Go forward knowing that sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again where free men will walk to build a better society.Today marks 40 years since the democratically elected government of Chile and its President Allende were overthrown in a US-backed coup that resulted in Allende's death. Countless thousands of people were executed, "disappeared", and/or tortured during Pinochet's reign of terror that subsequently followed September 11, 1973. As Socialist World noted a few years ago:
-- Salvador Allende, from his final speech.
Under the iron heel of Chile’s military dictatorship, a laboratory economic experiment was conducted. The neo-liberal policies of privatisation, open markets, de-regulation and private pension schemes were all first tested out in Chile following the coup. They were then applied in the 1980/90’s and continued in this new century, by the ruling classes internationally. The ‘Chicago Boys’, economic students of Milton Freidman, arrived in Chile in the aftermath of Pinochet’s coup. The military regime gave them a free hand to test out their theories. These were the policies later to be pursued by Thatcher, Reagan and other capitalist leaders.In addition to remembering those who perished, and listening to the voices of those who survived, let us use this day as an opportunity to begin building a better world for ourselves and for our children.