Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Salvador Allende

Last Words to the Nation

This speech was delivered at 9:10 am on September 11, 1973, in the midst on an ultimately successful US-sponsored coup d'etat against the democratically-elected government. Barricaded inside La Moneda, the presidential palace, President Allende gave his life defending Chilean democracy.

My friends,

Surely this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the towers of Radio Portales and Radio Corporación.

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 [national 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 seed which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever.

They have strength and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested neither by 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 which will today be in their homes hoping, with foreign assistance, to retake power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.

I address, above all, the modest woman of our land, the campesina who believed in us, the worker who labored more, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals, those who days ago continued working against the sedition sponsored by professional associations, class-based associations that also defended the advantages which a capitalist society grants to a few.

I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours -- in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to protect them. They were committed. History will judge them.

Surely Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to [inaudible] the workers.

The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again where free men will walk to build a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!

These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.

Santiago de Chile, 11 September 1973

“I have decided,” Nixon replied, “You give us a plan, we’ll carry it out.” Nixon then vowed that “we’re going to play it very tough with him [Allende],” and that he had “decided we’re going to give Allende the hook.”

Connally egged the President on, admonishing him to take tough action against the “enemy” Allende: “The only thing you can ever hope is to have him overthrown, and, in the meantime, you will make your point to prove, by your actions against him, what you want, that you are looking after American interests.”

When Nixon promised to make an example of Allende, Haldeman observed that, “It would earn a bit with the right‑wing in this country.”

After Connally left, Nixon provided a recap for Kissinger’s benefit: “I said, ‘All right, you give us a plan. I’m goin’ to kick ‘em. And I want to make something out of it.’ That’s my view.”

When asked for Kissinger’s opinion, Kissinger replied, “I would go to a confrontation with him; the quicker the better…Maybe not in a brutal way, but in a clear way.” He also agreed to work with Connally in order “to figure out the confrontation.

Conversation No. 584-003
Date: October 5, 1971
Time: 9:12 a.m. – 1:11 p.m.
Location: Oval Office
Participants: Nixon, Haldeman, John Connally, and Henry Kissinger

"Henry Kissinger is a war criminal," says firebrand journalist Christopher Hitchens. "He's a liar. And he's personally responsible for murder, for kidnapping, for torture."

What is Hitchens on about? He could be talking about the lawsuit currently under way in Washington DC, in which Kissinger is charged with having authorised the assassination of a Chilean general in 1970.

Or he could be referring to the secret bombing of Cambodia which, arguably, Kissinger engineered without the knowledge of the US Congress in 1969.

Or perhaps Kissinger's involvement in the sale of U.S. weapons to Indonesian President Suharto for use in the massacre of 1/3 of the population of East Timor in 1975.

These and several other recent charges have cast a haunting shadow on the reputation of a man long seen as the most famous diplomat of his age, the Nobel Laureate who secured peace in Vietnam, who secretly opened relations between the US and China, and who now, more than a quarter-century out of office, remains a central player on the world stage, only recently voted the number one public intellectual of the 20th century.

Featuring previously unseen footage, newly declassified US government documents, and revealing interviews with key insiders to the events in question, The Trials of Henry Kissinger examines the charges facing him, shedding light on a career long shrouded in secrecy. In part, it explores how a young boy who fled Nazi Germany grew up to become one of the most powerful men in US history and now, in the autumn of his life, one of its most disputed figures.

It is at once an unauthorised biography and a look at the sparks that fly when an honoured American statesman is charged with war crimes. The film tackles the question of whether principals of international law applied by Americans to their enemies are applicable to Americans, or whether these laws are only written for the losers of conflicts.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger in the courts of law and public opinion will begin to answer this question.

No comments:

Post a Comment