by D. McClintock
Former dictator of Chile General Augusto Pinochet passed away on December 10, 2001 after he became seriously ill, following a heart attack on December 4. Pinochet and the previous President of Chile, Salvador Allende, whom he overthrew in a violent coup d'etat in 1973, were two men who divided Chile emotionally and philosophically, like IKJ and JKF did to Gallaudet and the deaf community. Pinochet and Allende, to some Chileans, represented the Extreme Right and Left, respectively. Thankfully, after enduring some of the most tumultous times in history under Pinochet and Allende, Chile has settled on a more middle-of-the road as a democracy with a free market economy and a socialist government. For more information on Pinochet's background and Chilean history, I would like to share with you readers with this link to an interesting article:
Incidentally, my late grandfather was Ambassador to Venezuela when Pinochet seized power and Allende was assassinated on September 11, 1973. During the same year before this happened, my parents had divorced, I was taken out of Clarke School and we moved to another state. My family and I travelled to Venezuela once to visit my grandparents in 1971 (this is one of many stories I shall illustrate one day). My grandmother was born in Santiago, Chile, and her father, my late-grandfather, Luis Aníbal Barrios, was a Senator and Minister of Finances in the Chilean government during the 1910s. (for his picture, see http://www.hacienda.gov.cl/ministerio.php?opc=showContenido&id=646&nav_id=189&contar=1&tema_id=&code=sa.bD.tHo0V66)
I wonder what the reactions of deaf Chilenos are to the news of Pinochet's death. I know there aren't that many deaf Chilenos out in the U.S. compared to Mexicans and other fellows from South-American countries. If any of you out there is a deaf Chileno, whether you or your family are pro or anti-Pinochet, you're welcome to post your comments or stories here!