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A bit Chile in Canberra

By Kerces 14 July 2005 28

I assumed there was someone important for Chile deigning to visit our humble town when I noticed all the flagpoles in the Parliamentary Triangle had sprouted alternating Australian and Chilean flags. (Confession: I didn’t know they were Chilean flags until later on in the day)

And driving back home from Woden, I spotted a four-strong protest standing in the middle of Commonwealth Ave opposite the Hyatt. There was a lady with a large flag matching those sprouting on every second flag pole, a man with a sign proclaiming something along the lines of “Chile is not for sale” and two others with a banner that I read the first line of and didn’t understand on account of it being in what I assume was Spanish. I was too far past them when I realised the second line was an English translation and so couldn’t read it.

Anyone know who’s in town and why would Australia be wanting to buy Chile?

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
A bit Chile in Canberra
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GuruJ 9:50 am 18 Jul 05

bonfire/johnboy,

Thanks for the answers. It was actually a genuine question!

For what it’s worth, the “top 10 despots” line came from reading a review of Modern Tyrants some time back. I know very little about most of these dictators, so I wouldn’t presume to judge.

You’ll notice that I didn’t actually say “evil despot” or anything like that. I assume he wields absolute power, hence despot, but beyond that, well … democracy sure ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

johnboy 12:00 pm 16 Jul 05

Until I get my time machine back from the shop there’s very little I can do about Pinochet’s coup.

But the population of chileans exiled during his odious regime protesting about a trade deal (and one that’s more about chileans buying australia from what I’ve seen) in the here and now was what I was referring to.

People who don’t understand comparative advantage (wikipedia explains it here) are a greater menace to humanity than any number of tin-pot dictators who are at least easy to identify, and beam out less warm fuzzy’s to mask their danger to us all.

Shakedown seems to have missed my many references to dickhead tories over the years as well.

Pinochet’s regime was a bad and illegitimate one. But he wouldn’t make my top 100 of worst rulers in human history and not even the close to the top 10 of the last hundred years.

bonfire 4:53 pm 15 Jul 05

but i’ll try and be sensible.

when i was in chile last year i was surprised to find several ‘pinochet nations saviour’ type books for sale. i managed to pickup a great bust of bernardo ohiggins to put next to my other significant historical figure bust collection. doubt i’d buy a pinochet one.

did pinochet have a positive impact on chile ?

well thats aloaded gun question. a do ends justify means question. a question the posturing softhead doesnt even wait for you to answer (or listen while you do). the answer would have to be ‘yes’. particularly when he adopted thatcherite economic policies and radicalised the economy. there is no doubt that chiles economy is more robust and flexible than say argentinas or brazils – both countries that effectively went bankrupt within the last 5 years. chile are also quite active beyond lip service with apec economic reforms.

does this mean he wasnt a bad person, hell no, he is and was – but we have dealt with worse. can you say soeharto.

bonfire 4:45 pm 15 Jul 05

i feel another surge of softhead statements being flung…

bulldog 1:32 pm 15 Jul 05

Then the sign should have read “Chile’s mines are not for sale”. Bloody ignorant protesters. Last time I believe THOSE bastards…

Kerces 1:23 pm 15 Jul 05

Trawling through media relases later after writing this, I found the following from Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane:

SPEECH AND DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
When: 9:05am Friday 15 July
Where: Shangri-La Hotel
Level 3, 176 Cumberland Street
SYDNEY
Who: Ian Macfarlane
Federal Resources Minister
What: Speech to the Australia-Chile Mining Forum. Opportunity for doorstop interview at 10am (following address by Chilean Mining Minister Alfonso Dulanto).

So it appears not only the President is in the country, and that possibly we want to buy their mines. Or something.

K

Maelinar 1:12 pm 15 Jul 05

perhaps we’re a little off topic cause we all read it last week cat. Hence we can afford to go off topic..

simto 12:56 pm 15 Jul 05

Well, Stalin was still happily despoting away after 1945 for a fair while. You’d only really lose Hitler and Mussolini.

And Robert Mugabe’s putting in a fairly good effort at the moment. Plus there’s Mao – and don’t forget Madame Mao.

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