About Chile…

Posted on October 12, 2010

A delightful overview of this surprising country on the west coast of South America.

Patagonia is an area that has been romanticized not without  reason.  There is also a clothing line named for the region.  There is Patagonia in Chile and Patagonia in Argentina.  The exciting part of the Chilean Patagonia is that after 30 years, in 2003 it was purchased as a national park.

Here is Patagonia in the Argentine

Chile is one of those places best studied in beautiful photos and in in-person visits.  We here in the US never seem to learn about a place until there is a crisis there.  It is wonderful that the current situation with the miners in Chile looks as if it will have a happy ending.  Having watched the gentle people of that region on television the past weeks, no people are more deserving.

Relations between the US and Chile have fluctuated over the past two centuries.

A few issues have complicated United States-Chile relations, including the removal of Chilean fruit from United States supermarkets in 1991 by the Food and Drug Administration, after tainted grapes were allegedly discovered. The United States also objected to Chile’s intellectual property legislation, particularly the copying of drug patents. However, these issues pale by comparison with the strong ties between the two countries and the admiration that United States officials have expressed for Chile’s remarkable economic performance. As evidence of this “special” relationship, both the Bush and the Bill Clinton administrations have indicated United States willingness to sign a free-trade agreement with Chile in the aftermath of the successful negotiations with Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA). Although Chile has pressed strongly for the agreement as a way to ensure access to United States markets, the United States in 1991 was replaced by Japan as Chile’s largest trading partner, with the United States accounting for less than 20 percent of Chile’s world trade. Ironically, in the post-cold war era, anti-Americanism in Chile is more prevalent in military circles and among the traditional right, still bitter about United States support for democratic parties prior to the plebiscite and concerned that the United States has hegemonic presumptions over the region. [countrystudies.us.chile.com]