The Truth About the Chilean Revolution
by José Piñera
(updated march 15th, 2000)
(German version) (Spanish version)
It is true that Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile in 1970 by means of a democratic election (although with only 36.6% of the vote). Nevertheless, it is equally true that his government lost its democratic character by repeatedly violating the Constitution. The Economist said it clearly at the time: " The temporary death of democracy in Chile will be regrettable, but the blame lies clearly with Dr. Allende and those of his followers who persistently overrode the Constitution" (September 15, 1973).
In effect, President Allende became a tyrant when he broke his solemn oath to respect the Constitution and the Chilean laws. There are numerous evidences to that effect (including a clear statement of the Supreme Court), but the most important one--and widely unknown outside of Chile--is the momentous Agreement of 23 August 1973 of the Chamber of Deputies (the Lower House of the Chilean Congress), which I have translated and posted as "The Declaration of Breakdown of Chilean Democracy".
In this Agreement, it is presented a list of the legal and constitutional violations of President Allende's government, and it is agreed to "make representations" of this "grave breach of the legal and constitutional order of the Republic" to, among other authorities, "the Armed Forces". At the same time it agrees to "make representations to them that, by virtue of their function, of their oath to remain faithful to the Constitution and the law, ... it is up to them to put immediate end to all the situations referred to above, which infringe the Constitution and the law".
So, since no feasible mechanism existed in the
Chilean Constitution to
The Armed Forces, led by the person who was then the Commander in Chief of the Army, General Augusto Pinochet, and claiming to be following theAgreement of the House of Deputies, removed Allende (who committed suicide) and took power eighteen days later, on 11 September 1973, vowing to restore democratic rule once the circumstances allowed it.
Therefore, the origin of the Pinochet government is that of any revolutionary one, in which only the use of force was left in order to remove a tyrant. And, as Benjamin Franklin, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, once said, "rebellion against a tyrant is obedience to God".
When a President elected by a third of the population
is removed, and
Lamenting each one of the victims, Chileans
and foreigners, who fell in
As in any revolutionary period, there were excessive
The guilty should have the full rigor of the relevant laws applied to them, and that is exactly why, at this present time, the General who was head of the DINA (National Intelligence Service) when these violations were committed is in prison serving a seven year sentence.
In addition to the historic economic transformation
carried out by the free market economists, the achievement which meant avoiding
a war with
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