By Susan Roraff;Laura Camacho
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Extra info for Culture Shock! Chile: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
Now ruling with full authority, Alessandri focused on the country’s economic recovery. However, this was accompanied by repression, particularly of workers and the left. Unified in their opposition to Alessandri, political parties of the left and the centre joined together to form the Frente Popular (Popular Front). Their candidate, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, narrowly defeated the right wing candidate to become president in 1938. He was forced to leave office due to poor health in 1941 and the Popular Front was soon dismantled.
His election brought about an end to the center-left coalition’s 20 year hold on the office. ETHNICITY Upon arriving in Chile, most people are struck by the fact that the population seems so ‘European’. In contrast to their northern neighbours Peru and Bolivia, Chileans have a high percentage of European blood. Many Chileans could probably be classified as mestizo. Yet, although they may 40 CultureShock! Chile have some Amerindian blood, many do not consider it part of their cultural identity since they do not speak the language nor participate in the traditions.
The Pinochet government played upon these old fears and focused on the flourishing economy during the campaign. The Concertación Following the victory of the ‘No’ campaign, a presidential election was called for December 1989 to choose a transitional government. The Christian Democrats joined with the ‘democratic left’—the Socialist Party and the Party for Democracy (PPD) and a number of fringe parties—to form the Concertación. Although political parties had been outlawed during the military regime, the large parties were never fully disbanded.