16 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview--background notes

Here is a brief background before we continue: Salvador Isabelino Allende Gossens June 26, 1908 – September 11, 1973) was a physician and the first democratically elected Marxist socialist to become president of a state in the Americas.Allende's involvement in Chilean political life spanned a period of nearly forty years. As a member of the Socialist Party, he was a senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency in a close three-way race (about 39,000 votes. There is evidence that the Marxists found a way to rig the election just enough to get Allende installed into office --RS)

Chilean postage stamp honoring Marxist President Salvadore Allende

Allende established a Marxist regime in Chile.His economic policy resulted in inflation which exceeded 300 percent a year. He adopted the policy of nationalization of industries and collectivization. His policy of collectivization resulted in seizure of lands and crop production dropped. Protests were held in Chile against Allende's rule. The Supreme Court criticized Allende for subordination of the judicial system to serve his own political needs and the Chamber of Deputies requested the military to restore laws in Chile. After this request by the Chamber of Deputies, General Augusto Pinochet removed Allende from office in an U.S.-backed coup d'état on September 11, 1973 and this ended the Popular Unity government. During the air raids and ground attacks that preceded the coup, Allende gave his last speech where he vowed to stay in the presidential palace. He gave his last speech from the presidential palace with the sounds of gunfire and explosions clearly heard in the background. A dedicated Marxist to the end, these were his words:
"Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, much sooner than later, the great avenues will again be opened through which will pass free men to construct a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!" (September 11, 1973). He was found dead in the palace. His death was officially ruled a suicide.

Salvador Allende and the general who would ultimately depose him, Augusto Pinochet

Index to Haldeman Interview

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