The New York Times Sunday Magazine's latest venture into esoteric Latin American leftism: Novelist Francisco Goldman's 5,000-word profile of left-wing student activist Camila Vallejo, member of the Communist Chilean Youth and considered hot stuff by besmitten leftists, including Goldman, judging by his yearning prose in “'They Made Her An Icon.'” Goldman does not mention her Communist Party affiliation until paragraph 21, almost halfway through the tale. (Vallejo is in Cuba now, to mark the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s Union of Young Communists.)
As Goldman wrote, Vallejo is organizing public protests in Chile (they don't have protests in Cuba) for free education…and higher taxes…and nationalization of resources. In another words, a Communist Party member is pushing a Communist agenda in Chile, and the Times is giving her a huge platform through Goldman's celebration of Vallejo's photogenic looks and media-friendly charisma.
Camila Vallejo, the 23-year-old president of the University of Chile student federation (FECH), a Botticelli beauty who wears a silver nose ring and studies geography, was the most prominent leader of a student protest movement that had paralyzed the country and shattered Chile’s image as Latin America’s greatest political and economic success story. The march that Thursday afternoon in November would be the 42nd since June.
In what became known as the Chilean Winter, students at university campuses and high schools across the country organized strikes, boycotted classes and occupied buildings. The protests were the largest since the last days of the 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who in a 1973 military coup overthrew Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president, Salvador Allende. The students’ grievances echoed, somewhat, those of their counterparts across the Mideast or in Zuccotti Park. Chile might have the highest per capita income in the region, but in terms of distribution of wealth, it ranks as one of the most unequal countries in the world. A university education in Chile is proportionally the world’s most expensive: $3,400 a year in a country where the average annual salary is about $8,500.
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