French original text
[This is an automatic translation of the french original article - Please excuse the defects]
In Chile and Cuba, two symbols of the Cold war are dying out
Pinochet and Castro finally together... for the last Judgement
AUGUSTO PINOCHET IS DEAD
SANTIAGO, Sunday December 10, 2006 (LatinReporters.com) - Former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet died sunday at 14h15 (17h15 GMT) in the Military Hospital of Santiago. The ex-dictator was 91 years old. He had been hospitalized urgently on December 3 following a heart attack.
by Christian Galloy
MADRID, Tuesday December 5, 2006 (LatinReporters.com) - Both hospitalized and at the door of death, the Chilean catholic ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet and the still Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro are finally together with the approach of the last Judgement, of God, people and History.
At 91 years, with again failing heart, general Augusto Pinochet would depend on one miracle at the military hospital of Santiago of Chile. Diabetes and arthritis complicate his cardiac problems. Televisions and radios bring up to date permanently and on line the diagnosis of the former head of State.
Together in the twilight of the life, Pinochet and Castro were also at the same time, certainly in opposed camps, actors of the Cold war. They are perhaps the alive symbols most representative of the planetary ideological fight that during forty years the United States and the Soviet Union delivered themselves.
Governing since the triumph of his revolution, January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro was the ally of Moscow. The "crisis of the missiles" started in 1962 by the presence of Soviet rockets in Cuba put the world at the edge of the nuclear apocalypse. The castrist revolution was moreover the catalyst of extreme left guerrillas in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Colombia.
This revolutionary "danger" explains partially, without justifying them morally, the coups d'Etat and rightist pro-American dictatorships which dominated South America, in particular Argentina and Chile, between the Seventies and the Nineties of last century. Dictator from 1973 up to 1990 after having swept by the weapons the socialism of Salvador Allende, would have existed Pinochet without Castro?
The Rettig Report (1991) quantifies to 3.197 the political assassinations or disappearances under Pinochet and the Valech Report (2004) raises 35.000 denunciations of torture during the military dictatorship, including 28.000 confirmed. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Chilean exiled themselves. The Rettig and Valech reports were guaranteed in Santiago by the new democratic governments.
The Cuban exile continues today. In the absence of official figures, the organizations of exiled anticastrists evaluate to more than one million the Cubans who left the country for political and/or economic reasons since the taking of power by Fidel Castro. Disputed, "Le livre noir du communisme" (The black book of communism) signed in 1997 by a collective of academics directed by Stéphane Courtois, director of research at CNRS (National Scientific Research Center - France) estimated that, since 1959, between 15.000 and 17.000 Cubans would have been shot to death and that more than 100.000 would have known the camps and the prisons because of their opinions. It will undoubtedly be necessary to await the after-Castro period and perhaps more time beyond before establishing as in Chile consensual numbers.
Pinochet and Castro regard themselves as savers of the fatherland. "Judge me as you want, but the History will exonerate me" launched already in 1953, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, the young Fidel Castro translated into justice for the attack of the barracks of Moncada. For his part, at his 91st birthday, last 25 November, Augusto Pinochet assumed "the political responsibility" for his acts which would have aimed, coup d'Etat included, "to prevent the disintegration of Chile... which I love over all".
Chilean, Argentinian, Spanish and French courts are pursuing Pinochet for crimes against humanity, but he is likely to die without to be ever condemned in justice. Fidel Castro is not the object of any known court procedure and should die out without the least legal affront since 1959.
It remains the last Judgement, of God, people and History.
No matter if God offers his mercy to Pinochet, because no one will know it. And concerning people, Chileans clash today between supporters and adversaries of national funeral for the ex-dictator. As for the History, it is probable that it locks up a long time the putschist general in its blackest pages.
Fidel Castro has more chance. God ignore him, but official Cuba, large parts of popular Cuba and various international leftist movements welded by antiamericanism will offer imposing funeral to him. If not in the gold pages, Fidel will appear at least in the silver pages of History, but for how long?
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