Pinochet: 'I was never a dictator'

MIAMI, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Although wanted in three countries for genocide, former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet insists he was never a dictator.

In a Monday night interview with Miami's Hispanic Channel 22, the 88-year-old said he has no regrets about overthrowing a democratically elected government and installing a 17-year military dictatorship in Chile.


He said he is still waiting for his enemies to ask his forgiveness.

Judges in Spain, France and Belgium sought to hold him responsible for the 3,198 people who were executed, tortured or disappeared in the aftermath of Pinochet's 1973 coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende, a self-declared Marxist.

In the interview, Pinochet acknowledged his subalterns may conceivably have committed occasional excesses and mistakes, but no regrets or apologies would be tendered because of the bottom line -- thanks to him Chile was spared the indignity of Marxism.

He also said he was at work on an autobiography that would make it clear that he was "an angel who acted out of love for my country," the EFE news agency reported.

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