President Augusto Pinochet of Chile on Sunday (20 August) attended bicentenary celebrations of the birth of the country's revolutionary leader and first head of state.
President Augusto Pinochet of Chile on Sunday (20 August) attended bicentenary celebrations of the birth of the country's revolutionary leader and first head of state. Bernardo O'Higgins in Chillan, where O'Higgins was born.
SYNOPSIS: Bernardo O'Higgins was the son of Ambrosio O'Higgins, a Spanish officer of Irish origin, and Isabel Riquelme, from a prominent family in Chillan. He was believed to have been born in this southern Chilean town on August the 20th, 1978. A guard of honour from the military school greeted President Pinochet, who was on a tour of southern Chile. During his early twenties, Bernardo O'Higgins inherited and ran a large farm estate.
Among the crowds that turned out for the visit were local women in native costume.
Then came the bicentenary parade, a sight to revive memories for the president of his early days at the Military Academy. He heads the military junta which has ruled Chile for the past five years.
Chillan's most famous native son, Bernardo O'Higgins, was a member of the original junta of local leaders who set Chile on her way in 1810 to independence. Political observers have speculated that the recent dismissal of Chile's Air Force commander, General Gustavo Leigh Guzman, -- and the resignation in sympathy of ten ranking air-force generals -- could be a sign that President Pinochet's grip on Chilean affairs was weakening. General Leigh had been described as the one persistent voice of moderation in the four-man junta; he had been criticising President Pinochet's tough policies long before he was dismissed.