Saturday, June 09, 2007

Chavez - time to Chile out!

After the 1973 overthrow of the Allende regime in Chile, Fernando Flores, his Finance Minister, spent 3 years in jail. After his release he fled to the USA (a strange destination if you believe the CIA coup theory) where he subsequently became a very successful business consultant, his consultancy firm is known as BDA (Business Development Associates). BDA is linked to Billy Glennon’s Vision Consultants in Ireland.

About 5 years ago, I attended a private weekend conference in Dublin, hosted by Fernando Flores. It was a very interesting experience, not least because he was probably the most autocratic host speaker/presenter I’ve ever encountered at many a business conference over the years. He also SEEMED to admit (I don’t want to misrepresent him) that the Allende regime had tried to make too many radical changes in too short a time-frame and, with the benefit of hindsight, might well have achieved their goals if their approach had been more pragmatic and less ideological.

He told us that, in the hours after the coup and the death of President Allende, the surviving cabinet members were offered safe passage and a plane to take them to Argentina. This offer was declined because they didn’t trust the bona fides of the coup leaders, and subsequently they were told that their plane was to be shot down over the Andes - an unfortunate accident and what outside body would ever investigate the “crash”?.

It’s hard not to be sympathetic towards the new left-leaning and reforming regimes in South America e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil - but you have to worry that, through natural impatience to achieve social justice and overthrow the ruling elite, some may repeat the mistakes of Chile and fail to achieve the social and democratic change that is necessary.

Postscript: The Chilean Embassy is located in Sandycove and the ambassador’s son, Manuel, sometimes works as a lounge-boy in my local. None of yer Ferrero Rocher nonsense there!

No comments:

Blog Archive