsAt the end of the book I concluded that what Augusto Pinochet did to political dissidents in Chile for 17 years under his reign was simply grotesue and impermissible behavior for a government BUT it is however extremely important to realize that it is far than likely that the neoliberal reforms implemented under Pinochet regardless of what his ideological endgame was uite literally saved Chile from becoming the Communist hellhole of a country observable in places like Venezuela Cuba or for that matter Somalia It is also an important fact to observe that Pinochet did not govern without somewhat of a consensus He held two plebiscites on the validity of his mandate one in 1980 and one in 1988 his defeat in the latter is what causing him to relinuish his power in 1990 This book is good for any individual seeking to know almost everything there is to know about General Pinochet and his regime as well as those seeking to enhance their perceptions of geopolitics and economics Heraldo Munoz is a socialist and thus downplays the ostensible tragedy that an Allende Chile could have yielded he also unjustly demonizes Kissinger's need to keep Chile from the iron blade of Communism It is an extremely well researched book and I would be giving it 45 if the option was available The lack of objectivity and subtle sympathy to Communist terror groups earns a slightly less than 5 star read After reading this book I am left with a deep sense of despair that Chile may be dragged into the abyss by current President Michelle Bachelet whose father was tortured and killed under General Pinochet's government My mature self reminds me of the evil conducted under Pinochet But my fancifal side bellows a faint rallying call for Captain General Pinochet as the liberator of the Chilean people4 Stars The history of Chile from 1973 through 2006 is fascinating and not well enough known by the majority of US citizens This memoir written by someone with first hand knowledge of the events is a comprehensive and fascinating summation of this tumultuous period during which the Chilean people suffered greatly The dictator in the title is General Augusto Pinochet and for a long time he ruled by fear and benefited from a fractured political landscape This book tells the story of how the various political factions and parties finally came together to beat Pinochet and create what is today one of the strongest economies and democratic governments in South America The tale of how this small country on the edge of South America with a long and proud democratic tradition came under the thrall of one of the most notorious dictators of the twentieth century is not that different from the way many other dictators came to power with the help of the CIA and other parts of the US government of course During his rule Pinochet ruthlessly repressed his enemies using exile torture and execution all in the name of fighting Communism Muñoz takes the reader through all seventeen years of the dictatorship He describes in detail the infighting within the junta and how Pinochet managed to stay one step ahead of those who would challenge his power He also describes from his insider knowledge how the various political parties spent years underground some in armed resistance others attempting to resist in peaceful ways Muñoz had a ringside seat as the various opposition players jockeyed for position finally coming together to participate in the plebiscite election that was the beginning of Pinochet’s endThe book also has an in depth examination of how the “Chicago Boys” became Pinochet’s economic advisors and the numerous reforms they attempted in their efforts to reduce unemployment and return prosperity to the country This whole section of the book is fascinating and was written so that someone like me not an economist could easily understand Unlike many others Muñoz refuses to give Pinochet and the Chicago Boys much credit for the economic success Chile now enjoys pointing out that true prosperity did not return until democracy did once Pinochet lost an “unlosable” plebiscite and a democratically elected president took over in 1990 But the story doesn’t stop there—what happens after Pinochet leaves power is every bit as fascinating The worldwide human rights movement used Pinochet as a test case Indictments from a Spanish judge kept the former general under house arrest in London for nearly two years in the mid 1990’s Tax evasion and money laundering accusations continued to haunt Pinochet right up until his death in 2006 I lived in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1984 86 and experienced some of the events described in the book I have been back to Chile many times since the fall of Pinochet and greatly admire the Chilean people for the way that they reclaimed their democracy from the demagogues and fearmongers On my last trip in 2012 I went to visit Villa Grimaldi a detention camp where political prisoners were tortured and killed by Pinochet’s secret police It is now a peace park where former detainees tell their stories so that no one will forget what happened there I also visited the new Museum of Human Rights in Santiago a very informative and moving monument to all who fought the dictatorship and all who lost their lives in that struggle Anyone interested in the Cold War and international human rights would find this book an welcome addition to their bookshelves I highly recommend it along with the Pinochet Files a book about or less the same period in history but explaining the US role in Pinochet’s rise The Dictator's Shadow is a classic study on the makings of a right wing dictator under the auspices of the American government Never underestimate America's capacity to undermine democratically elected governments or to destroy social justice movements that threaten predatory capitalism On November 6 1970 only days after Allende's inauguration Nixon presided over a National Security Council meeting on Chile in the White House cabinet room Kissinger opened the meetingAll the agencies are agreed that Allende will try to create a socialist state he said A modus vivendi might be possible but at the risk that he will consolidate his position and then move ahead against us If we have to be hostile we want to do it right Secretary of State William P Rogers suggested We can put an economic sueeze on himOur main concern in Chile is the prospect that Allende can consolidate himself and the picture projected to the world will be his success affirmed Nixon if we letleaders in South America think they can move like Chile and have it both ways we will be in trouble Latin America is not gone and we want to keep it he concluded I loved the back and forth between the Pinochet's rise to power and the author's underground opposition work There are even some interesting connections to the Denver area as he attended DU went to school with Condoleeza Rice and played on soccer teams in the area He uncovered a lot of new information for me such as the relatively passive personality and approach Pinochet took in his career leading up to the coup getting involved only at the last minute after others convinced him Its a reminder of how vigilant we all have to be to prevent someone like that coming to power and then becoming addicted to it leading to torture kidnapping and murder to sustain it Also disturbing is his continued career in the government of Chile with two subseuent presidents without any concern expressed from recent US presidents like Bush and Clinton At a time when authoritarians are popping up all over the world let'ts not forget that Pinochet was in power for over 15 years all the way until 1989 And they fit right into this cycle going on whether its Syria or Hondurashttpjensorensencom20181204the Augusto Pinochet was the most important Third World dictator of the Cold War and perhaps the most ruthless In The Dictator's Shadow United Nations Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz takes advantage of his unmatched set of perspectives—as a former revolutionary who fought the Pinochet regime as a respected scholar and as a diplomat—to tell what this extraordinary figure meant to Chile the United States and the worldPinochet's American backers saw his regime as a bulwark against Communism; his nation was a testing ground for US inspired economic theories Countries desiring World Bank support were told to emulate Pinochet's free market policies and Chile's government pension even inspired President George W Bush's plan to privatize Social Security The other baggage—the assassinations tortures people thrown out of airplanes mass murders of political prisoners—was simply the price to be paid for building a modern state But the uestions raised by Pinochet's rule still remain Are such dictators somehow necessaryHorrifying but also inspiring The Dictator's Shadow is a uniue tale of how geopolitical rivalries can profoundly affect everyday life The NYTimes comments about this memoir that the author went to State Univ of NY at Oswego thinking it was a suburb of NYC It si only a five hour drive He returns to Chile and as Pinochet launches his coup he has unstable sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest lookimg for a target Fast forward he is now Chile's permanent representative to the UNPinochet was not only a ruthless dictator but he was also a pragmatist and a survivor He lived into his 90's think Franco and presided over the transition back to democracy Despite being indicted for crimes against humanity by a spanish prosecutor and held in London and later charged in Chile he never was convictedPinochet was also the darling of the right for his embrace of Milton Friedman's monetarism and his Chicago boys He was aided and abeted by Nixon and Kissinger and fast friends with Thatcher but blundered by ordering the assasination of Letlier on Massachusetts AveThe author persevered and saw the socialists return to power The Dictator's Shadow is a nonfiction book about life under Agosto Pinochet in Chile It talks about how Pinochet came to power and how he was able to consolidate his power for so long Pinochet's regime is still a regime that is studied a lot in political science Pinochet is a hero to some and a villain to others His rise to power is very interesting especially for me a person who spent a lot of time in undergrad studying Latin American historyPerhaps one of the most interesting things about this book is the author Heraldo Munoz served under Salvador Allende whose government Pinochet ousted and currently serves under Michelle Bachelet He has seen his country through many different time periods and has often been on the front lines of great change Because of who he has worked under there is a bit of a political bend here which is why it may be best to have a fair understanding of Chile's political history prior to reading this bookMunoz gives a lot of detail about what Pinochet's government was like and how people lived their lives under it It is a very interesting history because it is not just a regurgitation of the facts He gives a lot of context about what was actually happening to the people of Chile from everything just repeating a list of what Pinochet did This book will appeal most to those who have an interest in Latin America at 10 history and have a basic understanding of some of its recent history It's a fairly dense book and not exactly something fun to read when I have reading for classes to do so it took me about 9 months to read it That said I don't know if I could have gotten a clear picture of the Pinochet regime from any other source For a fairly academic book Munoz provided a lot of personal anecdotes that gave a clear picture of who Pinochet was Munoz' own political views were apparent so his take on some issues was certainly sided but the purpose of the book was not to attack the other side which I appreciated I was surprised at the action seuences the book contained that are far exciting than any action movie out today because they were real I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to understand Chile's political atmosphere in the last third of the 20th century Wow this book just reminds me how little I know of the world politics and history I choose to read this because Jonathan served his mission in Chile and had mentioned Pinochet before I don't remember even knowing the name before that So interesting but very difficult for me to read Difficult because of all the political stuff millions of names of people I had never heard of and just intense than the normal read for me thus it took me forever to get through it Very interesting account of being on the wrong side ideologically The writer stays fairly objective given his political allegiances ; recognizes some of the economic changes made under the regime were positive but at a very heavy price of human suffering and democracy Good recent history

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