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Interview with Salvador Allende Gossens
Hello Mr Allende! Thank you for your time to talk with us. Please start with telling us your family backround!
I was born on 26th June 1908 in Valparaiso to an upper class Chilean family that had a long tradition of political involvement. I was not only involved in politics; I started as a physician and had a medical degree.
Well, you played an important role in politics. Can you tell us about your political carreer?
In 1933 I helped founding the Chilean Socialist Party called “Unidad Popular”, a “marxist” organization. I became senator, deputy and later cabinet minister. I know that I was a lonely figure in politics and was not popular with many sectors of my own party. You know, they reluctantly recognized that I was the only credible presidential candidate that we had. My personal relations with members of other parties were better than those of many of my colleagues. And they viewed with suspicion on my obvious liking of the good life, and the ease with which I circulated in elite circles. But you understand that, right? I mean who does not enjoy good life? (laughing)
Sure. You became president of Chile in 1970. What were your goals, your dreams or your beliefs for our country?
Well, after working 40 years in politics and failing to become president in 1952, 1958 and 1964, I finally won the elections in 1970. My goals as the new president of Chile were to nationalize the commanding heights of the economy, implement a massive program of income distribution and end the dominance of the large farms. I also wanted to transform the political system through the creation of a unicameral legislature. My dream was to develop popular participation in the running of the economy, the political and legal system and pursue an independent foreign policy. But we had one big problem: In order to accomplish these goals the UP had to have a majority in congress, but this was not the case. In the senate we had 18 seats but the...
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