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Chile’s referendum rejecting the Pinochet-era constitution shows that the world is entering a new, anti-neoliberal age

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On Sunday, almost exactly a year after protests over inequality erupted in the country, Chileans voted in a landslide to adopt a new constitution that will ditch the one enshrined in 1980 under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

As Robert Packenham and William Ratliff wrote in a 2007 Hoover Institution paper, “The first country in the world to make that momentous break with the past – away from socialism and extreme state capitalism toward more market-oriented structures and policies – was not Deng Xiaoping’s China or Margaret Thatcher’s Britain in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan’s United States in 1981, or any other country in Latin America or elsewhere. It was Pinochet’s Chile in 1975.”

This system was adopted in plain defiance of the will of Chilean voters who democratically elected socialist leader Salvador Allende as president in 1970. Washington, which had long been subverting Allende’s candidacy, wanted Chile to remain under its thumb and not pursue an independent development path or foreign policy direction, which an Allende presidency guaranteed.

During his first year in office, real wages increased dramatically as his administration began to nationalize key industries. However, the Chilean economy was hit hard by aggressive US sanctions imposed by former President Richard Nixon. Inflation hit an annual rate of 150 percent in 1973, which added serious internal pressure to Allende’s government........

© RT.com

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