As this commentary is being taped, the British government is trying to decide what it should do with an important prisoner that it has under arrest. The prisoner is General Augusto Pinochet, the man who not only saved Chile from communism but proceeded to lead it to a free market economy that has produced the greatest prosperity in Chilean history. To accomplish these great feats, Pinochet followed a recipe that the communists have used to defend their bloody revolutions. They say that to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. That?s a euphemism for saying some people have to be hurt, even killed, to make a revolution succeed.
Pinochet led a revolution in Chile that by communist standards was virtually bloodless. Some 3,000 people were killed by the military when they overthrew Salvador Allende, the president elected by 36 percent of the voters. He was taking Chile down the road to communism, violating the constitution and ruining the economy. Just a few weeks before the military overthrew Allende, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly passed a resolution charging Allende with a long list of crimes ranging from usurpation of the legislative prerogatives of Congress to systematic violations of the Constitution. The resolution called on all members of the military in the government to act to bring an end to these illegal actions.
The Chilean military acted three weeks later, saying that it found strong evidence that Allende was plotting a coup that would have saddled the country with an irreversible totalitarian dictatorship. The Washington Post reported before the military acted that Chile was in crisis because Allende was trying to carry out sweeping changes that did not have the support of the majority of the people. He did, however, have the support of Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union.
The revolution against Allende that Gen. Pinochet led broke very few eggs compared to the communist revolutions in Russia, China and Cuba. In Russia and China, millions were slaughtered to create the communist omelet. In Cuba, with a population of only seven million, it is estimated that Castro has executed 30,000, ten times as many as the number killed in Chile. Millions more fled their homelands, going into permanent exile in foreign countries. Over a million have fled from Cuba alone.
Forty years have passed since Castro seized control of Cuba. He has executed 30,000 people, held thousands of political prisoners for decades, and has obliterated civil liberties and impoverished the Cuban people. Cuba went from one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America before Castro to one of the poorest today. But in the 25 years since Pinochet seized power, in Chile has become one of the most prosperous, economically stable countries in Latin America, and also one of the freest.
While a Spanish prosecutor was sending an extradition request to Britain for Pinochet, Fidel Castro, was in Spain. Instead of arresting this bloody tyrant on the spot, it went after Pinochet. Why? Because the Communists and their friends cannot forgive Pinochet for saving Chile from communism and making it into a free market showcase.