Salvador Allende's Last Speech | The Nation

Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Salvador Allende's Last Speech

The relatives of victims of Chile's dictatorship march outside La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

Forty years ago today, Salvador Allende’s democratically elected government in Chile was overthrown by a US-backed military coup.

Under Allende’s administration, the people in Chile tried to pursue their idea of a new kind of society: equal, free, and with justice for all. The US government, bent on undermining the possibility of democratic socialism in its hemisphere, did its best to destroy that idea with low-intensity warfare, political and economic sabotage and support for rightwing army leaders that wanted to overthrow the government.

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The brutal consequences of that coup remain one of the most glaring examples of the inhumanity of imperialism and since the violent overthrow remains a universal symbol of “anti-democracy at its best,” as the recently deceased author and filmmaker Saul Landau once put it, the anniversary should be taught and remembered in the United States, which played a decisive covert role in the events of forty years ago.

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