Friday, May 31, 2013

With amigos like this...

Chile is still haunted by its Marxist past (short though it was);
Police arrested Luis Ríos, a member of a small political organization called the Committee of Friends of Salvador Allende, for throwing an egg at [Pablo] Longueira as the presidential candidate [Independent Democratic Union] attempted to flee from demonstrators.
Although not a fisherman, Ríos has a history of political activity. Running unsuccessfully as a mayoral candidate in 2012, he went on to lead protests after claims that votes in his favor had been lost or were dismissed by authorities.
Throwing eggs is certainly an improvement over what Allende's friends used to do to people they didn't like. From a story in the Seattle Times in June of 1971--Allende's first year as President:
Three men with submachine guns killed an outspoken anti-leftist politician today....
The killing ...was the second assassination in Chile since Salvador Allende was elected....
Turns out that one of the assassins had been recently pardoned, and set free on the streets, by...Salvador Allende. The man was a member of the Organized Vanguard of the People.  Just another of Jamie Galbraith's poets, we presume.

Also in the Seattle Times in June of that same year, there was a three part series by Richard K. Pryne detailing the actions of President Salvador Allende (who got all of 36.5% of Chile's vote).  From which, about his land reform; fearing their lands will be taken are investing little or nothing in the future.  New construction is avoided, quick-cash crops are favored over rotation, wise management policies for long-term use of lands are discarded in favor of immediate returns.
All these negative factors are running counter to President Salvador Allende's government's determination to increase agricultural production....
The amount of land plowed...was less....
The sale of pesticides had dropped 25 per cent.
Fertilizer sales were down 15 per cent.
The sale of pesticides had dropped 10 per cent.
No farmer really knows if his land will be expropriated....
The Allende government has said it will expropriate 1,000 farms per year for three years; that would be all of Chile's large or moderately large farms. Few farmers are making long term plans.
That's known to economists--one of whom Jamie Galbraith claims to be--as getting the incentives wrong. Which wasn't the worst of it, as Allende also secretly set mobs (turbas) on farmers in Southern Chile for some entrepreneurial expropriations.  These were carried out at night, violently, by the Movimiento Izquierda Revolucionario (MRI).  Pryne described how it worked in one particularly sad case;
...such an incident...caused [Rolando] Matus death.  Matus, the owner of a 70-acre farm...went to the assistance of a neighbor, Otto Gruner, whose 200-acre farm had come under attack by night riders. Shots were exchanged and Matus and five others were wounded. Matus died two days later.
....He was an orphan who had begun with nothing and by hard work supported his aged adoptive grandparents.
Pryne wrote from the funeral of Matus;
Otto Gruner was not there. He was in jail, charged with illegal use of firearms.
.... And the next night, another group of invaders had taken over Gruner's farm. 
Allende, back in Santiago, denied having anything to do with these armed groups, 'I can't control the MIR.' But Georgie Anne Geyer, working on her own, found out that was untrue.  Which we will see in a later post.

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