Canada's role in the austerity and uprising in Chile

Canada's role in the austerity and uprising in Chile

Postby Oscar » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:41 pm

Canada's role in the austerity and uprising in Chile

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Brent Patterson October 25, 2019 (NOTE: Numerous LINKS to references at original URL)

Protests began in Chile on October 18 after the government announced that it would increase the fare to ride the subway system in the capital city of Santiago.

"For minimum wage workers, the cost of using public transportation can already range from 15 to 20 per cent of wages," Foreign Policy explains.

That article adds:

"Protests have also centred on a lack of access to quality health care and education and inadequacies in the pension system, compounded by a rising cost of living. Protesters have also taken up issues including the rising cost of electricity and the price of Chile's privatized water."

The roots of austerity

While it is more commonly remembered that former prime minister Pierre Trudeau allowed 7,000 political refugees from Chile to enter Canada, Yves Engler has outlined how the Trudeau government withheld support for president Salvador Allende and backed general Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew the democratically elected Allende in a coup.

In 1976, the Latin America Working Group noted:

"Canadian economic relations, in the form of bank loans, investments and government-supported financial assistance have helped consolidate the Chilean dictatorship and, by granting it a mantle of respectability and financial endorsation, have encouraged its continued violation of human rights."
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