Chile's Road to Socialism


CHAPTER 21

International Policy

First annual message to Congress
Santiago, 21 May 1971

The same principles which govern our internal policy govern the foreign policy of our country. In accordance with the United Nations Charter our country fully supports the policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of another state, of juridical equality for all states, of respect for their sovereignty and right to self-determination. The aims of the foreign policy of my government, in bilateral as well as in multilateral relations, is directed towards the consolidation of peace and international co-operation. Consequently, Chile has established diplomatic relations with more countries. Our first decision, taken in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the Chilean people, was to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, a country which has been most unjustly sanctioned. We have established diplomatic and commercial relations also with China, Nigeria and the German Democratic Republic. We have also set up commercial relations with the Democratic Republic of Korea and with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Within the context of Latin America we have supported the reduction of armaments at the OAS.

Chile collaborated on the 'Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations' which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations towards the end of last year. Likewise we have subscribed to the programme of activities to apply the 'Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples' and we have taken part in formulating an international plan for the 'Second UN Development Decade'.

Our struggle against underdevelopment and dependence on foreign hegemony places Chile in a community of interests shared by other countries in Asia and Africa. Because of this it is the decision of the Unidad Popular government to play an active role in that group of nations known as 'non-aligned', and to participate in their deliberations and their agreements. Our universalist view of the United Nations leads us to vote in favour of the recognition of the legitimate rights of the People's Republic of China. Our respect for the independence of nations requires us to condemn the war in Vietnam, and its extension to Laos and Cambodia.

It is my government's decision to maintain friendly and co-operative relations with the United States. We have pledged ourselves to create an atmosphere of understanding of our situation in which no conflicts or petty issues prejudice the friendly negotiation of solutions to any problems that may arise. We are confident that this realistic and friendly attitude will find a response in the people and the government of the United States.

Our voice as an independent nation has been raised with respect for all nations, with the dignity of men who speak on behalf of a dignified country. That is how we spoke at CEPAL and at CIAP [1] and at all specialist conferences where our representatives have communicated the opinions of Chile.

We have stressed the severe crisis through which the inter-American system and its organ, the OAS, is passing. This system is based upon the myth that all its members are equal, whereas in reality inequality is an absolute and established fact, and the marked imbalance of power to the advantage of the United States supports the more powerful states at the expense of the weaker. This belongs to a global context of dependence whose negative effects are felt on all levels. The present crisis of the dollar, arising from the internal and external policies of the United States, certainly threatens the countries of advanced industrial capitalism: but it will rebound in a much more harmful form onto the economies of Latin American countries. As monetary reserves are reduced so there will be a proportional diminution of credit and a restriction of commercial relations.

That is why we insist that it is necessary to maintain the multilateral character of international finance organizations, outside of any political pressures. The member countries of those institutions cannot be challenged as to their right to choose whatever form of government they wish. And the international institutions of finance cannot be permitted to be the instrument of powerful countries against the weak. To exert direct or indirect pressure in order to create obstacles to the financing of technically suitable projects is to debase the proclaimed purposes of these organisms, and it is an oblique way of interfering in the internal life of those countries and of damaging the interests of their people.

Our efforts to broaden and strengthen our relations on all fronts with the people of Western Europe have aroused great interest. The increase in exchanges and collaboration with socialist countries is viewed by my government as much as a proper means of channelling our interests and stimulating our economic, technical, scientific and cultural progress as a way of showing solidarity with the working classes of the whole world.

Latin America is suffering from a condition of subjection which its states have been unable to alter because they have used the traditional and unworkable formulae. For some time Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile have been trying to substitute for these formulae new ones which, by means of sub-regional integration, might make possible the smooth development of our resources for the benefit of our common objectives. The Andean Pact represents an exemplary enterprise to which the government of Unidad Popular will dedicate its utmost efforts. This we demonstrated in Lima and at Bogota.

My government lays special importance on maintaining the best relations with our sister states in this continent. It is our basic aim to emphasize all that will establish a lasting friendship with the Republic of Argentina, and to overcome any obstacle that might arise in the way of achieving this objective. The anomalous nature of our relationship with the Republic of Bolivia contradicts the aspirations of both peoples, but we for our part will do our utmost to bring things back to normal.


Notes:

1. Inter-American Council of the Alliance for Progress.


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