For some on the right in Britain, America and parts of Europe, the Pinochet regime had a lot to be said for it. Not only did it prevent Chile “going communist”, it also served as a testing ground for important free-market economic reforms – such as the privatisation of pensions. The fact that Chile today is both democratic and more prosperous than the Latin American average is used to illustrate the argument that a “Pinochet period” might be necessary in some countries. [...] To the left, of course, any justification for Pinochet’s deeds is an abomination. [...] it was interesting that the White House spokesman also emphasised Pinochet’s victims – which shows that, these days, even a conservative America president is reluctant to go down the Kirkpatrick route on Latin American dictatorships.