If someone wants to understand what happened in Chile 50 years ago, they should look at what is happening now in Ukraine. The world was then divided into areas of influence and the Chileans, located on the western side of the Cold War, had the idea of giving the majority to Salvador Allende, a left-wing president who was at the head of the Popular Unity, a coalition of communists friends of the Soviet Union, left-wing Christians and some socialists who, except for Allende himself, were more revolutionaries than social democrats. Washington did with Chile what Moscow did with Czechoslovakia in 1968, when the communist leader, Alexander Dubcek, opted for political pluralism and democratic institutions. Or what he had done in 1956 in Hungary, where something similar had happened with Imre Nagy, another communist who also wanted to be a democrat and ended up executed by the Soviets.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the assault on the La Moneda palace by the troops of Augusto Pinochet and the death of the chimerical leader who wanted to build a socialism with democracy and without guns, an unusual experience that Mikhail Gorbachev was the last to try in the homeland of socialism. totalitarian, with the result known to everyone. Like Khrushchev in 1956 and before Brezhnev in 1968, the president of the United States, Richard Nixon, and his right-hand man in foreign policy, Henry Kissinger, did what was not written and can now be read even in the many secret declassified documents, first to prevent Allende from reaching the presidency, then to consolidate himself and finally to be overthrown.
Already before the parliamentary election of the president, in 1970, they promoted the kidnapping, which led to the murder, of the constitutionalist soldier and commander-in-chief of the Army René Schneider, the only obstacle that prevented a coup destined to prevent Allende from reaching the presidency. Afterwards, they only refrained from directly participating and leaving their traces in the 9/11 pinochet, but nothing has been hidden from everything else, not even in Kissinger’s version in his memoirs. The problem was geopolitical, to the point that the State Department’s Latin America bureau saw no danger in Allende or heeded the arguments of the hawks about the meaning of a centralized socialist economy in territory of capitalist hegemony. They brandished the bogey of the Cuban dictatorship and Soviet expansionism, but they feared that the example would spread to European democracies such as France and Italy, where the left could win the elections.
Half a century later the tables have turned. Pinochet’s heir is Vladimir Putin. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the complete opposite of Nixon and Kissinger and the closest thing to Allende that the White House has given since the times of social reformism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits