Chile’s anti-anti-communism: How the Reds neither forgive nor forget
It is hard to talk about a post-Cold War era when the communist side in the war neither forgives nor forgets and sets about rewriting history so diligently that even the U.S. secretary of state, the esteemed Colin Powell, recently felt compelled in a speech to apologize for America having welcomed the overthrow of a vicious Marxist totalitarian.
The Marxist in question was Salvador Allende, elected Chile’s minority president by parliamentary maneuver and three years later overthrown by the Chilean military for cause.
The politically correct of the left mark Sept. 11 as a day of mourning for the overthrow of the Allende regime in 1973. They all characterize Allende as “democratically elected,” a phrase as meaningless in his case as it is if one praised “the democratically elected chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler.”
Neither Allende nor Hitler had anything to do with democracy once in office. Both used democracy to their own advantage, then discarded it for totalitarian aims.
Hitler waged war more or less based on race and religion. Allende planned class war, Marxist- style.
Allende signed up with the Marxist revolution, Castro-style, early on. His Chilean Socialist Party was not a Swedish-style Social Democratic Party but a Marxist-Leninist one and proclaimed at its party congresses in 1965 and 1967 that “revolutionary violence is inevitable and legitimate. Only by destroying the bureaucratic and military apparatus of the bourgeois state can the Socialist revolution be consolidated.” In 1972, when Allende had been in power for two years, his Socialist Party stated: “The bourgeois state is not suited for the construction of socialism; its destruction is necessary … we must conquer all power.”
From the moment he took office, Allende invited in Cuban intelligence agents to help advise him in consolidating his regime — “making the revolution irreversible,” in the phrase used at the time. The Soviet Union and East Germany (now there was a really democratic “people’s democracy” for the Chileans to aspire to) also helped Allende with political strategies. Civil order went by the wayside and the government began waging class war by seizing private property from farms to factories. Street violence was rampant.
In March 1973, as the situation deteriorated by Allende’s own actions, former President Eduardo Frei said that Chile was engaged in a “carnival of madness” and added, “Chile is in the throes of an economic disaster — not a crisis but a veritable catastrophe no one could foresee would happen so swiftly nor so totally. The hatred is worse than the inflation, the shortages, the economic disaster. There is anguish in Chile.”
Nothing changed for the better. On May 26, 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous statement that the country faced “a peremptory or imminent breakdown of legality.”
On Aug. 22, 1973, three weeks before the military took action, the Chamber of Deputies, which already had come within two votes of impeaching Allende, passed a resolution that said, “it is a fact that this government has been, from the very beginning, bent on the conquest of total power … so as to implant a totalitarian system.”
But was it true that Allende sought to impose a Marxist system consistent with Cuba, the Soviet Union and East Germanyâ¢ Consider:
= A Cuban intelligence officer, Luis Fernandez Ona, and his lover and later wife, one of the president’s daughters, had a desk outside President Allende’s door in the Moncada, the presidential palace. The duo ran the presidential office and controlled access.
= Allende himself, in 1968, had accepted the presidency of the Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS), a Cuban-controlled network of revolutionaries dedicated to overthrowing non-Communist governments in the Western Hemisphere.
= Allende welcomed at least 10,000 foreign revolutionaries to Chile and put some of them on his payroll as advisers.
= Cuban General Patricio de la Guardia, defending himself in a purge trial in Havana in 1989, boasted of his service to the Allende regime where he was responsible for training the Socialist Party’s clandestine military forces. After Allende’s overthrow, some of them became part of the terrorist Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) and the Communist Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR).
We get the picture.
Was the military junta imposed over the objections of the majority of Chileans and their political leadersâ¢ Not the Chamber of Deputies and not the three living former presidents, who joined Frei in thanking the military, issuing a statement that read: “The Armed Forces have liberated us from the Marxist claws … the totalitarian apparatus which had been prepared to destroy us itself has been destroyed.” Moreover, the president of the Christian Democratic Party, Patricio Aylwin, who eventually was elected to succeed Pinochet when the military surrendered power, said in 1973 that had the armed forces not acted, Chile would have had to mourn the deaths of hundreds of thousands killed at the hands of Red brigades.
Was Aylwin slandering Allende’s supporters, the communists and socialistsâ¢ Volodia Teitelboim, a veteran Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) Politburo member who spent his entire exile in Moscow broadcasting propaganda, said a few months before the military acted that if civil war erupted, “it probably would signify immense loss of human lives, between half a million and one million.”
So, the communists expected up to a million dead Chileans. But there was no civil war. The coup of Sept. 11, 1973, averted civil war; and the Chileans themselves say that fewer then 200 people died.
Last year, the bloodthirsty Teitelboim, 87, was given Chile’s national literary prize, while Gen. Augusto Pinochet, also 87 and in poor health, is reviled.
Dateline D.C. is written by a Washington-based British journalist and political observer. It appears every Sunday in Opinion and Commentary.