22 February 2011

Ch 53: Haldeman Interview: Chaos in Santiago


A Scene of Chaos in Santiago

Swent: So you could buy all sorts of things- -houses, rugs, everything? 

Haldeman: Yes. It was a scene of chaos. We had a house on Costanera 
Street, the one you walked across today. 

Swent: By the river? 

Haldeman: Yes. In fact, it was just a couple of doors up from the street 
you went up. I had bought the house. It had an 18,000-square- 
foot lot, and I had 8,000 square feet of house, servants. I 
paid U.S. $54,000 for it. Before the election I probably could 
have sold it for U.S. $100,000. The election came and Allende 
took over, and I figured, "I'm going to have to leave the 
country sooner or later." A bill had gone to Congress for 
expropriation of the mining companies. In February I sold the 
house for U.S. $5,000. Four years ago they purchased it and 
tore it down to put up a building. It went for U.S. $500,000. 

People were panicking. You could have bought beautiful 
homes. Some people did buy four, five, or six homes, and 
they're millionaires today. They took a chance on it. It was a 
gamble. Nobody had any faith whatsoever that we weren't going 
to become another Cuba and Allende pledged that. 

Index to Haldeman Interview 

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