Tea with a Dictator: Mrs. Thatcher and the General (1979–1982)

Part of the Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World book series (SCCCW)


This chapter gives an overview of the links between General Pinochet’s regime and Margaret Thatcher’s government. It traces the informal social links between Conservative ministers, company executives, bankers and FCO officials and discusses how this affected foreign policy making. Thatcher’s government reversed all the sanctions imposed by the previous Labour government on the Pinochet regime. It explains that human rights campaigners were unable to change policy but did persuade policy-makers to slow the pace of change and think carefully about the presentation of policies. The chapter also reveals that the Thatcher government violated its own guidelines on arms sales and tried to persuade other governments to soften their stance on human rights abuses in Chile at the United Nations.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Latin American StudiesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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