As an aside we have been on to the British Embassy who have very little about what's going on here. The only advice they have is on getting out of Natales ie. Via the red cross at the school....the only thing on PA is that ' there may be transport disruptions', talk about understatement. What do these people get paid for?
Well since you are throwing it out there, the tactics being used in this conflict are no different than those used against Allende's government. Blockades, banging on cacerolas, etc. My we do tend to throw the 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' saying by the wayside when it is convenient to do so.patagoniax wrote:I presume you are talking about Punta Arenas? Probably no police for escort because they are fighting the hooligans there at this moment. Were you in Natales earlier and got to Punta Arenas? We believe that the airlift from Natales airport to Calafate and Punta Arenas airport may now be underway but I don't yet have confirmation. The lumpen were trying to prevent aviation fuel from reaching the Punta Arenas airport and also trying to stop flights into that airport, so the willingness of the Asamblea Ciudadana to stick to their earlier commitment to allow evacuation is clearly being brought into question. The Red Cross and the Army were helpful here in Natales. The government for all practical purposes is no longer in control of the region. Carabineros have told me they don't have the resources to take on the mobs, so there is an uneasy understanding that is keeping the amount of bloodshed to a minimum.Trapped tourist wrote:The fellow tourists who attempted to leave have returned. They got to the main square in PA where they found one unofficial looking official taking details on a bit of note paper. Hundreds of people were there, there were no buses but people had turned up with cars. They were informed that they wouldn't be able to go without a police escort or official, neither of which were present. It seems no one really knows what is happening......but that's the one thing we did know.
The behaviour of the Reds here today was simply deplorable. It brought back all the reasons why so much of Chile welcomed the 1973 golpe. This is truly a region characterised by diminished capacity.
What is going on now is the way Chileans have always dealt with issues. Not saying it is the right way but let's be fair here.
But I have to commend you on the great job that you are doing in keeping everyone informed. Here's to a safe and speedy return to all those stranded.
I do not see what benefit they derive from keeping tourists stranded. It's one thing to not let new tourists arrive which is bad in and of itself but to prevent tourists from leaving is a bad PR move and generally just mean spirited and criminal. I would say that we are not quite at the Iraq/Afghanistan stage were tourists are deliberately being targeted but this is just plain bad and inexcusable. The worst part is that in the end they are just hurting themselves. My family is mostly in Santiago and they are not losing sleep over what is happening where you are as it has not affected them in the least. So I don't see what they can hope to accomplish. Potential tourists will not soon forget this and it will take a good long time for tourism to recover.patagoniax wrote:Agreed, my friend. It is bad behaviour. I am most disappointed by the aspect of the taking of hostages in the form of foreign tourists who have no responsibility for Chilean domestic troubles. That part, on this large a scale, I believe is unprecedented in Chile. I would expect such behaviours of Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Teheran, but it disappoints to see the near-equivalent of the Taliban in Magallanes.PenquistaDeCorazon wrote:.. .. tactics being used in this conflict are no different than those used against Allende's government.
What is going on now is the way Chileans have always dealt with issues. Not saying it is the right way
I have not been paying too much attention to the diplomatic channels but it seems to me that Canada, which had no problem spending millions to get Lebanese Canadians who had basically sworn off Canada back here, could be doing more than they appear to be doing.
I am probably dead wrong on what I am going to say and it might even be offtopic, but it seems to me that is one salvo in a much bigger issue, one that even transcends border. I'm in a place where government workers are not getting their pay, prices of fuel and electricity are going through the roof, etc. Periodically, the local power company makes announcements that they are turning off the power grid because there is no money to buy fuel for the power plants. There frankly is no money for the local government anymore.
What does this have to do with Chile? It seems to me like Pinera is cutting the subsidies because there isn't enough money to pay for it anymore. It's why Evo tried to take away fuel subsidies recently in Bolivia. There is simply not enough "money" anymore because the world economy is crushed.
I think we will see more of this kind of thing as more and more subsidies get taken away and the cost of living becomes even more unbearable.
Again, I am probably dead wrong about how I am relating this to Chile, but it just seems like it fits to me.
Anyways, let's hope cooler heads prevail.