Thousands of people across the world hit the streets in celebration after the death of Margaret Thatcher early April 8. As adoring eulogies rang out from leaders and the media, including President Barack Obama, general opinion was sometimes quite different.
As Dave Zirin of The Nation writes, there’s one big reason many in South America would rejoice. Thatcher was best known there for her support of General Augusto Pinochet, a right-wing dictator who solidified power through torture and executions and ran the country for more than 20 years.
Pinochet’s reign was legitimized by support from traditional powers like Great Britain. Thatcher, then the prime minister, called Pinochet a friend and supported his decisions. She praised him for “bringing democracy to Chile” even though he overthrew a democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, and didn’t hold an election for 15 years after.
See the story at The Nation.