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From Democracy to Military Dictatorship: Egypt 2013 = Chile 1973

During the months leading up to July 3, 2013, the state of Egypt mirrored that of Chile 40 years ago. What Egypt’s Mohamed Mursi and Chile’s Salvador Allende shared was the misfortune of coming to power with a relatively large majority and an adamant refusal to surrender. While there is no evidence of U.S. involvement in the process, America and its allies in the European Union have refrained from calling what happened in Egypt a coup. Egypt – much like Chile – will likely return to the path of democracy, though after considerable time and effort, and a projected roadmap that will likely generate further economic hardship and instability.

From Democracy to Military Dictatorship Egypt 2013 Chile 1973
Egypt holds a presidential election prior to a vote on the new Parliament. EPA
 

For months, leading up to the climax on the third of July 2013, the Egyptian theatre was being set for a melodrama no less sensational than the one that unfolded on the Chilean theatre nearly forty years earlier. Yet, despite the striking resemblances, there have been some important dissimilarities. For one, the Egyptian coup d’état was not orchestrated primarily by the CIA, but allegedly by the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with tacit and active support from Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, and the U.S. Obama Administration. These regional and international players shared the concern of the local Egyptian secular liberal and nationalist elite that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and some other parts of the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring was likely to threaten their long term interests.

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