The End of a Democratic Era in Chile

In the terrible blast of bullets and artillery that raged through the Presidential Palace on September 11, 1973, democratically elected President Salvadore Allende was finally defeated.  In 1970 Allende was elected as President of Chile with a leftist coalition called Unidad Popular,or Popular Unity. Allende and his coalition planned dramatic social, economic and political reforms.  In response, dissenters in the military staged a coup.  The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was rumored to have supported his overthrow.  As the palace was stormed, Allende refused to surrender and the debate still rages as to whether he committed suicide or was murdered.  In his last broadcast to the Chilean people, Allende offered the inspiring words that they would need for the years of brutal dictatorship that followed, “I have faith in Chile and in its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment, when treason stands to conquer. May you go forward in the knowledge that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open once again along which free citizens will march in order to build a better society.” (Bumper sticker image from www.Zazzle.com)