Remembering Chile, Thinking about Our Future
Aqui is an mp3 that is supposedly Allende's last words. My Spanish really sucks, so I have no idea if it's real. But I'm just going to run with the translation I found over at Moon of Alabama which is a really informative blog if you've not read it before and worth some time, particularly the comments, which are very lively and link-rich. Anyway, the coffee is just kicking in, and this made me really tear up:
Surely, this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the antennas of Radio Magallanes. My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May they be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [paramilitary police]. Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!
Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. They have force and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested by neither crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.
Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that.
At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector who today are hoping, with foreign assistance, to re-conquer the power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.
I'll leave aside my ignorance of this episode in history and just say that these words sound like a perfect example of when "leadership" and "elected representative" are positively applied at the same time. Can you even imagine Harry or Nancy being this brave? Don't make me laugh.
It's not all about history either. There is a new short film and long book I'm going to have to buy. Keep in mind: Cheney was around for both Allende and Iraq.