Chilean Thread

Discussion in 'Americas' started by OrangeFlorian, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian #GoldAndBlack Senior Member

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    All things Chilean go here

    https://www.quasarex.com/blog/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-chile-facts-about-chile

    Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chile

    1. World’s Biggest Swimming Pool is in Chile?

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    In Algarrobo city in the Pacific coast, we find the most impressive artificial paradise that was named by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest swimming pool with a length of 1,000 yards, an area of 20 acres and a maximum depth of 115- feet. It holds 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.

    The pool was opened in December 2006 and it took five years of construction work with a cost of nearly 1 billion dollars and an annual maintenance cost of about 2 million.

    2. In Chile, You Can Find the Driest Place on Earth, The Atacama Desert

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    At 7,500 feet, Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth with a landscape of surreal beauty. Some parts of the region have never received a drop of rain and the Desert is probably also the oldest desert on earth. The desert runs through a 1,000 kilometer long strip of land between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, spreading out over an area of 363,000 square kilometers.

    3. Chile is a World Class Wine Destination, and the Ninth Largest Producer of Wine

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    Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine and the 9th largest producer. And not just any wine, but some of the best and finest selection of wines have been produced in Chile since the first wine grapes were planted in the country in 1554, brought by Spanish Conquistadores. Chile has more than 1,200 kilometers of viticulture valleys in 14 different areas, which produce more than 10 million hectoliters of wine per year. Make sure you experience Chile Wine Country!

    4. Easter Island

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    The “moai” island off the coast of Chile, was annexed by the country in 1888 and renamed Easter Island in the late 1700’s. During the 1900s it was a sheep farm and was managed by the Chilean Navy. On this particular Island, more than 7 km of subterranean lava tunnels have been mapped out, which are home to one of the most extensive cave systems on earth. In 1966, the entire island was opened to the public and the remaining Rapanui people became citizens of Chile.

    5. Penguins in Chile

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    Penguins don’t only live in Antarctica or at the zoo, they can be found in several areas of southern Chile, including the Seno Otway Penguin Colony. They usually lounge on the beach and commute to nearby nests. Humboldt Penguins are also found in the north coast of Chile with a total population of 12,000 breeding pairs in the country.

    6. Valparaiso


    This is one of the most prosperous cities in Chile and its main attraction are its historical central area, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2003. It is the chief port of Chile and the terminus of a trans-Andean railroad. An important industrial center, it manufactures textiles, shoes and leather goods, paint, and chemicals. Valparaiso has also been an inspirational place for painters and poets, particularly for Pablo Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971.

    7. Chile’s Andes Mountains Has Some of the World’s Largest and Still Active Volcanoes

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    At a count just over 1300, Chile is one of the countries with the most volcanoes and a number of them are still active. Three of Chile’s most watched and historically active volcanoes are Cerro Arul, Cerro Hudson, and Villarrica. They are all composite volcanoes, sometimes called stratovolcanos. Climbers from all over the world enjoy testing their skills on hikes up these volcanoes.

    8. Chile Has One of the Longest Coastlines in the World


    Chile is one of the longest countries in the world with a coastline of around 6500 km long. However, it is also one of the narrowest in the world with a width of just over 200 km. Most of the best-known beach resorts, or balnearios, are in central Chile, from El Norte Chico South past the metropolitan district to the northern reaches of Region VII, region del Maule. Chile has a mild Mediterranean climate where visitors can enjoy warm to hot days and cooler nights in the summer.

    9. The Oldest Mummy in the World is from Chile

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    The oldest known deliberate mummy is a child, one of the Chinchorro mummies found in the Camarones Valley in Chile around 5050 BC. So far a total of 282 Chinchorro mummies have been removed from burial sites along the narrow coastal strip from Ilo in southern Peru to Antofagasta in northern Chile. Of these, 149 were created by Chinchorro artisans, and the rest were the work of nature.

    10. Chile is Home to Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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    Chile’s UNESCO world heritage sites are categorized as cultural, giving you an insight into the human story threaded into the majestic landscape of the country. The five sites are the Churches of Chiloé, the Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Rapa Nui National Park, and the Sewell Mining Town.
     
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  3. OrangeFlorian

    OrangeFlorian #GoldAndBlack Senior Member

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    http://spectator.org/41383_high-crimes-and-misdemeanors/

    The Last Chilean Myth


    Editor’s Note: In yesterday’s press briefing, President Obama said of Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, “I’m very much looked forward to seeing President Bachelet. I think she’s one of the finest leaders in Latin America, very capable person…. And I will be looking at President Bachelet giving us further advice, in terms of how we can take the kind of relationship we have with Chile and expand that to our relationships throughout Latin America.”

    In the May, 2007 issue of The American Spectator, James R. Whelan reported on the real Bachelet, explaining that — contrary to what the President would have you now believe — she is neither a fine leader nor an ally of the United States. That article is reproduced here.

    THERE IS AN OLD ADAGE IN STATECRAFT which instructs that the height of stupidity is the inability to distinguish between friend and foe. What, then, are we to think of the White House of George W. Bush and the State Department of Condoleezza Rice, as they and their minions fawn and fuss over the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, as though she were some sort of Tony Blair in drag? They even managed to hornswoggle into their minuet old Daddy Warbucks himself, Donald Rumsfeld, a few weeks before he was sent packing.

    But then the White House itself came out of the closet and, in a mind-boggling statement, proclaimed its fealty to Chile’s Socialist government on the occasion of the death of former President Augusto Pinochet.

    Let’s lay it on the line: Michelle Bachelet is not a friend of the United States. True, she is not a declared enemy of the United States. But friend? There is not a scrap of evidence to support such tomfoolery. Yet, no one—in the U.S. government, in the media, in other governments, in public affairs in general—ever speaks ill of Michelle Bachelet, as though to do so would be like spitting on the sidewalk or blowing smoke in someone’s face—simply not done, old top. In part this may be because there is so little there, there—there is much more form than substance about Michelle Bachelet, much more appearance than reality. Increasingly, questions are being raised about her ability to govern, her competence.

    She came to the presidency with strong public support. By early March, support for her had fallen from 65.3 percent to 47.5 percent. Fully half those surveyed (50.8 percent) said her government was less than what they had expected. On a scale of one to seven, her government got a poor 3.9 rating.

    No wonder. She was abroad much of the time last year when Chile suffered the worst outbreak of public disturbances in three decades—a strike of 600,000 high school students, aided and abetted by former terrorists and Communists. More recently, the government implanted a new public transportation system—a total and unmitigated disaster.

    Sebastian Piñera, leader of the opposition, called Bachelet’s first year “a comedy of errors, omissions and improvisations.” The problem, he said, is that Bachelet came to the presidency “without clear ideas, or well-defined programs, nor qualified people.” Indeed, Bachelet insisted on a cabinet evenly divided between men and women—whatever their qualifications. She was forced recently to jettison that idea in re-shaping her cabinet to meet the transit crisis.

    Briefly, who is this person we are talking about? Michelle Bachelet is, since March 11, 2006, the first woman president of Chile: In a recent Barometer of Governability in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Bachelet topped the list of 15 presidents, polling an 87 percent approval rating of her performance. Not surprisingly, Bachelet has wowed the Beautiful People. On her first visit to Washington last year, Hillary Clinton gave a party in her honor, with a host of glitterati in attendance (including the actress who plays the U.S. president in the now-discontinued TV series,Commander in Chief. Bachelet later let on that she liked the actress—but not the program). Bill Clinton, glad-handing around Santiago a year ago, described Bachelet as a “particularly well-qualified candidate, because of her experience.”

    One wonders what experience Clinton had in mind. Until President Ricardo Lagos plucked her from virtual anonymity in 2000, naming her his minister of health, she had never held a significant job. Later, in 2002, he named her his defense minister—first woman in Chile or Latin America ever to hold that job. Although in neither post did she distinguish herself, in the second in particular she did attract media attention, including a famous photo where she posed aboard a half-track. (She had prepped for that job: She graduated at the top of her class in 1996 from Chile’s National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies. That entitled her to a one-year scholarship at the U.S.- run Inter-American Defense College at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C., along with 46 civilian and military officers from around the Americas.)

    VERÓNICA MICHELLE BACHELET made her debut in this world on September 29, 1951, after only seven months in her mother Angela’s womb. She weighed but 3.9 pounds, but then she was lucky: Her mother had lost four babies before giving birth to Michelle (though she had managed to bring into the world a son, Alberto—Beto). Although baptized in a Catholic church (at the insistence of a staunchly Catholic paternal grandmother), Michelle—like her parents— has been a lifelong agnostic.

    Her father was an air force general, and in 1962- 1963, he was assigned to Washington. There, at a Prince George’s grammar school, she mastered English. Her father, long left-leaning, strongly backed the Marxist- Leninist president Salvador Allende (1970-1973), and was up to his epaulets in subversive scheming. When Allende was ousted in the 1973 coup, General Bachelet was one of two air force generals (along with a passel of lower officers and enlisted men) arrested and tried for treason. He died in prison before coming to trial.

    Though he had suffered a massive heart attack in 1968 that very nearly killed him—after playing basketball— he insisted on doing the same thing while in prison, despite medical advice to the contrary. That second massive attack did kill him. (His only son, Alberto, died of a heart attack in the U.S. in 2001, at age 54.) There are four or five keys to understanding Michelle Bachelet:

    • She is a hardcore, lifelong socialist, but a brand of socialism which, during the years in which she was growing up in the party, had nothing in common with the parliamentary socialists of Europe and far more in common with the murderous Maoists of China. The party no longer either preaches or practices violence, but Michelle Bachelet continues to identify strongly with those for whom revolutionary violence was a way of life.

    • Superficial: From the time in 1970 when she joined the Young Socialists, Michelle was a “gopher,” delivering messages, writing manifestoes, running errands, even at one point, serving as “bag-man”: delivering money from the Socialist high command to the very embattled terrorists of the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR). That would lead to her arrest. She was held for two weeks, later insinuating that she was tortured. Her mother, arrested with her, was held a month, and later said she was not tortured, but submitted to a brutalizing “softening-up” procedure. After their release Michelle decided to leave the country, traveling with her mother to Australia, where Beto awaited them.

    After only a few months there, at the behest of a boyfriend, Michelle traveled to East Germany, joined by her mother shortly afterwards. She continued in that “gopher” role during the four years she spent in East Germany, the nerve center of rebellion for Chile’s far-left parties. There, she was again deeply involved in the party’s conspiratorial, underground activities. Indeed, in 1977, she traveled—obviously on party business— to Vietnam, a fact she let drop during her official visit to Hanoi for the Asian-Pacific Cooperation conference in November 2006.

    She continued as an underground operative when she returned to Chile in 1979, moving in for a time with a high official of the Communist-sponsored, Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR) terrorist organization. She herself was heavily involved with the radical wing of her party—a wing so radical, to quote two puff piece biographers, “it had no real problem with the policies of the armed wing of the Communist Party.” Until 1995, when she was elected a member of the party’s Central Committee, at no time was she ever given an executive post of any kind (in other words, taken seriously). While in the outskirts of Berlin, she likes to say that she resumed the medical studies interrupted by the 1973 revolution in Chile, but in point of fact, what she did was start (but not finish) a German language course that was a prerequisite to medical school. (She frequently fudges in the stories she tells.) She also married a would-be revolutionary like herself, and gave birth to the first of her three children. (The other two would be born out of wedlock in Chile, one of them fathered by a right-wing doctor.)

    • She undoubtedly is smart—she graduated (in 1983) from Chile’s leading medical school, later specializing in pediatrics and public health medicine. But she is neither brilliant nor a strong leader. Nor a commanding presence: How could she be when she measures a mere 5 feet 2 inches—and is decidedly pudgy (indeed, a former finance minister raised her dander when he referred to her as “my fatso”). There is some real question as to how much of a leader, period, she is. As indicated, the party waited 25 years before naming her to a leadership role. In her only other try for public office before winning election as president last year, she ran for the city council of a suburban community in 1995 and won all of 2.35 percent of the vote.

    • Her closest friends and advisers all come out of the hard left of Chilean politics. So, too, do her predilections: She recently sent shock-waves through the economy when she wondered aloud whether maybe the time had not come to “humanize” the market economy model that has made this country the envy of all of Latin America—indeed, of much of the world. (“Humanize,” in socialist parlance, means enlarge the role of the state, and shrink that of the private sector.)

    AS IT IS, THE CHILEAN ECONOMY SLID in 2006, its growth rate falling from 5.7 percent in 2005 to 4 percent. That, despite sky-high prices for Chile’s principal export product, copper. In surveys of business leaders, confidence in her declined for four straight months, reaching a record low midway through her first year. She has a first-class economic team, and mainly defers to them, but in general has a reputation for leaning far more on her palace inner sanctum, a group that features two hard-core women Communists, bypassing her cabinet.

    So it is, too, with her international outlook. Ever since girlhood, she has been an admirer of Fidel Castro, the longest-serving dictator in the history of the hemisphere (and the only totalitarian dictator). Inasmuch as she also claims to be a champion of human rights, her support for the hemisphere’s worst abuser of human rights requires fancy footwork. But, then, she chose to live in East Germany—the ugliest of the Soviet satellite states—and has never been heard to utter a single criticism of that ghastly regime—nor, for that matter, of the savage North Vietnamese regime. By contrast, though she never met the longtime dictator of East Germany— Erich Honecker, who lived in Chile the last two years (1992-1994) of his ghoulish life—she did meet his widow.

    “I thanked her,” Bachelet said, “because while I was in East Germany, I had the chance to work in a hospital and study and form a family. They gave us much material support. For those of us who left Chile during difficult times, there we were welcomed and supported.” Bachelet did not mention that at that same time, life for East Germans was very hard—for those who escaped prison or death. Indeed, her very leftist mother, Angela, in another interview, was candid enough to observe that the Chilean revolutionaries in general fared better there than ordinary Germans. Angela toughed it out in Germany for only two years, before leaping at an opportunity in Washington. (Many, many other “Red” refugees—discovering the harsh reality of Communism—bailed out from the Iron Curtain countries. Michelle evidently had no such qualms.)

    It needs be remembered—although she waffles on this, as she does on so many other subjects—that Michelle did not have to live there. She had already settled in Australia, and Belgium had also offered her a visa. There is, in fact, no doubt that many other countries would have welcomed her—Canada, Sweden, Spain, France—as they did thousands of other Chilean revolutionaries.

    Until her Christian Democrat partners gave her a tough ultimatum, she leaned toward throwing Chile’s support behind Hugo Chavez in the Venezuelan’s high-powered campaign last fall for the Latin American seat on the UN Security Council. Chavez has, of course, made U.S.-bashing the centerpiece of his oil-funded international style. Though forced to back off, Bachelet continues to make plain her affection for Chavez. Gravitating to the Soviet orbit was, in fact, doing what came naturally for a woman who, from her earliest days, was immersed in propaganda portraying the U.S. as evil and predatory, and who spent years in terrorist organizations dedicated to hating the U.S. and all it stood for. Some of that venom was bound to stick.
     

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