Festive Left Friday Blogging: Happy 106th, Mr. President


Hard to believe this guy is already 106 years young. And that he’s been gone for the last 40 of them. But his memory lives on, and the Chilean internets are determined to keep it shining brightly:

On the 106th anniversary of his birth, more than 25 official speeches by the late Chilean president, Salvador Allende, can be seen by internet users on the non-profit website, Wikimedia Chile.

The martyred president was born in Santiago, Chile, on June 26, 1908.

According to a press release by the organization, the project, known as “Official Speeches of Salvador Allende”, is now in the second phase of transcription and digitalization.

The objective of the project is to make known the legacy Allende left to the Chilean people. “Saving the transcriptions of his official speeches has become an important goal for everyone in the working group,” says the release.

In the second semester of the current year, Chilean investigators will begin a third step with each of the parliamentary sessions Allende held as head of state.

Currently, the Salvador Allende Foundation has some 280 speeches by the late dignitary, which are for the most part typewritten and printed on very old paper.

“Patrimonial rescue is the task of a culture or civilization which avoids losing its memory and wants to preserve its legacy for posterity,” assures Wikimedia Chile on its blog.

Translation mine.

The speech of Allende’s that impresses me the most is the very last one he gave, over radio, as a fascist military putsch (enabled, backed, armed and financed by Washington) was going down, and air-force bombers were strafing the Moneda palace. He doesn’t sound suicidal, but rather determined to fight those bastards to the death: clear, calm, even optimistic. He probably knew he was doomed, but he still had faith in his country and its people. And that faith is being justified. While Pinochet’s dead dictatorial hand slowly releases its evil grip, Chileans are rescuing their country’s real history…and with it, the memory of a man who was more popular in his short rule than his enemy ever was during his much-too-long one.

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