• Chile's economy was a classic case of a Latin American “dependency”—the export of copper was the mainstay of the Chilean economy. Politicians began to argue in the 1960s for a different kind of “national liberation,” a process to free themselves from this state of economic dependency rather than outright colonialism (which often had been achieved long before).

Salvadore Allende, a socialist, was elected president in 1970 by forming a broad coalition of leftist and radical groups called Unidad Popular.

  • Allende set about nationalizing Chilean industry, including the copper industry, and he supported workers' seizing factories, including foreign firms such as Ford.
  • He also carried out agrarian reform.
  • Allende faced increasing hostility from conservatives at home, the army, and the U.S.
  • On Sept. 11, 1973, Allende's presidential palace was bombarded by a military coup led by Augusto Pinochet with CIA support. Allende resisted but died in the effort.
  • Pinochet's military junta lasted until 1990; his government tortured over 40,000 Chileans who had supported Allende and 4,000 people “disappeared” altogether under Pinochet's rule.
Similar posts: