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Thursday, March 22, 2007

AN INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT BACHELET - IS CHILE ACTING TOO HUMBLY?

When I interviewed Chilean President Michelle Bachelet during her visit to Guatemala earlier this week, I started out by asking her about something that has always intrigued me: Why does Chile, the most successful Latin American country, not want to assume the role of an economic model for the rest of the region? Find out what she said (and my opinion about it) here, and let us know what YOU think.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrés
The Chilean model sucess can't be explained only by free trade agreements. There are more reasons to explain it:

* Governability agreements: The first goal of the chileans was the political agreement reached by the pinochet followers and leftists. Note that Bachelet is the head of a concertation (group of parties).
* Export Model Adoption: In Chile Free trade agreements are needed because they have a small domestic market for their products (wine, fruits, etc).
* Financing expansion: Chile give more support to expand their own companies than to attract foreign investments.

With a different flavour Brasil also respects these 3 points.

In Argentina, we are still at a lower level of maturity. The first two points are socialy defended. But the third point has not been understood yet.

Regards,

Rubén P.
Rosario - Argentina
rubpen@gmail.com

2:26 PM  
Blogger elliv said...

How sad to watch a supposed "journalist" trying to create divisions and problems for LatAm. Offcourse its the strategy of Washington. Chile, Argentina, Venezuela etc are different in many ways but no one but US imperialism have something to gain on breaking up unity and integration.

How much a disslike sold out "thinkers" like this mr Oppenheimer, i applaud the possibility to respond in this way through a blog.

8:15 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Let us not also forget the role of a strong state owned copper company and agricultural cooperatives that provide the backbone of the economy. Also, lets not forget the trade and economic financing assistance that Chile received from the US - preferential terms that few others enjoyed.

Still, having been the Chile, I was slightly repulsed by the people and culture. Many I met were racist and chauvanistic to the core. The poor lived in tin roof shacks and were out of sight, out of mind. Still, I was advised not to walk through large swaths of all the cities I visited...

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Leftside, I would like to say that in my opinion, he has exagerrated the negative aspects of Chile, and failed to recognize that what he complains of exists in every country. To begin, it is true that racism exists in Chile, but I found it to be the exception, and not the general rule. Furthermore, while it is true that there are many poor Chileans who live in substandard conditions, what country is made of only rich and middle class? In what country do the rich live next to the poor? Certainly, not in our own, nor in any country that I am aware. As a matter of fact, Chile has one of the largest populations of middle class in all of Latin America. Furthermore, there are many areas in our own country that are too dangerous to traverse at night, and I believe that applies to all countries. Let's not forget that the rate of crime and murder is much, much higher in our own country than in Chile. Furthermore, if those three criteria were the only ones by which to judge a country, would not all countries earn a very poor score? I had a delightful time in Chile, I felt both safe and welcome. While not a perfect country (I would say its biggest fault to be classism rather than racism), it is one that I would recommend visiting to anyone!!

Sincerely, L Noelle

6:21 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Chile has a long tradition of democratic rule, decades of sensible macro-economic management, and an export-oriented economy. This is a country whose judiciary would be at the forefront at adopting the latest mercantile statutes.

the polarization and messes that occured during the last Christian Democratic government, Allende and Pinochet, were exceptions, but the Chilean people always had a frame of reference of a democratic tradition and institutions to look up to.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you want that chilean
behave like the U.S: arrogant
and imperialist?
Leave the chileans alone.

6:19 AM  

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