On the 40th Anniversary of U.S.-backed Coup in Chile

An open letter to  the Communist Party of Chile, the Communist Youth of Chile, and the working class and people of Chile:

Exactly 40 years ago, a bloody crime was committed: The overthrow of Chile's democratically elected President, Salvador Allende Gossens, by a military clique headed by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, General Gustavo Leigh Guzman and Admiral Jose Toribio Merino Castro.

In the coup, Allende and other brave and democratic Chileans lost their lives. In its immediate aftermath, thousands were murdered, tortured, imprisoned and forced into exile. 

Progressive policies that Dr. Allende had initiated, with the support and active participation of your Party and others, were cancelled.  Workers, indigenous people, youth, women and other sectors were subjected to barbaric repression and a return to policies that should have been abolished, in Chile and worldwide, long ago.

These criminals had been instigated and materially supported in their bloody action by U.S. imperialism. U.S. President Richard Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and others were delighted by their handiwork, regardless of the suffering it inflicted on the Chilean people.

Yet as we now view the panorama of Chilean politics, we can only be gladdened by the magnificent struggle that is taking place, involving all the sectors that Pinochet and his henchmen tried to forever suppress and marginalize.

  • The splendid student and youth revolt against a backward, privatized education system that only serves the interests of the Chilean ruling class and international monopoly capital.
  • The valiant fight of Chile's indigenous people to right centuries of oppression and exploitation.
  • The fight to protect Chile's environment and natural resources against ruthless plunder in the interests of corporate profits.
  • The fight of Chilean workers in mines, refineries, public service, agriculture and all other branches of the economy for economic justice and to defend their rights as workers and union members.
  • The fight against retrograde ideologies whose roots lie in the ruling class and in the Pinochet dictatorship, and which target indigenous people, workers, youth, women and gays for special oppression.
  • The fight to integrate the Chilean people into the "Bolivarian" process whereby the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean develop new forms of mutual solidarity and end the long U.S. domination of the region.

Finally, we note that Chile will elect a new president on November 17.  We are sure that the united front candidacy of Michelle Bachelet, in which your party is playing such a key role, will triumph, and that this will be new dawn for the Chilean people.

¡Que viva el Partido Comunista de Chile!
¡Que vivan las Juventudes Comunistas de Chile!
¡Salvador Allende, presente!
¡Que viva el pueblo chileno!


PHOTO: Some rights reserved by Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos