July 1977 Viña del Mar, Chile

Today I accompanied my father to Santiago, to Cerro Chacarillas, to see General Pinochet give a speech for Día de la Juventud. It was an inspirational speech. Also, it was a good message—he proposed a plan for the transition back to a civilian government. My father and I disagree on this point—he supports Pinochet all the way. We all did, at first. But quite honestly, the military has been here too long. They took power in 1973—that’s 4 years ago! I did not think they would stay in power this long, I mean Chile never has military governments, it’s just not right anymore. It was so necessary and so good for the country, he lifted us out from communism, but now, life is not what it should be. Since the military has been in power, Chile has not been the same. Obviously we can’t vote, the military presence is bigger than it used to be. I know that I don’t know everything that is going on. I used to hear talk of disappearances, not so much anymore. My nephew, Jaime, who used to be at the U de Chile in Santiago was on the wrong side of the regime. Thank god, he is fine, but he would tell me stories. I still get sad when I think about when he told me that he was tortured. Only two days luckily then they let him out. He has lost friends. He says his friend was taken and he still doesn’t know where he is. He now lives in Sweden and says it’s really different there. But he’s getting along alright. He says he misses Santiago a lot. He misses Chilean food. But at least he has met other Chileans who moved there too. Besides Jaime, I would never know. My friends are doing well, my parents are doing well, my colleagues at school are doing well. But it’s time for return to democracy. I never thought the military rule would go on this long and I was happy to hear today at Chacarillas that General Pinochet has a plan for a transition.

1 thought on “July 1977 Viña del Mar, Chile

  1. ssvolk says:

    I agree, Paula. I remember when I wrote you years ago saying not to worry, that things would soon be back to normal, but here we are, still with military rule. There are a lot of rumors that we will soon have a new Constitution. I’m not sure what’s wrong with the old one, but we’ll see how that turns out. I’m glad your nephew is safe. What ever happened to that nana, Rosa, that you were worried about? What is happening at your school? What are your colleagues talking about?

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