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New Left Review I/238, November-December 1999


Manuel Riesco

Chile, a Quarter of a Century on

A quarter of a century has passed since the Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown and died a violent death, while still remaining loyal to his people and his country to the end. A us-supported military coup put an end to the revolutionary period that crowned a decade of profound social reforms, during the 1960s and early 1970s, under the democratic governments of Eduardo Frei Montalva and Salvador Allende. The world is quite familiar with the ensuing long seventeen years of murderous military dictatorship, headed by Pinochet. A generalized popular protest, followed by defeat in a 1988 plebiscite, put an end to Pinochet’s rule. Two democratic presidents, Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, have presided through the 1990s over a slow and still unfinished transition to democracy.

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