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Many on the left (especially the media) attempted to equate a vote for Piñera as a vote for Pinochet and an eventual return of a right-wing dictatorship in Chile. This ridiculous extrapolation, however, was not the real fear the left was feeling. Their real fear is that South America's strongest and most stable country will now be led by a strong, outspoken leader who is apparently not willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by other leftist leaders in Latin America.
A perfect example of this fear is illustrated by this Canadian Press article published right after Piñera was named the winner. Note the dismay in the writer's tone as even in victory, he continues to associate the candidate with Pinochet.
Even after losing the election, the left will continue to beat the long-dead Pinochet horse; without any other argument to offer, they really have no choice. As I mentioned before, however, the left is well aware that there is no danger of Piñera becoming a dictator--the real danger they see and fear is that Piñera is not a loyal, card-carrying member of the leftist elite. Because of this, they fear he will say and do things that expose the vile mechanics behind Latin America's leftist movements and leaders.
Billionaire president-elect's criticism of Latin leftists could complicate Chile's diplomacyBy Michael Warren (CP)
SANTIAGO, Chile — Billionaire and now President-elect Sebastian Pinera invoked the calls to service of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama as he challenged Chileans to come together to improve their country.
The conservative businessman, who won Sunday's election by a 52-48 per cent margin over former President Eduardo Frei, vowed to appoint the "best, most prepared, most honest and most dedicated" people to help transform Chile "into the best country in the world."
But Pinera's long and rousing victory speech made no mention of foreign policy, and given his recent comments about Chile's neighbours, he may find unity on a continent dominated by leftist governments very hard to achieve.
Pinera's election victory Sunday night ends two decades of uninterrupted rule by a centre-left coalition, and returns to power the same political parties that provided civic support for Augusto Pinochet's brutal 1973-1990 dictatorship.
That legacy alone is bound to complicate relations with Argentina, whose leader has made prosecuting human rights violators a centerpiece of her presidency, and Uruguay, which just elected a former leftist guerrilla as its president.
At about the halfway point of the article, we see clearly what is really bothering the left.
Pinera has criticized Latin American populism as a failed approach, and in last week's presidential debate, he called Cuba a "dictatorship," said Venezuela is "not a democracy" and vowed never to concede land nor sea that belongs to Chile.Can you imagine that? A South American leader calling the Cuban dictatorship a... (GASP) a dictatorship! And if that was not enough to cause knots in the bellies of the most enlightened elitists, he goes on to say that he will protect the sovereignty of Chile and refuse to concede what is rightfully theirs to tin pot dictators looking to steal some resources from their neighbors.
"This tone is clearly going to become an obstacle to building good relations with Bolivia, and certainly with Venezuela," said Marcelo Mella, a political scientist at the University of Santiago. "It seems to me that nationalistic and chauvinistic declarations won't help generate a good climate for resolving conflicts."
An interesting side-note is the quote from the political scientist at the University of Santiago. It seems he is very concerned about the "nationalistic and chauvinistic declarations" made by Piñera and believes they may hinder relations with Bolivia and Venezuela. It seems he believes that Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez have earned their right to be nationalistic, chauvinistic, and incendiary as they steal everything they can get their hands on. I guess being a dues-paying member in good standing of the leftist/elitist club has its benefits.
It is going to be fun to watch the Latin American summits coming up with Chile's new president. The left will definitely drag out the dead Pinochet horse and beat it some more, but the real fun will be watching their wailing and gnashing of teeth.