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PostPinochet (Rodolfo Neirotti, USA, 02/03/15 2:19 pm)
Eugenio Battaglia wrote on 3 February:
"Pinochet was not only smart enough not to go to war against the UK, but he was an ally of the UK, granting air bases and intelligence. Without his support it would have been much more difficult for England to win against Argentina." I agree with the latter.
Although the South Atlantic war did not make sense, Pinochet and the Chileans were extremely unfair in supporting the UK. At least they could have remained neutral. Another example of selective memory and vested interests, considering that their country was liberated from Spanish colonialism with the help of an Argentinean expedition that crossed the Andes to fight in Chile and Peru. I wonder what San Martin would have thought about their actions and the significant economic benefits the Chileans got afterward as a reward for their "cooperation." Just to mention one, the expensive so -called Chilean sea bass that we get around here comes from the Orcadas Islands, part of the territory claimed by Argentina. Visiting the British Museum in London gives a clear idea of the looting done by the Empire across the world.
What happened during the war is not the only example of the lack of integration in Latin America. Trying to expand their country the Chileans took territory from Peru, closed the exit of Bolivia to the Pacific ocean and tried to get in the Patagonia demographically and militarily. Is this being smart or unscrupulous?
JE comments: In the harsh game of geopolitics, being smart and being unscrupulous are often the same thing. What is remarkable about Chile and Argentina during their respective dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s is that they still didn't get along. Does age-old nationalist animosity trump authoritarian solidarity every time? As a high-school exchange student in Santiago (1981), I remember there was talk of war against Argentina. It worked out to the Chileans' advantage that the Argentine generals chose to take on Britain.