Salvador Allende Biography

Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (June 26, 1908 – September 11, 1973).

Historically known as Salvador Allende, he was a Chilean Physician, Political Leader and Socialist Militant, who became president of the Republic of Chile in the 1970 elections, a position he held from November 3, 1970 to November 11, 1970 September 1973, the day he was killed, while he was in The Moneda, the palace of Government, defending the democratic order of his country, in the face of a military coup d’état.

Early life

Salvador Allende was born on June 26, 1908, in Santiago, Chile, the fifth child of Salvador Allende Castro and his wife Laura Gossens Uribe. His family belonged to a well-to-do social class with a long political tradition. His father served as a public official, a situation that led him to move with his family, for several years, through the Chilean territory, in order to fulfill his responsibilities.

In this sense, Salvador Allende had the opportunity to live his first eight years of life in Tacna; as well as in Iquique (1916-1918); Santiago (1918); Valdivia (1919-1921) and finally Valparaíso, where the family settled since 1921, when his father assumed the position of notary public of the port of Valparaíso, where Salvador studied at the Liceo Eduardo de la Barra.

Political beginnings

In 1924, he served in the regiment of Lancers of Tacna for a year.  Two years later, in 1926, he entered the University of Chile, in order to study Medicine. During this time he also began his involvement in political affairs. By 1929, he was a stakein.

Likewise, in 1930 he became vice-president of the Chilean Student Federation, but his economic position prompted his expulsion. In 1933 he presented his thesis and graduated as a Physician, at the time he became one of the founders of the Socialist Party of Chile. In 1937 he was elected deputy for Valparaiso.

From 1939 to 1942 he served as Minister of Health, President Pedro Aguirre Cerda. Also, during the period 1945 to 1970 he served as Senator, a position in which he had the opportunity to serve as President of the Upper House of Congress, between 1966 and 1969.

Arrival for president

Having become the top leader of the Socialist Party, Allende ran four different times for the presidency of Chile, participating in the elections of 1952, 1958, 1964 and finally, for Popular Unity, in the 1970s, where was elected with 36.6% of the vote. That same year, he was endowed as President, becoming the first Marxist politician in the world, who reached the highest judiciary through the electoral process.

However, his left-wing government, circumscribed in the context of the Cold War, was the victim – since his coming to power – of a sustained saboto-sabotage plan by the Chilean far-right sectors, who had the support of the CIA and the state government United States.

Chile’s route to socialism

His presidency was characterized by having great popular support, as well as the development of the National Plan called “Chilean Way for Socialism”, aimed at seeking the proclamation of land reform, the statesandization and socialization of strategic areas of the economic sector, as well as the nationalization of the Copper Industry.

Similarly, it was the organization of the popular sectors, as well as the formation of a People’s Power that would act in conjunction with the Government for the construction of the socialist system. There was also a conflagration of non-aligned countries, including mainly Cuba and the Soviet Union, in order to receive cooperation.

However, according to historians, who rely on various declassified documents and testimonies of those involved, the sectors of great economic and political power of the Chilean right, as well as the United States government subdued the Chile’s economy to a continuing sabotage, blockade and paralysis, which coupled with the large financial capital used by the state to subsidize most public services and nationalized enterprises, led to a deep economic crisis, characterized by the little production, desupply and political polarization, among its detractors and the large popular mass that supported this socialist president, demonstrated during the 1971 parliamentary elections and the 1973 municipal elections.

September 11, 1973

Faced with the immense tensions, in 1973, President Salvador Allende decided to enter his cabinet of renowned military figures in order to create an atmosphere of dialogue. In this sense he incorporated general Carlos Prats within his Government.

He also called a plebiscite, to consult with the people whether or not his government continued. However, the Chilean right decided it was time to act, so in June 1973 a coup d’état was staged against Allende’s government, known as the Tancazo, which starred in an armoured regiment that rose up against the government of mocratically elected.

At that time the loyal forces, led by Parts, managed to defeat. However, on September 11, 1973, a military movement, commanded by General Augusto Pinochet, activated an armed movement aimed at overthrowing President Salvador Allende, who was shot in the head that same day, on which it has been debated years about whether he responded to an execution or a suicide.

Chile was subjected since then until 1983 to one of the bloodiest dictatorships of the twentieth century, led by Augusto Pinochet, during which – according to police records, known as the Archives of Terror, found Paraguay, in 1992 – were arrested, tortured, executed and disappeared thousands of Chileans, thus initiating an international plan to eradicate left-wing militants known as the Condor Plan, which was led by this far-right military man, under the orders of the U.S. government then, with whose support it extended to Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay.

It is estimated that more than 10,000 people were victims of this policy of extermination.

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Salvador Allende Biography
Source: Education  
August 14, 2019

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