so my friends...my sacred continent has seen many changes. we remain, however, by and large politically liberal and socially conservative. Here en Chile mis companeros have elected a socialist presidente yet the largest growing area in Santiago is Las Condes where Citibank, Nestle, Coca Cola and los imperialismos continue to exploit and hold monopolies over the masses. Skyscrapers and chic cafe's are popping up everywhere where as in the barrios and pueblos many don't have the basic essentials. They still make great humitas though!!!
Chile is different from other south american nations. It most resembles my homeland Argentina, with a large European population. But the indigenous peoples, namely the Mapuche, have suffered and continue to suffer tremendously. Plans for the Pascua Llama gold mine in the north will destroy more of their ancestral lands...and for their sacrifice they will get new roads, new schools, bad water, bad air, and a loss of what they hold most sacred - pacha mama.
But its not all bad. Chile has many National Parks and a large part of Patagonia and the Altiplano in el norte are protected. Santiago...already passing the 6 million mark is over a 1/3 of the population of Chile. At least we concentrate the misery and leave this beautiful Andes nation to breathe a bit - with the exception, of course, to the many mineral mines throughout the north.
The Chilenos are still a friendly people, sparking my fond memories of them when i traveled as a student all over the continent. I am retracing my steps a bit and will be heading to Arica soon and then to the Altiplano and over to Peru to visit Arequipa and Cusco where the sacred valley of the Incas is.
Still, Chile must deal with its past and heal its rifts with its own people and its neighbours. The north is still a bitter issue for both Bolivianos and Peruanos...both lost the entire north at the end of the 19th century to Chile. Los gringos, as always, were largely responsible in instigating the Pacific Wars over a century ago. Perhaps the worst of it is that the new borders split the Andean nation in many pieces, breaking family and tribal ties. This area is inhabited mostly by the Cechua and Aymara peoples.
I have tried to learn to accept things as they are. And to an extent i have succeeded. But i, as do many, still believe in the revolution. I hope mi hermano in Venezeula will realise and has learned from our mistakes. The socialist revolution must remain organic...and for it to flourish we must embrace the opposition and prove it is not the socialism of post WWII but a new vision of equality and fairness. I fear his zest for control. And control only feeds the fire to rebel, as it did with us in the 1960's. Commandante Chavez, chill the fuck mi out amigo. Let the people decide - and don't let your ego get out of control that your vision becomes greater than the global one.
Hasta la victoria siempre companeros!