On Chile


Stanley Plastrik’s generally excellent article on the Chilean tragedy, in your Winter 1974 issue, characterized Unidad Popular’s vote of 43 percent in the 1973 legislative elections as its peak. Actually, a year after the 1970 election of Allende, Unidad Popular obtained 49 percent in nationwide municipal elections. During that first year, the real wages of the majority of the population increased substantially, though partly as a result of methods that later contributed to the inflation. However, by 1973 all but the inhabitants of the poblaciones had suffered a substantial decline in living levels. Under these circumstances the 43 percent result showed that a much broader stratum of workers besides the slum dwellers was still voting for the Left coalition, no longer partly for short-term economic reasons, but strictly out of identification with the first regime that really represented them.


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