Chile History From 1964 to 1974 Part III

By | December 13, 2021

The elections of March 6, 1973, held regularly despite the stormy pre-electoral period, surprisingly strengthened Allende’s position in the House and Senate (43.39% of the votes), who nevertheless always remained in a minority situation. Christian democracy, allied to the right for the occasion, obtained 54.7% of the votes with a large contribution from women. The abstentions were very high. The right, faced with the confirmation of popular unity, stiffened their opposition more.

The two major extremist extra-parliamentary movements Patria y Libertad, on the right, and MIR (Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria), on the left, continued to fight each other with no holds barred. An insurrection attempt (June 28), led by col. R. Souper, failed due to the lack of adhesion of the army; on the contrary, it provoked street demonstrations in favor of Allende, who in the meantime had formed a government of only civilians. A government proposal to establish a state of siege across the country was rejected by both houses. Terrorism continued to spread: Allende’s military attaché, ship captain Araya Marín was shot down by a burst of machine guns (July 26). A mutiny of two warships (8 August) in the port of Valparaiso, suffocated in the bud, led Allende to resort for the second time to the highest exponents of the armed forces (Gen. Prats at the Ministry of Defense), in an extreme attempt to face a situation that was becoming unsustainable. The Chamber approved (81 votes to 46) a motion in which Allende was accused of violating the constitution and of involving the armed forces in his action. The military in government resigned and Allende arranged for his twenty-second ministerial reshuffle (29 August), reopening dialogue with Christian democracy in search of collaboration. The situation in the country, meanwhile, worsened considerably due to the general strikes. The emergency measures remained without effect and Allende, in the face of irreducible pressures, informed (8 September) that he was ready to call a plebiscite to find out the will of the people towards him. This possibility did not have time to mature: a lightning coup d’état overthrew the government, who was hired by a military junta. The coup, prepared in all its details, took Allende by surprise, who, from his work table, refused to surrender. The bombing and the assault on the presidential palace put an end to the life of the President of the Republic and, for the first time in the history of the Democrat Chile, marked the decline of civil liberties and the advent of a military regime that joined the other predominant ones. in almost all of South America. Thus the attempt to build a new society in a country overwhelmed by dramatic imbalances and upset by the same contradictions that torment all of Latin America failed. assault on the presidential palace put an end to the life of the President of the Republic and, for the first time in the history of the Democrat Chile, marked the decline of civil liberties and the advent of a military regime that joined the others predominant in almost all of South America . Thus the attempt to build a new society in a country overwhelmed by dramatic imbalances and upset by the same contradictions that torment all of Latin America failed. assault on the presidential palace put an end to the life of the President of the Republic and, for the first time in the history of the Democrat Chile, marked the decline of civil liberties and the advent of a military regime that joined the others predominant in almost all of South America. Thus the attempt to build a new society in a country overwhelmed by dramatic imbalances and upset by the same contradictions that torment all of Latin America failed.

The council that took over the reins of power in Chile, headed by gen. A. Pinochet Ugarte, in order to “free the country from the Marxist yoke”, imposed a new order based on terror: state of siege, court martial, summary judgments, executions, mass arrests, concentration camps. The tragic events of Chile have aroused deep disturbance and disapproval in world opinion.

With a decree of 27 June 1974 the gen. Pinochet officially took the office of President of the Republic. The same decree established that the three commanders of the armed forces would exercise legislative power. In this way the feeling that political parties would not have found a place in Chile was reinforced, to the profound disappointment of the Christian Democrats, who had hoped to be able to participate in national political life. Authoritarianism therefore intensified, while the government, despite the resumption of US aid, was unable to move the country towards economic normality. A UN resolution (November 7, 1974) asked Chile – implicitly confirming the violations in progress – to “respect human rights”.

Chile History From 1964 to 1974 Part III