Salvador Allende

Salvador Allende

Salvador Allende Gossens (; 26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean physician and politician, known as the first Marxist to become president of a Latin American country through open elections.

Allende's involvement in Chilean political life spanned a period of nearly forty years. As a member of the Socialist Party, he was a senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency in a close three-way race, formally elected by Congress as no candidate had gained a majority.

As president, Allende adopted a policy of nationalization of industries and collectivization; due to these and other factors, increasingly strained relations between him and the legislative and judicial branches of the Chilean government (which did not share his enthusiasm for Sovietization of Chile) eventually culminated in an impeachment resolution authorizing his removal. On 11 September 1973, the military, acting upon said authorization, moved to oust Allende. As troops surrounded La Moneda Palace, Allende gave his last speech vowing not to resign, and then committed suicide.

Following Allende's deposement, army General Augusto Pinochet declined to return authority to the civilian government; and Chile became a military junta.

Read more about Salvador Allende:  Early Life, Relationship With The Chilean Communist Party, Election, Presidency, Foreign Relations During Allende's Presidency, Crisis, The Coup, Family, Memorials