Chile. After José Miguel Insulza of the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, PS) announced in January 2009 that he did not intend to run in April’s primary elections in December for the December coalition in the Government coalition, the former president, Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei, was the only remaining heavyweight candidate and easily won the nomination. According to countryaah, Insulza is Secretary-General of the United States Cooperative Organization OAS and chose to prioritize that work.
Opinion polls had long pointed to a victory for the incumbent government candidate, and President Michelle Bachelet’s own popularity beat all records during the year. In July, for example, she was supported by as many as 74 percent of those surveyed, and 68 percent even expressed the same about Finance Minister Andrés Velasco – very unusual for a government at the end of its term. The Government’s successful measures to mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis were considered to be a strong contributing cause.
However, in the first round of the presidential election on December 13, right-wing candidate Sebastián Piñera won by 44 percent of the vote, which meant that a second round between Piñera and Frei must be held in January 2010.
1910 US capital displaces the English
The English domination in Latin America suffered a definitive setback during the first world war. In Chile, the influence of English capital disappeared even faster than in the rest of the continent due to the downfall of the salt industry during the world war. But as dominant as the carpenter had been for Chile’s export earnings until then, it became copper for the next 60 years. And just as much control England had over the first industry, the United States gained over the other. The control over the copper also gave tremendous power over the rest of the economy and thus also the politics. “Whoever controls the copper governs Chile,” later became a very telling expression in the country. The lack of national capital for new investment led North American interests in 1910 and 1912 to acquire the large mines of Chuquicamata and El Teniente. The North American mining companies Kennecott, Anaconda and Cerro retained control of most of the copper mining until the companies were nationalized under Allende. Copper exports then accounted for over 80% of the country’s total export revenue.
US ownership interests gradually spread to almost every area of Chilean business. In 1970, only 9.4% of all limited companies did not have any form of foreign capital. The profit was staggering. In the period 1950-67, foreign investors withdrew four dollars for each dollar invested. A number of recent attempts by Chilean governments in the 1950-60’s to secure control of copper revenue failed. Even the state-owned acquisition of 51% of the shares in the major corporations under Eduardo Frei’s Christian Democratic Government 1964-70, was designed in collaboration with the corporations so that their profits increased from $ 50 to $ 120 million per share. year.
Reforms and Cold War
In parallel with developments in the construction industry, the railways and the new mines, the service sector, trade and the public sector were developed. In 1920, populist Arturo Alessandri gathered the dissatisfaction of the new emerging classes in an attempt to break the power of the oligarchy. He used the presidential office to extend the suffrage to all men over 21 who could read and write, and direct presidential elections were introduced. The working day was reduced to 8 hours, social welfare was introduced and the work of women and children was regulated.
The world crisis of 1929-30 destroyed the export economy, which was based on copper and agricultural production. No new stability was created in the economy until the Chilean businessmen launched a program to develop import substitution industries. This program was at the same time the political basis for a broad public front led by the radical Pedro Aguirre Cerda, who came to power in 1936. It also had the support of socialists and communists. The military was cleaned up politically, which stayed away from the political scene for the next 40 years. Although the oligarchy was weakened, it was nevertheless able to conclude agreements in the agricultural field, so Aguirre Cerda never touched the land ownership or allowed professional organization among the land workers.
The alliances of the 1930s broke down during the reign of Gabriel González Videla (1946-1952). Under the impression of the Cold War, he passed a “Law for the Permanent Protection of Democracy” that made the Communist Party illegal and had the party members removed from the electoral rolls. To counter the protests against this move, on January 9, 1949, Parliament passed the law on women’s suffrage. The repressive policies of the radical party and the split of the left enabled the populist Carlos Ibáñez to win the election in 1952. But the decline of the economy removed the popular basis for the populist experiment. In 1957, sectors from the National Falange and the Conservative Party formed a new party – the Christian Democrats, PDC. The Communist Party was again made legal and the left took the opportunity to form a new alliance: the Frente de Acción Popular (FRAP, the Popular Action Front). Voters were thirsty for change, but at the same time sensitive to anti-communist propaganda, and therefore supported Christian Eduardo Frei’s “Revolution in Freedom”, which in 1964 initiated a land reform.