On September 11, 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende was killed. His death marked the beginning of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, the general who opened a cycle of neoliberal reforms, authoritarianism, and violence against the South American peoples.
Allende’s democratic administration meant a direct and immediate communist threat to the United States. To overthrow it, then-President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to prevent Allende from taking over the presidency.
On Sept. 11, President Allende arrived at the Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago de Chile to be informed about the insubordination of the Navy in the city of Valparaiso. A couple of hours later, however, the armed forces and the military police, «Los Carabineros», carried out a coup against the socialist government of the Popular Party.
The coup that ended the lives of thousands of Chileans was led by Augusto Pinochet. Under his orders, the army planes dropped more than 20 bombs on the Palacio de La Moneda.
From the government headquarters, Allende addressed the Chileans through Radio Magallanes. While waiting for the final attack, the socialist politician continued addressing millions of citizens. «Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain.»
In the lobby of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a huge display is installed of the broken glasses of Chilean President Allende, found after the US-backed coup on September 11, 1973.— redfish (@redfishstream) September 11, 2019
As a reminder of the threat US imperialism poses to this day. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/bwp1WBQG1t
Sources: teleSUR, Monthly Review.