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  •  Interesting point about Chile (6+ / 0-)

    although the public pension system was privatized, the pension system of both the police and military were left in the public sector.  Also, the copper mines in the Atacama were kept in the state sector, and a portion of their profits dedicated to the military.  The rising price of copper has left the Chilean military with a huge budget surplus, so they've been buying up planes and other military equipment.  

    And since they've been closer to the US than most of the rest of the continent, have spooked their neighbors. Before 1884, the Atacama region was held by Bolivia, and after Morales took power in Bolvia in 2005(06?) he reasserted Bolivian claims to the region. I'm much less sanguine about Chile than New Zealand.  There's a great deal of social tension beneath the surface, and they haven't really dealt with what happened during the Pinochet regime.

    •  I agree, Chile has far more issues to resolve (5+ / 0-)

      And yet, the dynamic President Michelle Bachelet seems to be capable of moving Chile forward.  She is the second Socialist President in a row in Chile and Chile is taking great strides in addressing social issues while maintaining an efficient fully developed capitalist economy.

      The Chilean military is unrepentant to a great degree, the old Pinochet guard remains fully formed.  They were not overthrown in a violent revolution.  It was more like what happened after Franco died in Spain where the Falangeremains in latent form.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 12:58:13 PM PST

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      •  Spain is very, very, very different (13+ / 0-)

        In Spain dismantling the state owned entreprises was a task carried out by the Socialists, workers were much better integrated through the works councils established under the Franco regime and carried forward.  

        Secondly, in Chile the role of the military in the government was enshirined in the constitution.  The Chilean constitution guaranteed seats in the parliament to the military, and an autonomous source of funding for the military was maintained in the revenues from the Atacama mines.

        In Spain, the military was downsized so that the excess of officers was reduced through attrition. The military had no role in the transition, it was carried out by the Opus dei oriented technocrats. Also, the removal of the Civil Guards from the Defense ministry, and placement under the Interior Ministry made it difficult for the military to try to pull off a coup.  The Falange was discredited by the time that the transition occurred, and the Carlist half of that party was transformed into a social democratic party in Navarra.

        The Chilean military was and is a threat to democracy in a way that the Spanish military is not.

      •  Falange in Spain? (1+ / 0-)
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        I live in the most neighborhood in all of Spain that votes rightwing in the highest percentages (hint: it's in Madrid). The three or four parties claiming to be the Falange claim in all of Spain a few thousand adherents; they are as much a fringe as are their cousins in the US, perhaps more so. The current Spanish government is socialist, with a politics unimaginable in the US (for its genuinely leftist traits). When Franco died in Spain there was a complicated transitional era after which the Socialists governed for more than twenty years. The rightwing Partido Popular only came to power because of corruption scandals within the PSOE (socialists) and the scandal surrounding the use of the anti-ETA death squads (`GAL') by the interior ministry. What happened in Spain post-Franco does not seem to me to resemble what happened in Chile. Spain is currently one of the more active economies in Europe (although it has problems - a lot of the economic boom is based on a corruption-riddled real estate mania) and while its level of social services is below that of Northern Europe, it is pretty good given that 35 years ago there was Franco.

      •  Interesting Dutch videoclip on Franco's mausoleum (1+ / 0-)
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        Franco had it built for himself with slave labor (Spanish civil war prisoners, many of whom died in the process), thinly disguised as a "monument to the (Falangist) civil war dead."

        The video is from the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant and the title means: "Spain is ashamed of its Franco mausoleum." Narration is in Dutch but there are some verbatim comments by English-speaking visitors. And the visuals are interesting and rare, since filming or photographing the site is usually forbidden.

        The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “kids for kids”): is a world cultural treasure.

        by lotlizard on Fri Nov 23, 2007 at 03:48:32 AM PST

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        •  I wonder why they may usually forbid filming (1+ / 0-)
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          The monument is offensive in many levels.

          The Catholic Church in Spain should put great distance between itself and the Falange which in my view has not yet been exorcised.  

; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

          by Shockwave on Fri Nov 23, 2007 at 04:12:03 AM PST

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          •  But as you can see, a contingent of priests and (1+ / 0-)
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            ... other religious workers to hold Mass in the chapel seems to be an integral part of the place.

            The centerpiece of the chapel is Franco's tomb, upon which fresh flowers are placed every day.

            The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “kids for kids”): is a world cultural treasure.

            by lotlizard on Fri Nov 23, 2007 at 04:19:11 AM PST

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