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But context is important here. One of the problems with Allende, IMO, is that 'Communist', in the US vernacular of the time and really to this day, to some extent, meant 'Leninist' - people who did not believe in 'the will of the people' and who, once in power, never considered not using force to remain. Once they are in they have to be overthrown. Very few US citizens had much idea of what French or Italian Communists Parties were about, but they certainly were not seizing power and never relinquishing it. And in the USA being a Communist meant being blacklisted, etc. Perhaps one could get a job for Harry Bridges - if they were good at their job.

As best as I can tell, Allende never intended and was never in the position to usurp constitutional power by force and maintain his grip on power for life - though that was how he was portrayed and perceived by most US citizens. Chile had the oldest functioning representative democracy in South America and Allende won his election by getting the most votes. Chile's military, on the other hand, held attitudes that would have been quite appropriate in Franco's Spain. More than anything, Allende was naive, and that is what led to his death and the death of much of Chile's intellectual elite, of whom my friends had been two.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2017 at 04:58:40 PM EST
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