Chile's Road to Socialism


CHAPTER 10

President of Unidad Popular

Speech at the theatre of the Copper-Workers' Union
Chuquicamata, 21 February 1971

The programme which we propose is authentically Chilean. The strategy we have adopted is our own. This programme is not the programme of the Socialist Party, or the Communist Party, or the Radical Party, or the Social Democrat Party, nor of the API or the MAPU movements. Likewise, I have said that I am not the President of the Socialist Party, I am the President of Unidad Popular. That is what I have said, and this has provoked malicious and stupid criticisms to the effect that I am not the President of all the Chileans, either from the strictly political or the policy point of view.

As I have said before, it is my duty, and nothing shall hold me from it, to defend peace and progress and the rights of all Chileans, whatever their political affiliations. It is my duty to guarantee individual freedom, the right to organize, to make propaganda, to form unions, as it is my duty to guarantee absolute freedom of expression. Criticism made from an objective standpoint not only does not disturb me, it is necessary to me, for there is no government that does not make mistakes. The problem is to correct errors and accept criticism that is made on a sound and objective basis.

Of course I have also declared that I am not the President of the dealers and the speculators, of mercenaries and murderers, of the anti-patriots who have abandoned Chile, taking their money with them, and who are now plotting against us from Mendoza, Cordoba and Buenos Aires. I am far from being their President in the political sense.

How can I be the President, in that sense, of the murderers of General Schneider? Certainly I am not, and those who attack me are distorting my words and maliciously seeking to influence the mass of the people, the middle classes, and the less politicized sectors.

But the country knows what I stand for. Above all it knows I shall be a President of all the people, here to carry out the programme of Unidad Popular.


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