November. 1970; the Election of Salvador Allende
Haldeman: That was in August, and all was fine. The elections came in September, and then came the beginning of the end. Allende won. It was by the skin of his teeth. It was split in thirds again, and I think he won by 34.1 percent. The next man, the Conservative, had 33.7 percent. Usually you had to go to Congress for a second round; if a person doesn't get 50 percent plus one, Congress decides. Well, we all knew what Allende was going to do; there was no doubt in anybody's mind. I happened to be in Buenos Aires on election night. My eldest son and his wife, my first grandson, and my third son had come down for summer vacation in September. I had invited them down for our twenty- fifth wedding anniversary, and we went to the beach. Then we took a trip to Buenos Aires, and we were going to go up to Rio [de Janeiro]. Then the kids would go home, and I would come back with my wife. I thought the Christian Democrats would win- -not by very much, but with all the political machinery they had--. We were in the Hotel Plaza in Buenos Aires on election night, listening on the radio. The vote returns were coming in, and faces started to get longer. The grandson was getting tired and wanted to eat. I said, "I'm losing my appetite," so we had them send up two big tureens of chicken stew, called cazuela de aves, and a couple of bottles of wine. We sat there, and by twelve o'clock at night it was very obvious what had happened. So I had to get back to Santiago. Oh, it was horrible.
Index to Haldeman Interview