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She described late President Salvador Allende as a social fighter and an interpreter of the desires for social justice.
On Monday, Chileans remember the 50th anniversary of the coup d'état against President Salvador Allende, who died in the La Moneda Palace during the attack carried out by the military forces commanded by General Augusto Pinochet.
"Memory is a first step to reach the truth but we need much more to reach justice and ensure the non-repetition of the events of that day. Therefore, I subscribe to the motto that memory is democracy and the future," said Isabel Allende, an 81-year-old senator who is the daughter of the Socialist leader assassinated by the U.S.-backed dictatorship on Sept. 11, 1973.
She described her father as a "social fighter" and an "interpreter of the desires for social justice" and recalled some of the policies implemented by the Popular Unity Government, such as the fight against child malnutrition and the deepening of the agrarian reform.
"I was the last person from my father's entourage to enter the palace that day. We had a mandate to tell: what happened, what the Popular Unity meant, and also the barbarism that was beginning to be imposed," said Allende, who said she does not forget his father's last hug.
#OtD 11 Sep 1973 right-wing general Pinochet launched a coup against the elected left-wing government in Chile of Salvador Allende. Backed by the US and UK, Pinochet went on to torture, jail and kill 10,000s of working-class activists https://t.co/H5BesIZVeXpic.twitter.com/pJYqz0UQuk
The 1973 coup began a cruel 17-year dictatorship, which left more than 40,000 victims, including more than 3,200 executed, of which a thousand are still missing.
The commemoration of the coup's anniversary is generating great polarization in Chile to the point that right-wing political forces declined to participate in the official events.
The Independent Democratic Union (UDI), one of the parties sponsored by the Pinochet dictatorship, published a statement indicating that the coup was "inevitable" because the Allende administration prompted a "social, political, and institutional breakdown."
Senator Allende accused the right-wing politicians of trying to "distort the facts and blame Allende and Popular Unity" for the coup. She also thanked Mexico and Cuba for giving asylum to her family after the death of her father.
"The coup was a crime and there is no context that legitimizes the dispossession of the popular will. I understand that there may be many interpretations, but never again should a coup d'état be the consensus of all political forces," Allende stressed.
#OnThisDay | On September 11, 1973, a democratically elected Socialist/Marxist government led by President Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown in a military coup that the CIA admitted later that it had engineered. pic.twitter.com/8eO0DRcgDP