Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chileans Close the Door on Torture-filled Past; Peru Next for "New Axis of Evil?"

An Update on the "New Axis of Evil"TM

A 54-year-old single mother who was tortured under the brutal reign of Gen. Augusto Pinochet is the new President of Chile. She is also a Socialist.

Michelle Bachelet won easily (53.5%-46.5%) over her opponent, millionaire businessman Sebastian PiƱera in a run-off this weekend. She had beaten all opponents in an earlier election last month, but failed to win 50% of the vote thereby forcing the run-off.

Bachelet is the daughter of an air force General who was tortured by Pinochet--and later died in prison--for his opposition to the military coup in 1973 that ended the rule of Socialist President Salvador Allende and put Pinochet in power as a dictator. Bachelet was herself imprisoned and tortured under the Pinochet regime.

If Chile can turn from a brutal military dictatorship that tortured, killed, imprisoned and exiled those who opposed the policies of Gen. Pinochet into a real democracy that elects a Socialist, agnostic, single mother as its President, surely there is hope we will survive the Bush presidency.

Meanwhile, a left-wing opponent of free-trade and free-market policies is leading the polling heading up to April's Presidential elections in Peru. Ollanta Humala has promised populist policies which include tighter government control of natural resources like coal and oil, he has condemned globalization as a US led assault on the poor, and he has spoken out against US "domination."

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