Sunday, November 06, 2016
An incorrect sailing ship?
The appearance of a Chilean naval vessel in Sydney Harbour, which had been used as a “torture chamber” by the Pinochet regime, has sparked protests from Chilean-Australians who say it should be removed from service.
The Esmeralda, a four-masted tall ship that is nearly 400ft long, is in Sydney as part of its 61st training cruise and has been docked at Garden Island since Thursday morning.
Considered a national symbol of Chile, it is used as a sail training vessel by the country’s navy and spends about half the year sailing around the world.
But its tours have sparked controversy after a series of human rights reports revealed that the ship was used to detain victims of the Augusto Pinochet’s regime in September 1973.
A 1986 US Senate report suggesting that as many as 112 people – including 40 women – were held on the ship, with rape, electric shocks, mock executions and beatings among the crimes reportedly carried out on board.
The Chile Solidarity Committee, a Sydney-based organisation of about 50 people, intends to protest against the vessel’s appearance on Saturday.
“Regardless of what the present purpose of the ship is, crimes were committed there,” he said. “People got killed there".
That Pinochet was just giving Communists some of their own back is not mentioned. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason