An address written by Victor Degiovanni and delivered by David Pisani at the Gnien tal-Gherf Commemoration of the coup of the 11th of September 1973 against the Unidad Popular Government in Chile.
On the 11th of September 1973 the Nixon administration through covert activities of its special branches and the open manoeuvring of Henry Kissinger succeeded to stage a military coup against the democratically elected Government of Chile. This coup was not only instrumental in the toppling President Salvador Allende a moderate Socialist. This also led the way for Milton Friedman and his disciples of the Chicago School to start the neo-liberal experiments which led to the capitalist crises that we are facing today.
The Chilean Army did not have a history and tradition, of military coups as the Armed forces in other Latin American countries. General Augusto Pinochet, with the assistance of U.S. financial aid, and with the help of U.S. covert forces, embarked on an all-out attack on the Moncada Palace which served as the official residence of the Chilean President. This was to be the start of one of the bloodiest coups.
The fascist forces also attacked and managed to capture the media, made their presence felt in the streets, imposing a curfew and arresting all those suspected with Unidad Popular affiliations, murdering thousands and thousands progressively minded Chilean citizens. Amongst those who died in the first days of the coup were the Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda a world renowned poet, and Victor Jara a popular folk singer. The football Stadium in Chile became in a manner of speaking a Chilean “killing field”
The radical changes that were on the agenda of this newly elected government were not to the liking of the Chilean middle class and their master U.S. imperialism. The methods used to bring the progressive socialist government were creating artificial scarcities of essential requisites using the strike as a weapon by truck owners and other small time businesses, ensuring that food and other necessities from reaching the city, and holding protests in the streets, in an effort to create discontent. These actions had the reverse effect as Unidad Popular gained more popular support. These methods are today being used in Venezuela.
The Nixon administration, with Henry Kissinger being the prime instigator sought the support of the Chilean Military forces, through the aid the military received, and the indoctrination training at the “School of the Americas” located in Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia the die was cast. On September the 11 of 1973 a democratically elected government was brought down by a military coup. This day will always remain a day of shame, for the Chilean military forces.
The Communist Party of Chile at that time was led by Louis Corvolan backed Salvador Allende candidacy for President. Pablo Neruda who was the Communist Party nominee withdrew his candidature from the race, so to give more chance to his friend Senator Salvador Allende to win. The Communist Party formed part of the Unidad Popular government that was elected in 1970. This coalition was made up of a number of left wing parties and other smaller progressive parties. This coalition managed to wrest the government from the hands of the Christian Democrats, and for two years embarked on the road for improving the lot of the working class liberating the copper mines from foreign hands, thus the profits from this natural resource were once again in Chilean hands.
The coup changed things drastically. The Communist Party was banned, and a large number of activists were murdered by the military, some that were lucky managed to escape and lived in exile, while the rest of the party went underground and formed a guerrilla organisation, the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front Which offered resistance to the Pinochet Fascist dictatorship up to the restoration of democracy in 1990 when the Communist Party was once again legalized. Today the Communist Party of Chile works independently of other Parties and once again is represented in Parliament.