Today marks 50 years since the coup that overthrew the government of Salvador Allende in Chile. To remember the revolutionary struggles of this period and to emphasise the invaluable lessons contained therein, International Marxist Radio is back for a special episode.
Allende’s Popular Unity government, which carried out a series of major reforms for workers and the poor (but which maintained a naive belief in the loyalty of the state’s armed forces), was brutally crushed by a reactionary military conspiracy, led by General Augusto Pinochet and backed by international imperialism.
Carlos Cerpa Mallat, a leading member of the International Marxist Tendency in Chile, explains how Allende came to power, how the workers were ultimately defeated, and why the events of 1973 show the need for revolution, rather than having illusions in a route to socialism through bourgeois democratic channels.
For more by Carlos on the 1973 coup, we recommend his recent article, which provides a detailed account of the history and lessons of the period, available here in English and here in the original Spanish.
We would also like to draw readers’ attention to two articles by Alan Woods, recently republished on marxist.com. Firstly, Chile: the threatening catastrophe, written two years before the coup, warns of the imminent risk of armed counter-revolution, if the Allende regime failed to mobilise the masses to carry out a socialist programme. Secondly, Lessons of Chile 1973, written in 1979, looks at the history of the Chilean labour movement and explains why Allende was unable to stop the coup, despite the many warnings.