President Pinochet's refusal to allow Christian Democratic Party leader Zeldivar to return homerip abroad 'is typical of hie heightened aggreoBivenoBn toward critics since his victory in the fconotitutional plebiscite in September. The ban may encourage younger party members to become more active against the regime.
arty is demoralized by its plebiscite defeat, was no Immediate threat to the regime
Yet Pinochet demonstrated his insonsitivity to public opinion by refusing to lift the ban oven after the Mexican paper's retraction, thus passing up an opportunity to defuse international criticism without appearing to have been in the wrong.
was willing to risk damaging Chile'sstanding over the Zeldivareveral governmente^-plus the Vatican, whioh has clone ties to Chilean Christian Democrats and currently is mediating
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the Chilean-Argentine dispute over tho Beagle Chamiel--have privately protested to Chile, The move also has prompted considerable criticism Jn tho organization or Americanlthough no member has yetormal anti-Chilean resolution to the 0A9 Generalnow under-way. Moreover, the incident has1 occurredime or toughened security measures imposed following the assassinationenior military officer several months ago and has added to the generalthat human rights are deteriorating in the country,
Tha feeble Chriatian Democratic reBponse to Zaldlvar Corned exile[wlll not encourage Pinochet to temper hie action*. Tha party initially aaldhoping that behind-tlie-acenea negotiationa wouldaldivar'athenildly wordedeat. No street demonatratioriB Or solidarityre known to!have^
The Chriatian Demoureta have been reevaluating the party'a poaitlon in the wake of the plebiacite. Some believe that, given the support for the regime ahown in the plebiaeite, the party nhouldragmatic policy of cooperating with Pinochet, others feel that tho reaulta of the voting indicate the party has little to lose byorces with the partiea of tho ex-tromo left.
Younger.Chriatian Democratic members, irfitated by the ineffective role of Zaldivar and other party leaderB In the plebiaoite campaign, are chagrined at the party'a failure to protest the ban more vigorously. If the ban continue^ indefinitely, it probably will underjut the poaition of party moderates and could lead young membera to attempt to unseat older leadera and to urge'taction in dealing with the regime.