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FIR NEWS: 45 years of solidarity with Chile – even today

9/11 – 9 September is a date of American history in two perspectives. Not only is it the day the New York Twin Towers were attacked, it is also the day 45 years ago, September 9, 1973, when Socialist and Chilean President Allende was overthrown by a coup d’état and has been killed. This coup was prepared and organized by the American secret service CIA and carried out by the Chilean general Pinochet.

With this day, a new chapter of international solidarity work began for the FIR and its affiliates. With clear political declarations, the anti-fascist associations condemned this fascist military coup. The coup led to an intense debate as to whether and under what conditions the establishment of a fascist dictatorship against the advance of socialist movements would be possible today. The Franco dictatorship still existed, the experiences with the Greek military junta were also current and now – with the support of the US secret service – a military dictatorship was to protect the interests of the big US monopolies.

At the same time, the FIR and its affiliates supported the various Chilean Solidarity Committees that had been formed around the world to look after politically-persecuted Chileans in exile, but also in the country itself. In a political campaign, the FIR and the associations demanded “freedom for Luis Corvalan and all political prisoners”. They participated in impressive concerts with Chilean artists such as Inti Illimani and Quilapayun, who popularized songs by Victor Jara and other plays in Europe. Such concerts in various European countries in East and West were emotional highlights of the solidarity movement. Of course, the solidarity movement in the 17 years of dictatorship was not always the same. But the end of Pinochet rule in 1990 was celebrated by all anti-fascists.

To date, however, there is a lack of political and legal work-up. The attempt to impeach Pinochet himself for the crimes failed and ended with his death in 2006. But also other persons responsible for human rights violations remained untouched. Not only is the Chilean Association of Former Political Prisoners fighting for a political rehabilitation of the persecuted and a social reparation for the victims of fascist barbarism. On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the fascist coup, the FIR supports this concern of all Chilean democrats – in the country itself and in exile.