Salvador Allende:
One Hundred Years Since His Birth

Eduardo Artés

On June 26 it will be one hundred years since the birth of President Salvador Allende Gossens; because of the outstanding place that he occupies in the national and international political history, as an outstanding fighter for the sovereignty of the peoples, for national independence and social justice, hundreds of activities, acts of homage, declarations, articles, etc. are planned.

As is normal, when it is a matter of prominent personalities in the social struggle, we see how, based on the interests and class positions of the authors, various images of Salvador Allende are painted to find the one that best serves that of the authors. The ‘Concertacion,’ [the ruling coalition – translator’s note] in addition to their common phrases, will use his figure to try to hide their reactionary, neo-liberal and pro-imperialist face, and undoubtedly, young rebels will show the photo of Allende with a machine gun, chanting enthusiastically that ‘Allende did not give in, he fought with gun in hand.’

We communists begin by recognising Allende as a great leader and a democratic and anti-imperialist fighter, as an honest socialist, as the president who embodied the aspirations of justice and most profound social change of the workers and peoples of Chile, who paid with his life for being consistent with the government programme he presented to the people. But we also recognise that the figure of Salvador Allende is assuming new dimensions, in accord with the levels and requirements of the popular struggle, we raise his figure in the heat of the fight for sovereignty, independence and social justice.

Some will use the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Salvador Allende to revive fantastic and deadly conjectures on ‘peaceful roads to socialism,’ or of the ‘revolution’ without revolution, of integration into the bourgeois state apparatus and its gradual transformation to place it at the service of the workers and other formulations. These, as we know well, not only from the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, but from the experience of the Popular Unity itself, do not lead us to socialism, but to confronting reaction and fascism unarmed ideologically, politically and materially.

We communists, from the PC (AP), without confusing things, maintain that the road of the insurrection of the masses is the correct road that, in accord with the reality of Chile, will lead to the seizure of political power by the workers and people. We learn from the democratic and popular struggle of the broad majority of the nation, which in the past led to the inauguration of Salvador Allende as President of the Republic. We recognise this to be one of the highest moments experienced in Chile until today, in relation to the protagonism and popular victories of the democratic and anti-imperialist order.

As communists, we do not seek an explanation for the tragedy of the fascist military coup of September 11, 1973, in Allende, much less in the broad movement of the masses that accompanied him. On the contrary, Salvador Allende, in accord with his democratic, left-wing, socialist, secular and Masonic training, placed himself entirely at the service of what he believed, in order to bring about the necessary changes to benefit the majority. Within the bourgeois republican institutions, his commitment in that sense, as we have already said, cost him his life. He was a tremendous factor for popular unity in the broad sense of the word; the responsibility lies in the absence of a genuine Marxist-Leninist understanding of the revolution, of the class character of the State, of the role of the armed forces and the forces of order, in the revisionist ideas which filled the heads of those calling themselves ‘communists,’ thus not fulfilling the role of the vanguard of the working class, of the Chief of Staff of the Revolution, of the organisers, promoters and leaders of the seizure of power, of the destroyers of the Capitalist State and of the builders of the new State, the Socialist State.

Today, in the middle of so much opportunism, of neo-liberal ‘socialists’ in the pay of the imperialists, there is a need for consistent men, democrats, patriots and socialists of the stature of Salvador Allende to advance through the Popular Democratic anti-imperialist revolution and to open the floodgates for the Socialist Revolution.

Salvador Allende lives and grows in the popular and democratic struggles!

Eduardo Artés
First Secretary of the Chilean Communist Party (Proletarian Action) PC (AP)
June 6, 2008

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