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Photos - Prepare the glasses… The death of Pinochet

by Luis Sepúlveda Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006 at 8:52 AM

Gen. Pinochet, who overthrew Chile's democratically elected president in a bloody coup and ruled this Andean nation for 17 years, died Sunday, Santiago, Chile, Dec. 10, 2006, dashing hopes of victims of his regime's abuses that he would be brought to justice. He was 91. Pinochet suffered a heart attack a week ago and underwent an angioplasty, and the brief announcement by the Santiago Military hospital said his condition worsened suddenly on Sunday. Dr. Juan Ignacio Vergara, spokesman for the medical team that had been treating him, said his family was with him when he died.

Demonstrators yell slogans against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in downtown Santiago, December 10, 2006. (Patricio Valenzuela/Reuters)
Prepare the glasses…
By Luis Sepúlveda
I have been locked up for three weeks finishing a novel, without more company than my Zarko dog and the sea, happy between my personages, but from the first hours of today Sunday I began to receive calls of my friends and friends of Chile.
“It prepares the glasses”, say from my distant country. Whenever some or some miserable one is going away to raise malvas, I open a bottle of good wine and offer the joy that produces knowledge that in the world is a son of puta less. For sátrapa, for the assassin, the cynical thief, the cowardly one, the traitor of Pinochet, I have had a bottle Dom Perignon in the refrigerator. It is a special reserve and it flattered me with that aim my dear friend Vittorio Gassman certain night of Trieste. “I trust that we drink it together”, it said to me in that occasion, and thus it will be, because in my house there is a glass with its recorded name.
From the radio, a voice says that the tyrant is frankly bad, and that apparently this time the Sparing one will take it to the hell of the indignos, although the Parca we distrusted of all and each one of the sudden diseases that undertake it whenever it must face justice.
It wanted to be in Chile between mine, and to share with them the burbujeante joy of knowledge that finally finishes the odiosa presence of the cowardly one which it mutilated our lives, that filled to us of absences and scars. Pinochet not only betrayed the legitimate government Salvador Allende, betrayed a model of country and a democratic tradition who was our pride, but in addition also betrayed to its own comrades of arms when denying that the orders to assassinate, to torture, to make disappear to thousands of Chileans, gave he, personally and day them after day. And as if it was not enough, it betrayed to his followers of the Chilean right when robbing in an unrestrained fashion and to become rich next to his gangster familiar surroundings.
The ex- Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner died recently in his exile of Brazil, crazy person like a goat, declaring pleasing people non in Paraguay to one hundred people to the day, whose names removed from the Telephone directory of Sao Paulo. Pinochet however dies simulating a madness that allows him until the last minute to make checks, international transactions to hide the fortune that robbed the Chileans. It dies administering his booty military and with the complicity of suspiciously slow a Chilean justice.
It lets breathe an air that does not belong to him, to live in a country that does not deserve, between citizens who by him do not feel more than disgust and scorn. But it dies, and that is what matters.
Its prepotent image of “Commander in chief Benemérito”, title of ridiculous grandiloquence that car was granted, vanishes in the figure of the old thief who hides his last robbery between the cushions of the wheelchair. But it dies, and that is what matters.
Before returning to my novel, I open the refrigerator and I feel the cold of the bottle. Soon I have the glasses with the names my friends who are not, of my brothers who defended La Moneda, of which they passed by the labyrinths of the horror and they did not speak, of which they grew in exile, of that fought all until defeating to the miserable one that it darkened the life to us during sixteen years but did not clear the light to us of our rights. All of them I will offer joy by the death of the tyrant.
Chileans exiled in Mexico celebrate the death of former Chilean dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet by dancing in,Mexico City, Mexico. Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006. Pinochet, the fierce dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, died Sunday from heart complications, the Santiago Military hospital reported. He was 91. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Water canon are used to try and disperse anti-Pinochet demonstrators celebrating the news of the former dictator's death behind La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago. The body of the retired general was taken to a military school after the left-wing Chilean government denied the former dictator, whose 17-year rule was marked by the torture and deaths of thousands, a state funeral(AFP/Vincent Almavy)
Opponents of former Gen. Augusto Pinochet stand near a group of riot police during celebrations in downtown Santiago, Chile after Pinochet's death Sunday Dec. 10, 2006. Thousands of opponents rushed to the streets, some clashing with police, to celebrate the death of Pinochet, who ruled Chile after a military coup from 1973 to 1990, and died Sunday from heart complications at 91.(AP Photo/Jorge Sanchez)
A demonstrator celebrates the death of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in downtown Madrid December 10, 2006. (Susana Vera/Reuters)
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