Salvador Allende’s 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.
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
Dernier discours de Salvador Allende
Enregistrement du dernier discours du président Salvador Allende sur Radio Magallanes, le 11 septembre 1973, à partir de 9h10.
Las últimas palabras de Salvador Allende al pueblo hace 40 años
“Estas son mis últimas palabras y tengo la certeza de que mi sacrificio no será en vano, tengo la certeza de que, por lo menos, será una lección moral que castigará la felonía, la cobardía y la traición” Salvador Allende
“Seguramente ésta será la última oportunidad en que pueda dirigirme a ustedes. La Fuerza Aérea ha bombardeado las torres de Radio Postales y Radio Corporación. Mis palabras no tienen amargura sino decepción Que sean ellas el castigo moral para los que han traicionado el juramento que hicieron: soldados de Chile, comandantes en jefe titulares, el almirante Merino, que se ha autodesignado comandante de la Armada, más el señor Mendoza, general rastrero que sólo ayer manifestara su fidelidad y lealtad al Gobierno, y que también se ha autodenominado Director General de carabineros. Ante estos hechos sólo me cabe decir a los trabajadores: ¡Yo no voy a renunciar! Colocado en un tránsito histórico, pagaré con mi vida la lealtad del pueblo. Y les digo que tengo la certeza de que la semilla que hemos entregado a la conciencia digna de miles y miles de chilenos, no podrá ser segada definitivamente. Tienen la fuerza, podrán avasallarnos, pero no se detienen los procesos sociales ni con el crimen ni con la fuerza. La historia es nuestra y la hacen los pueblos.
Trabajadores de mi Patria: quiero agradecerles la lealtad que siempre tuvieron, la confianza que depositaron en un hombre que sólo fue intérprete de grandes anhelos de justicia, que empeñó su palabra en que respetaría la Constitución y la ley, y así lo hizo. En este momento definitivo, el último en que yo pueda dirigirme a ustedes, quiero que aprovechen la lección: el capital foráneo, el imperialismo, unidos a la reacción, creó el clima para que las Fuerzas Armadas rompieran su tradición, la que les enseñara el general Schneider y reafirmara el comandante Araya, víctimas del mismo sector social que hoy estará en sus casas esperando con mano ajena reconquistar el poder para seguir defendiendo sus granjerías y sus privilegios.
Me dirijo, sobre todo, a la modesta mujer de nuestra tierra, a la campesina que creyó en nosotros, a la abuela que trabajó más, a la madre que supo de nuestra preocupación por los niños. Me dirijo a los profesionales de la Patria, a los profesionales patriotas que siguieron trabajando contra la sedición auspiciada por los colegios profesionales, colegios de clases para defender también las ventajas de una sociedad capitalista de unos pocos.
Me dirijo a la juventud, a aquellos que cantaron y entregaron su alegría y su espíritu de lucha. Me dirijo al hombre de Chile, al obrero, al campesino, al intelectual, a aquellos que serán perseguidos, porque en nuestro país el fascismo ya estuvo hace muchas horas presente; en los atentados terroristas, volando los puentes, cortando las vías férreas, destruyendo lo oleoductos y los gaseoductos, frente al silencio de quienes tenían la obligación de proceder. Estaban comprometidos. La historia los juzgará.
Seguramente Radio Magallanes será acallada y el metal tranquilo de mi voz ya no llegará a ustedes. No importa. La seguirán oyendo. Siempre estaré junto a ustedes. Por lo menos mi recuerdo será el de un hombre digno que fue leal con la Patria.
El pueblo debe defenderse, pero no sacrificarse. El pueblo no debe dejarse arrasar ni acribillar, pero tampoco puede humillarse.
Trabajadores de mi Patria, tengo fe en Chile y su destino. Superarán otros hombres este momento gris y amargo en el que la traición pretende imponerse. Sigan ustedes sabiendo que, mucho más temprano que tarde, de nuevo se abrirán las grandes alamedas por donde pase el hombre libre, para construir una sociedad mejor.
¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!
Estas son mis últimas palabras y tengo la certeza de que mi sacrificio no será en vano, tengo la certeza de que, por lo menos, será una lección moral que castigará la felonía, la cobardía y la traición”.
Fuente: Prensa Rural
Allende was an example of resistance and courage
CIENFUEGOS.—When student leader Luis Renato González Córdova was given the responsibility of forming part of President Salvador Allende’s bodyguard, known as the Personal Friends Group (GAP), he was only 19 years of age, but it was a position he really wanted, given his affection and respect for the leader of Popular Unity.
Explaining how he joined the bodyguard at such a young age, he said, “My grandfather, Juan González, was a founding member of the Socialist Party and all of our family of working class origin were members. In addition to being trustworthy, I was educated and very discreet, practiced kung-fu and knew about weapons. That made me a suitable candidate.”
On September 11, 1973, Eladio – Luis Renato’s combat name – began his turn of duty at the presidential residence on Tomás Moro 200, at 6:00am. He was to remain there until 9:00am.
“Early on, there was an alarm call, but my compañeros and I had orders not to wake the Doctor [Allende], who had been in a meeting until very late the previous night. There was talk of a possible coup, but initially not much attention was paid to that, because there had been various alarms of that kind before. Afterward, things changed,” he recalled.
After Police General Jorge Urrutia communicated with Allende and informed him of the real situation, the President gave orders and the garrison chief assigned Eladio to Allende’s personal escort, to depart rapidly for La Moneda. He was one of 16 bodyguards who took part in the action within the presidential palace.
“When we got there, the chief called us in for a meeting, talked to us, and thanked us for being there with him, in what was a devious coup d’état by the military in conspiracy with Washington. He was aware of the danger of remaining there and gave us the option to decline and leave. Nobody left. He did make clear his intention of remaining on war footing until the end.”
In the middle of the attack and the aerial bombardment, Allende continued giving instructions and showing concern for the condition of those defending him. He wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, González affirmed.
“However, the figure democratically elected by the masses, always calm and in control of the situation, fought gallantly; he exposed himself to the bullets in defense of the palace and even fired a bazooka.”
After a battle in which, with tremendous resistance and courage, just a few people were capable of standing up to a military force eminently more powerful (Sherman tanks, 75mm non-recoil cannons mounted on jeeps, hunter aircraft and 200 troops from two regiments), the coup perpetrators entered La Moneda and detained the GAP members with kicks and savage blows. “I did not witness Allende’s final moment,” González stated.
So much happened afterward to that young man that it was almost like a film set: in the central command post, where he was transferred for some strange reason, he passed himself off as an orderly and escaped his captors. After a brief stay in a safe house, he sought asylum in the Mexican embassy.
He subsequently moved into a long period of exile between Mexico and, in particular, Cuba, which he made his second homeland. “I lived for 30 years in Cienfuegos, where I worked for the Multi-Crop and Glucose Enterprise and had my son Iván.” After the 1988 referendum victory, rejecting the continuing rule of dictator Pinochet, he returned to Chile.
Luis Renato is one of four living former members of the GAP (Two are in Chile, another in France. After the assault on La Moneda Palace many were detained and subsequently assassinated) He returned to his country, but a kidney disorder prompted his son to bring him back to Cuba.
Some months ago, he returned to Cienfuegos, where he was successfully treated in the Nephrology Unit of the Dr. Gustavo Aldereguía Lima Provincial Hospital, and now lives a normal life with his son Iván and two grandchildren.
On the 40th anniversary of the death of the Chilean President, Luis Renato emphasized Allende’s beautiful friendship with Fidel, and the everlasting value of his example. “His work was not destroyed, because his ideals live on. The grand poplar-lined avenues of Latin America are opening and peoples are speaking up.”
September 11 is a date marked by violence and sorrow in the minds of many around the world. For Chileans, it is doubly so, because on that day, in 1973, the country’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende was overthrown in a brutal military coup. What followed were years of repression, torture, forced disappearance, fear and for many Chileans, exile. This is the story of what happened in Chile, and the secret part Australia played.