sandblower.net

Allende's Last Words

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On the day of the coup President Allende had an opportunity to make a final radio address to the nation as the chilean air force bombed the presidential palace, before soliders broke into the building and he was killed. I've been able to find bits and pieces of this translated into english, but the only complete english translation I was able to find on the internet was wildly inaccurate. I've taken the liberty of using my bad spanish to try to translate Allende's last words into english.

Corrections to the translation are much appreciated. Please send them to brian95060@yahoo.com.

An english translation

9:03 A.M. Radio Magallanes

The planes are passing overhead. They may bomb us. But I want them to know by our example that we are here, that there are men in this country who know how to fulfill their obligations. I will fulfill the obligation I was given by the mandate of the people, and by the mandate of a conscience of a president who has the honor of a position given to him by his people in free and democratic elections.

In the name of the most sacred interests of the people, in the name of the mother country, I call on you now to tell you to have faith. History does not stop with repression and crime. This is a stage that will be overcome. This is a hard and difficult moment: it is possible they will crush us. But tomorrow will belong to the people, will belong to the workers. Humanity advances to conquer a better life.

I will pay with my life for the defense of the principles that are dear to the mother country. Insults will fall on those who have broken their commitments, broken their word, broken the doctrine of the armed forces.

The people must be alert and vigilant. They must not let themselves be provoked, they must not let themselves be massacred, but they must defend what they have won. They must defend the right to use their efforts to build a dignified life, a better life.

9:10 A.M.

Certainly, this will be the last opportunity I will have to speak to you. The air force has bombarded the antenna of Radio Magallanes. My words are not filled with bitterness, but with disappointment. There will be a moral sanction for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile; so called commanders in chief; admiral Merino, self-appointed commander of the Navy; Mr Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday declared his faithfulness and loyalty to the government, who has also appointed himself head of the national police force. Faced with all these events, I can only say to the workers: I will not resign!

Placed in a moment of historical transition, I will pay with my life for my loyalty to the people. And I say to the people that the seed that we have brought to the dignified conscience of thousands upon thousands of chileans will not remain dry forever. They have the force, they will be able to dominate us, but they will not stop these social processes with crime or with force. History is ours, and the towns will make history.

Workers of my country, I want to thank you for the loyalty you have always had, the confidence that you put in a man who was only acting for the great yearning for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the constitution and the law, and who did it. In this defining moment, the last in which I can speak to you, I want to make the most of the lesson: foreign capital and imperialism, together with the reactionaries, created the climate in which the armed forces broke the tradition that was taught to them by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya. They were victims of the same social sector that today hopes to use someone else's hand to regain its power to continue defending its profits and privileges.

Above all, I speak to you, the humble woman of our land, the farm woman who believed in us, the mother who knew our concern for the children.

I speak to the professionals of my country, to the patriotic professionals who continued working against the sedition supported by the professional schools, the classist schools that defended the inequalities of a capitalist society.

I speak to the youth, to those who sang and brought joy and spirit to the fight. I speak to the man of chile, to the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, to those who will be persecuted, because fascism has already been in our country for some time; in the terrorist attacks, destroying the bridges, cutting the rail lines, cutting the water lines and the gas lines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to act.

They had a duty to fulfill. History will judge them.

Certainly Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm steel of my voice will no longer reach you. It doesn't matter. You will continue to hear it. I will always be with you. At least I will be remembered as a dignified man who was loyal to his country.

The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or bombarded, but neither can they be humiliated.

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and in its destiny. Other men will overcome this gray and bitter moment when treachery tries to prevail. Continue to know that sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again so that free men may pass to build a better society.

Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!

These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain. I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson against betrayal, cowardice, and treachery.

Santiago, Chile, September 11, 1973.

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The original spanish

I've copied this transcript from nodo50.org so that it can still be read here even if nodo50.org moves their copy.

9:03 A.M. Radio Magallanes

En estos momentos pasan los aviones. Es posible que nos acribillen. Pero que sepan que aquí estamos, por lo menos con nuestro ejemplo, que en este país hay hombres que saben cumplir con la obligación que tienen. Yo lo haré por mandato del pueblo y por mandato conciente de un Presidente que tiene la dignidad del cargo entregado por su pueblo en elecciones libres y democráticas.

En nombre de los más sagrados intereses del pueblo, en nombre de la Patria, los llamo a ustedes para decirles que tengan fe. La historia no se detiene ni con la represión ni con el crimen. Esta es una etapa que será superada. Este es un momento duro y difícil: es posible que nos aplasten. Pero el mañana será del pueblo, será de los trabajadores. La humanidad avanza para la conquista de una vida mejor.

Pagaré con mi vida la defensa de los principios que son caros a esta Patria. Caerá un baldón sobre aquellos que han vulnerado sus compromisos, faltando a su palabra... roto la doctrina de las Fuerzas Armadas.

El pueblo debe estar alerta y vigilante. No debe dejarse provocar, ni debe dejarse masacrar, pero también debe defender sus conquistas. Debe defender el derecho a construir con su esfuerzo una vida digna y mejor.

9:10 A.M.

Seguramente, ésta será la última oportunidad en que pueda dirigirme a ustedes. La Fuerza Aérea ha bombardeado las antenas de Radio Magallanes. Mis palabras no tienen amargura sino decepción Que sean ellas un castigo moral para quienes han traicionado su juramento: soldados de Chile, comandantes en jefe titulares, el almirante Merino, que se ha autodesignado comandante de la Armada, más el señor Mendoza, general rastrero que sólo ayer manifestara su fidelidad y lealtad al Gobierno, y que también se ha autodenominado Director General de carabineros. Ante estos hechos sólo me cabe decir a los trabajadores: ¡No voy a renunciar!

Colocado en un tránsito histórico, pagaré con mi vida la lealtad al pueblo. Y les digo que tengo la certeza de que la semilla que hemos entregado a la conciencia digna de miles y miles de chilenos, no podrá ser segada definitivamente. Tienen la fuerza, podrán avasallarnos, pero no se detienen los procesos sociales ni con el crimen ni con la fuerza. La historia es nuestra y la hacen los pueblos.

Trabajadores de mi Patria: quiero agradecerles la lealtad que siempre tuvieron, la confianza que depositaron en un hombre que sólo fue intérprete de grandes anhelos de justicia, que empeño su palabra en que respetaría la Constitución y la ley, y así lo hizo. En este momento definitivo, el último en que yo pueda dirigirme a ustedes, quiero que aprovechen la lección: el capital foráneo, el imperialismo, unidos a la reaccióncrearon el clima para que las Fuerzas Armadas rompieran su tradición, la que les enseñara el general Schneider y reafirmara el comandante Araya, victimas del mismo sector social que hoy estará esperando con mano ajena, reconquistar el poder para seguir defendiendo sus granjerías y sus privilegios.

Me dirijo a ustedes, sobre todo a la modesta mujer de nuestra tierra, a la campesina que creyó en nosotros, a la madre que supo de nuestra preocupación por los niños. Me dirijo a los profesionales de la Patria, a los profesionales patriotas que siguieron trabajando contra la sedición auspiciada por los colegios profesionales, colegios clasistas que defendieron también las ventajas de una sociedad capitalista.

Me dirijo a la juventud, a aquellos que cantaron y entregaron su alegría y su espíritu de lucha. Me dirijo al hombre de Chile, al obrero, al campesino, al intelectual, a aquellos que serán perseguidos, porque en nuestro país el fascismo ya estuvo hace muchas horas presente; en los atentados terroristas, volando los puentes, cortando las vías férreas, destruyendo lo oleoductos y los gaseoductos, frente al silencio de quienes tenían la obligación de proceder.

Estaban comprometidos. La historia los juzgará.

Seguramente Radio Magallanes será acallada y el metal tranquilo de mi voz ya no llegará a ustedes. No importa. La seguirán oyendo. Siempre estaré junto a ustedes. Por lo menos mi recuerdo será el de un hombre digno que fue leal con la Patria.

El pueblo debe defenderse, pero no sacrificarse. El pueblo no debe dejarse arrasar ni acribillar, pero tampoco puede humillarse.

Trabajadores de mi Patria, tengo fe en Chile y su destino. Superarán otros hombres este momento gris y amargo en el que la traición pretende imponerse. Sigan ustedes sabiendo que, mucho más temprano que tarde, de nuevo se abrirán las grandes alamedas por donde pase el hombre libre, para construir una sociedad mejor.

¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!

Estas son mis últimas palabras y tengo la certeza de que mi sacrificio no será en vano, tengo la certeza de que, por lo menos, será una lección moral que castigará la felonía, la cobardía y la traición.

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