Sing When You’re Winning

A book on my to-read list at the minute is a memoir by a Chilean writer about his activities in the Chilean undergound resistance to Pinochet rule. It’s sitting at home at the minute and I can’t remember the title or the name of the author. But it looked good when I took a peek at it over the holidays. Anyway, on Chile, El Público has a story about how the victory of the multimillionaire Sebastián Piñera has provoked excited celebrations among Pinochet nostalgists.

The chanting, outside the Chile Communist Party headquarters goes like this: ‘Comunistas, maricones, les matamos los parientes por huevones’. A rough translation of this is ‘Communist poofters, we killed your asshole relatives’, referring to the 3,000 people who were assassinated or ‘disappeared’ under Pinochet’s rule. Another chant is ‘Con Allende haremos un gran puente por donde pasarán Augusto y sus valientes’, or ‘We’ll make a big bridge out of Allende for Augusto and his brave men to walk over’. Obviously the attraction of the rhyme and rhythm is lost in translation.

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January 2010

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