14 October 2010

Chile has come out of the dark shadows of tyranny and emerged into the light of global admiration

Chile is a country all too often associated with tyranny, enforced disappearances, death squads and the heartbreak of families torn apart by the iron fisted rule of Pinochet, enemy of the Chilean people, friend of the British government.

However, the Chile that people saw, is not the real Chile. Pinochet and his henchmen do not represent the vast majority of Chileans, who in my experience are friendly, hard working, polite, decent people.

Recently two tragedies have united the country in grief and hardship - but also a strong determination to overcome seemingly impossible difficulties. First the devastating earthquake, then the unimaginable horror of 33 miners trapped underground - potentially for months.

The rescue of the miners has now been told a million times, there is little I can add. Chile can be proud of what it has done, and will continue to do whenever man or mother nature kicks it in the teeth. A nation has come out of the dark shadows of tyranny and emerged into the light of global admiration.

I would also like to also mention the Chilean Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Pedro Pablo Diaz, for the dignity he displayed when thrust into the media spotlight.

Chile - we dips our lid to you.

Wherever you may be - be safe
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