PRESIDENT SALVADOR ALLENDE’S FAREWELL SPEECH
over Radio Magallenes, September 11, 1973
Surely this will be the last opportunity I will have to address myself to you. The air force has bombed the towers of Radio Portales and Radio Corporacion. My words do not come out of bitterness, but rather deception, that they may be the moral punishment for those who betrayed the oath they took as soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief … Admiral Merino, who has self-designated himself commander of the armada … Mr. Mendoza, the callous general who only yesterday declared his loyalty to the government, has been named director-general of the carabineros [Chilean National Police].
In the face of these facts, the only thing left for me to say to the workers: I will not resign! Placed in a historical transition, I will pay with my life for the loyalty of the People. I say to you that I have the assurance that the seed that we plant in the dignified consciousnesses of thousands and thousands of Chileans cannot be forever crushed.
They have the power, they can smash us, but the social processes are not detained, neither with crimes, nor with power. History is ours, and the People will make it.
Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty which you always have shown, the trust which you placed in a man who was only the interpreter of the great desires of justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law, and that I did.
In this definitive moment, the last thing which I can say to you is that I hope you will learn this lesson: foreign capital, imperialism united with reaction, created the climate for the armed forces to break with their tradition, that of General Schneider, and which Commander Araya reaffirmed, a victim of the same social sector which today finds them in their houses, waiting to retake power, by strange hands, to continue defending their huge estates and privileges.
I address myself above all to the modest woman of our land, to the peasant woman who believed in us, to the working woman who worked more, to the mother who knew of our concern for her children. I address myself to the professionals, to those who were working against the auspicious sedition carried out by the professional schools, schools of class which also defend the advantages which capitalist society gives them.
I address myself to the youth, to those who sang, who gave their joy and spirit to the struggle. I address myself to the Chilean man: to the worker, the peasant, the intellectual, to those who will be persecuted because fascism has already been present in our country for many hours: those terrorist actions which blew up bridges, cutting railway lines, destroying oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation of pronouncing themselves. History will judge them.
Probably Radio Magallenes will be silenced, and the calm metal of my voice will not reach you: it does not matter. You will continue to hear me, I will always be beside you or at least my memory will be that of dignified man, that of a man who was loyal. Workers of my country: I have faith in Chile and in her destiny. Other men will overcome this grey and bitter moment where treason tries to impose itself. May you continue to know that much sooner than later the great avenues through which free men will pass to build a better society will open.
Long live Chile! Long live the People! Long live the Workers!; these are my last words. I am sure that my sacrifice will not be in vain; I am sure that it will at least be a moral lesson which will punish felony, cowardice and treason.
Translated from the Spanish by the Common Front For Latin America (COFFLA)