Saturday, September 30, 2023

Post: Allende: a government in conflict

The 60’s and 70’s were years of social change. The struggle in Vietnam truly united the world. As part of that struggle, the hippie movement was born under the banner of peace and love. But also in the French May 68, the same year in which a left-wing military coup in Peru moved to agrarian reform. In the space of “real socialism” there was a strong democratization movement that had already begun in Yugoslavia and Hungary but reached its highest point in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and was stopped by the invasion of the Soviet Union and its accomplices. . So the three spaces of revolution: the developed world, the third world and the Stalinist space are in boiling water.

That moment of change was experienced in Chile beginning in 1964 with the government of the Christian Democrats. Eduardo Frei came in with the “Revolution of freedom” program that included the development of cooperativism, agrarian reform, education reform and other changes. But, above all, it allowed the promotion of a social movement that completely exceeded the limits proposed by the government. It was a movement towards socialism that was heralded by the victory of Salvador Allende.

But Allende did not have a strong position. In fact, he has Congress against him. Thus we can say that it is a government of conflict where one of the two forces must prevail (as in the case of Castillo) or a third intervention, which is what happened.

The movement was so strong that it hoped that Allende would prevail. In fact, his election was a party. But the party continued for three years. Every strike by the employer, every movement of the Congress, every interference of imperialism, was answered from below. And this is the difference with Castillo, when it appears that he wants to fulfill his program. Then, the organs of popular power were born, the Industrial Cordons, which occupied the factories, criticized the skepticism of the government, and created the conditions for victory from below. It was necessary to reorganize the army and close the congress. That’s what the people in the streets are asking for.

Allende, in turn, sought to ally with the coups. Confusing democracy with institutionalism, he declared his loyalty to Congress, denounced those who had warned him of the coup as “ultra-leftists,” and arrested the non-commissioned officers who thwarted the initial coup plot. Instead of radically reforming the army, he gave the ministries to future coups. In addition, he accepted the gun control law, 17798, which was used by police forces to attack unions and social organizations. Which not only physically disarms people. In fact, there are few weapons. Above all, it has a demobilizing effect.

Because of the unity between Congress and the president, a third force intervened: the army. And he did it as they knew, with infinite cruelty. It started with the bombing of the Mint where Salvador Allende died as what he really was: a soldier of the revolution. Our criticisms will never diminish his dedication in life and at the hour of death.

The new regime arrested or “disappeared” thousands of activists, teachers, lawyers, unionists and students. Pinochet unleashed a regime of terror and brutality designed to intimidate his opponents and crush socialists. His reign lasted 17 years and marked the beginning of harsh neoliberal policies, a form of capitalism that involved absolute freedom for companies and repression of their workers.

Thousands of Chileans had to go into exile. And Peru is very well behaved. The government of Velasco Alvarado placed protection on the border so that those who came to ask for protection would not be afraid of their persecutors. The Peruvian left came out to defend its counterparts in Chile. The bad thing is that there is a degree of sectarianism so that some support the UP and others the MIR. In the middle are unionists, people without a party, democrats, who at one time did not have one. Until people of good will began to welcome them.

Then, in 1975, the rise of Morales Bermúdez changed the panorama. He is no longer an ally of the refugees but of the criminal gangs that govern Chile and Argentina and with whom he made the “Condor Plan.” When the school books say that Morales restored democracy, we already know what we are talking about: the dominance of one class over the entire population. That is the democracy that others have abandoned and defended when they voted to oust Castillo.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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