Salvador Allende: First Annual Message to the National Congress(1971)
In 1970 Chileans elected a Socialist, Salvador Allende, as their president. Allende viewed his election as a mandate to transform Chile’s social, economic, and political structures from capitalist to Socialist, as a means of ending poverty, dependence, and underdevelopment. Allende recognized that his challenges and objectives were similar to those of the Russian, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions; however, he also believed that Chile must follow a path toward Socialism that suited its own contemporary realities. As opposed to the armed struggles in Russia, China, and Cuba, Allende believed that Socialist transformation could occur through a democratic, pluralistic, and libertarian model.
In Allende’s First Annual Message to the National Congress, he responded to skepticism about the Chilean path to Socialism from the political right and left. Leftists supported Allende’s ultimate objectives, but many doubted that Chile’s oligarchy, corporate interests, police force, and...
Marchers in support of Salvador Allende for president of Chile (Library of Congress)View Full Size