Apparently, in 1981, Hayek visited Chile. Given the context, I cannot read this interchange in an interview as an abstract discussion:
Lucia Santa-Cruz: "There is reference in your work to the apparent paradox of dictatorships that may be more liberal than a totalitarian democracy. But it is also true that dictatorships have other characteristics which contradict freedom, even if it is understood negatively as you do."In the same interview, Hayek said:
Hayek: "Evidently dictatorships pose grave dangers. But a dictatorship may limit itself (se puede autolimitar) and if self-limited it may be more liberal in its policies than a democratic assembly that knows of no limitations. I must admit that it is not very probable that this may happen, but even so, in a given moment, it may be the only hope. Not a sure hope because it may always depend on the good will of an individual and one can trust in very few individuals. But if it is the only opportunity in a given moment, it may be the best solution in spite of all. But only if the dictatorial government visibly leads to a limited democracy."
-- El Mercurio, (not my translation) Sunday, 19 April 1981
Hayek: "Democracy has a task which I call 'hygienic', for it assures that political processes are conducted in a sanitary fashion. It is not an end in itself. It is a rule of procedure whose aim is to promote freedom. But in no way can it be seen in the same rank as freedom. Freedom requires democracy, but I would prefer temporarily to sacrifice, I repeat temporarily, democracy, before having to do without freedom, even if temporarily." -- ibid.Furthermore, Hayek gave various presentations to various conferences. Apparently, in a chat with Jaime Guzman, Hayek said, "Pinochet is an honorable general."