Salvador Allende.-Speech to the United Nations-
4 December 1972 (excerpts)
*THE REVOLUTIONARY PATH THAT CHILE IS FOLLOWING
*THE FINANCIAL BLOCKADE
*CHILE ATTACKED BY TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES
*THE PHENOMENON OF THE TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS
*THE COUNTRIES OF THE THIRD WORLD
*LATIN AMERICA AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT
*CHILE IS NOT ALONE
The Chilean president, Salvador Allende, delivered a dramatic
speech to the UN General Assembly, in New York, on 4 December
1972, exposing U.S. transnational corporations, the U.S.
government and other centres for international capital, and
the Chilean oligarchy, as being engaged in bringing Chile to the
brink of civil war by an economic blockade that deprived his
Government of the commercial credits and financial help needed
to keep it going. Nine months later, 11 September 1973, the
Chilean president was assassinated by the army (the coup
d'etat was supported by U.S. transnational corporations, the U.S.
government and other centres for international capital, and
the Chilean oligarchy) and thus the Chilean democratic system was
replaced by a brutal right-wing military junta which ruled Chile
until 1990, when the Army step aside giving way to a "guarded
democracy". ( To examine this period in depth, read R. Rojas,
"The Murder of Allende and the end of the Chilean way to
socialism", Harper&Row, New York, 1975)
Salvador Allende's speech is a historical document which scholars
should read when trying to understand what kind of reality is
faced by societies struggling for development in a context where
national strategies are brutally constrained by "international
forces". These forces being grouped under banners like "defense
of the democratic system" during the Cold War, or "market forces"/
"globalization" in the post-Cold War era. In this excerpts of
Salvador Allende's speech the "international forces" are very
well individualized...there is no difference between those
forces in 1972 and now, in the 1990s... (Robinson Rojas Sandford)
Salvador Allende.-Speech to the United Nations-4 December 1972 (excerpts)
I come from Chile, a small country but one where today any citizen
is free to express himself as he so desires. A country of unlimited
cultural, religious and ideological tolerance and where there is no
room for racial discrimination. A country with its working class
united in a single trade union organization, where universal and
secret sufrage is the vehicle of determination of a multiparty
regime, with a Parliament that has been operating constantly since
it was created 160 years ago; where the courts of justice are
independent of the executive and where the constitution has only
been changed once since 1833, and has almost always been in effect.
A country where public life is organized in civilian institutions
and where the armed forces are of a proven professional background
and deep democratic spirit. A country with a population of almost
10,000,000 people that in one generation has had two first-place
Nobel Prize winners in literature, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo
Neruda, both children of simple workers. In my country, history,
land and man are united in a great national feeling.
But Chile is also a country whose retarded economy has been subjected
and even alienated to foreign capitalists firms, resulting in a
foreign debt of more than US$ 4,000 million whose yearly services
represent more than 30 per cent of the value of the country's exports;
whose economy is extremely sensitive to the external situation,
suffering from chronic stagnation and inflation; and where millions
of people have been forced to live amidst conditions of exploitation
and misery, of open or concealed unemployment.
Today I have come because my country is confronting problems of
universal significance that are the object of the permanent attention
of this assembly of nations: the struggle for social liberation, the
effort for well-being and intellectual progress and the defence of
national identity and dignity.
The outlook which faced my country, just like many other countries of
the Third World, was a model of reflex modernization, which, as
technical studies and the most tragic realities demonstrate, excludes
from the possibilities of progress, well being and social liberation
more and more millions of people, destining them to a subhuman life.
It is a model that will produce a greater shortage of housing, that
will condemn an ever-greater number of citizens to unemployment,
illiteracy, ignorance and physiological misery.
In short, the same perspective that has kept us in a relationship of
colonization or dependency and exploitation in times of cold war,
has also operated in times of military conflict or in times of peace.
There is an attempt to condemn us, the underdeveloped countries, to
being second-class realities, always subordinated.
This is the model that the Chilean working class, coming on the scene
as protagonist of its own destiny, has decided to reject, searching
in turn for a speedy, autonomous development of its own, and
transforming the traditional structures in a revolutionary manner.
The people of Chile have won the Government after a long road of
generous sacrifices, and it is fully involved in the task of installing
economic democracy so that productive activity will operate in
response to needs and social expectations and not in the interests of
individual profit. In a programmed and coherent manner, the old
structure, based on the exploitation of the workers and the domination
of the main means of production by a minority, is being overcome. It is
being replaced by a new structure -led by the workers and placed at the
service of the interests of the majority- which is laying the foundations
for a growth that will represent real development, that will include all
the population and not cast aside vast sectors of the people and doom
them to poverty and to being social outcasts.
The workers are driving the privileged sectors from political and
economic power, both in the centres of labour as well as in the communes
and in the state. This is the revolutionary content of the process my
country is going through for overcoming the capitalist system and
opening the way for a socialist one.
The need to place all our economic resources at the service of the
enormous needs of the people went hand in hand with Chile's regaining
of its dignity. We had to end the situation as a result of which we
Chileans, plagued by poverty and stagnation, had to export huge sums
of capital for the benefit of the world's most powerful market economy.
The nationalization of basic resources constitutes an historic demand.
Our economy could no longer tolerate the subordination implied by
having more than 80 per cent of its exports in the hands of a small
group of large foreign companies that have always put their interests
before those of the countries in which they make profits. Neither could
we accept the curse of the latifundium, the industrial and trade
monopolies, credit for just a few and brutal inequality in the
distribution of income.
THE REVOLUTIONARY PATH THAT CHILE IS FOLLOWING
The change in the power structure that we are carrying out, the
progressive leadership role of the workers in it, the national recovery
of basic riches, the liberation of our country from subordination to
foreign powers, are all crowning points of a long historical process;
of efforts to impose political and social freedoms, of heroic struggle
of several generations of workers and farmers to organize themselves
as a social force to obtain political power and drive the capitalists
from economic power.
Its tradition, personality and revolutionary awareness make it possible
for the Chilean people to give a boost to the process towards socialism,
strengthening civic liberties, collective and individual, and respecting
cultural and ideological pluralism. Ours is a permanent battle to
install social freedoms and economic democracy through full exercise of
The democratic will of our people has taken upon itself the challenge
of giving a boost to the revolutionary process in the framework of a
highly institutionalized state of law, that has been flexible to
changes and is today faced by the need to adjust to the new socio-
We have nationalized basic riches, we have nationalized copper, we
have done so by a unanimous decision of Parliament, where the
government parties are in a minority. We want everyone to clearly
understand that we have not confiscated the large foreign copper mining
firms. In keeping with constitutional provisions, we have righted a
historic injustice by deducting from the compensation all profits above
12 per cent a year that they had made since 1955.
Some of the nationalized firms had made such huge profits in the last
15 years that when 12 per cent a year was applied as the limit of
reasonable profits, they were affected by important deductions. Such
is the case, for example, of a branch of the Anaconda Company, which
made profits in Chile of 21.5 per cent a year over its book value
between 1955 and 1970, while Anaconda's profits in other countries were
only 3.6 per cent a year. That is the situation of a branch of the
Kennecott Copper Corporation, which in the same period of time, made an
average of 52.8 per cent profits a year in Chile -and in some years it
made really incredible profits like 106 per cent in 1967, 113 per cent
in 1968 and more than 205 per cent in 1969. In the same period of time,
Kennecott was making less than 10 per cent a year in profits in other
countries. However, the application of the constitutional norm has kept
other copper firms from suffering deductions because their profits did
not exceed the reasonable limit of 12 per cent a year.
We should point out that in the years just before the nationalization,
the large copper firms had started expansion plans, which have failed
in large measure and to which they did not contribute their own
resources, in spite of the huge profits they made, and which they
financed through foreign credits. In keeping with legal ruling, the
Chilean state must take charge of these debts that reach the enormous
figure of more than US$ 727 million. We have even started to pay debts
that one of those firms had with Kennecott, its parent company in the
These same firms that exploited Chilean copper for many years made more
than US$ 4,000 million in profits in the last 42 years alone, while
their initial investments were less than US$ 30 million. A simple and
painful example, an acute contrast: in my country there are 600,000
children who can never enjoy life in normally human terms, because in
the first eight months of their existence they did not receive the
elementary amount of proteins. My country, Chile, would have been
totally transformed by these US$ 4,000 million. Only a small part of
this amount would assure proteins for all the children in my country
once and for all.
The nationalization of copper has been carried out while strictly
observing internal judicial order and with respect for the norms of
international law, which there is no reason to identify with the
interests of the big capitalist firms.
In short, this is the process my country is going through, and I feel
it is useful to present it to this assembly, with the authority given
to us by the fact that we are strictly fulfilling the recommendations
of the United Nations and relying on internal efforts as the base for
economic and social development. Here, in this forum, the change of
institutions and backward structures has been advised, along with the
redistribution of income, priority for education and health and care
for the poorest sectors. All this is a essential part of our policy
and it is in the process of being carried out.
THE FINANCIAL BLOCKADE
That is why it is even more painful to have to come here to this
rostrum to proclaim the fact that my country is the victim of grave
We had foreseen problems and foreign resistance to our carrying out
our process of changes, especially in view of our nationalization of
natural resources. Imperialism and its cruelty have a long and ominous
history in Latin America and the dramatic and heroic experience of
Cuba is still fresh. The same is the case with Peru, which has had to
suffer the consequences of its decision to exercise sovereign control
over its oil.
In the decade of the 70s, after so many agreements and resolutions of
the international community, in which the sovereign right of every state
to control its natural resources for the benefit of its people is
recognized, after the adoption of international agreements on economic,
social and cultural rights and the strategy of the second decade of
development, which formalized those agreements, we are the victims of a
new expression of imperialism -more subtle, more sneaky, and terribly
effective- to block the exercise of our rights as a sovereign state.
From the very moment of our election victory on 4 September 1970, we
were affected by the development oflarge-scale foreign pressures,
aimed at blocking the inauguration of a government freely elected by
the people and then overthrowing it. There have been efforts to isolate
us from the world, strangle the economy and paralyze the sale of copper,
our main export product, and keep us from access to sources of
We realize that when we denounce the financial-economic blockade with
which we were attacked, it is hard for international public opinion and
even for many of our compatriots to easily understand the situation
because it is not open aggression, publicly proclaimed before the whole
world. Quite the contrary, it is a sneaky and double-crossing attack,
which is just as damaging to Chile.
We find ourselves opposed by forces that operate in the shadows, without
a flag, with powerful weapons that are placed in a wide range of
We are not the object of any trade ban. Nobody has said that he seeks
a confrontation with our country. It would seem that our only enemies
or opponents are the logical internal political ones. That is not the
case. We are the victims of almost invisible actions, usually concealed
with remarks and statements that pay lip service to respect for the
sovereignty and dignity of our country. But we have first-hand knowledge
of the great difference that there is between those statements and the
specific actions we must endure.
I am not mentioning vague matters, I am discussing concrete problems
that affect my people today and which will have even more serious
economic repercussions in the coming months.
Chile, like most of the nations of the Third World, is very vulnerable
to the situation of the external sector of its economy. In the last 12
months, the decline in the international price of copper has represented
a loss of about US$ 200 million in income for a nation whose exports
total a bit more than US$ 1,000 million, while the products, both
industrial and agricultural, that we must import are much more expensive
now, in some cases as much as 60 per cent.
As is almost always the case, Chile buys at high prices and sells at
It has been at these moments, in themselves difficult for our balance
of payments, that we have had to face, among others, the following
simultaneous actions, apparently designed to take revenge on the Chilean
people for their decision to nationalize copper.
Until the moment my Government took office, every year Chile received
almost US$ 80 million in loans from international financial organizations
such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. This
financing has been violently interrupted.
In the past decade, Chile received loans from the Agency for
International Development of the Government of the United States (AID)
totalling US$ 50 million a year.
We are not asking for those loans to be reinstated. The United States
has the sovereign right to grant or not to grant foreign aid to any
country. All we want to point out is that the drastic elimination of
those credits has resulted in important restrictions in our balance
Upon taken office as President, my country had short-term credit lines
from private US banks, destined to finance our foreign trade, that
amounted to US$ 220 million. In a short period of time those credits
were suspended and about US$ 190 million have been deducted, a sum we
had to pay, since the respective operations were not renewed.
Just like most of the nations of Latin America, because of technological
reasons and other factors, Chilemust make important purchases of capital
goods in the United States. Now, both the financing of the supplies and
that normally provided by the Eximbank for this type of operation has
also been suspended for us, putting us in the irregular position of
having to purchase goods of that kind by paying in advance. This puts
extraordinary pressure on our balance of payments.
Payments of loans contracted by Chile with agencies of the public sector
of the United States before my Government took office, and which were
being carried out then, have also been suspended; so we have to continue
carrying out the corresponding projects making cash in hand purchases on
the US market, because, once the projects are in full swing, it is
impossible to replace the source of the respective imports. That is why
it had been decided that the financing should come from US Government
As a result of the operations directed against the sale of copper in the
nations of Western Europe, our short-term operations with private banks
on that continent, mainly based on payment of that metal, have been
greatly blocked. This has resulted in more than US$ 20 million in credit
lines not being renewed, the suspension of financial negotiations for
more than US$ 200 million that were almost complete, and the creation of
a climate that blocks the normal handling of our purchases in those
countries and acutely distorts all our activities in the field of
This financial stranglehold of a brutal nature, given the characteristics
of the Chilean economy, has resulted in a severe limitations of our
possibilities to purchase equipment, spare parts, supplies, food and
medicine. Every Chilean is suffering the consequences of those measures,
which bring suffering and grief into the daily life of all and,
naturally, make themselves felt in internal political life.
What I have described means that the nature of the international
agencies has been distorted. Their utilization as instruments of the
bilateral policy of any of their member states, regardless of how
powerful it may be, is legally and morally unacceptable. It means
putting pressures on an economically weak country and punishing a
nation for its decision to regain control over its basic resources.
It is a premeditated form of intervention in the internal affairs of
a nation. This is what we call imperialist arrogance.
Distinguished representatives, you know this and you cannot forget it.
All this has been repeatedly condemned by resolutions of the United
CHILE ATTACKED BY TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES
Not only do we suffer the financial blockade, we are also the victims
of clear aggression. Two firms that are part of the central nucleus
of the large transnational companies that sunk their claws into my
country, the International Telegraph and Telephone Company and the
Kennecott Copper Corporation, tried to run our political life.
ITT, a huge corporation whose capital is greater than the budget of
several Latin American nations put together and greater than that of
some industrialized countries, began, from the very moment that the
people's movement was victorious in the elections of September 1970,
a sinister action to keep me from taking office as President.
Between September and November of 1970, terrorist actions that were
planned outside of my country took place there, with the aid of internal
fascist groups. All this led to the murder of General Rene Schneider
Chereau, Commander in Chief of the Army, a just man and a great soldier
who symbolized the constitutionalism of the armed forces of Chile.
In March of this year, the documents that denounced the relationship
between those sinister aims and the ITT were made public. This company
has admitted that in 1970 it even made suggestions to the Government of
the United States that it intervene in political events in Chile. The
documents are genuine, nobody has dared deny them.
Last July the world learned with amazement of different aspects of a
new plan of action that ITT had presented to the US Government in order
to overthrow my Government in a period of six months. I have with me the
document, dated in October 1971, that contains the 18-point plan that
was talked about. They wanted to strangle us economically, carry out
diplomatic sabotage, create panic among the population and cause social
disorder so that when the Government lost control, the armed forces
would be driven to eliminate the democratic regime and impose a
While the ITT was working out this plan, its representatives went through
the motions of negotiating a formula for the Chilean state to take over
ITT's share in the Chilean telephone company. From the first days of my
administration, we had started talks to purchase the telephone company
that ITT controlled, for reasons of national security.
On two occasions I received high officials of the firm. My Government
acted in good faith in the discussions. On the other hand, ITT refused
to accept payment at prices that had been set in keeping with the verdict
of international experts. It posed difficulties for a rapid and fair
solution, while clandestinely it was trying to unleash chaos in my
ITT's refusal to accept a direct agreement and knowledge of its sneaky
manoeuvres has forced us to send to Congress a bill calling for its
The will of the Chilean people to defend the democratic regime and the
progress of its revolution, the loyalty of the armed forces to their
country and its laws have caused these sinister plots to fail.
Distinguished representatives, before the conscience of the World I
accuse ITT of trying to provoke a civil war in my country -the supreme
state of disintegration for a country. This is what we call imperialist
Chile now faces a danger whose solution does not only depend on national
will, but on a whole series of external elements. I am talking about the
action of the Kennecott Copper Corporation.
Our constitution says that disputes caused by nationalizations must be
solved by a court that, just like all the others in my country, is
independent and sovereign in its decisions. Kennecott Copper accepted
its jurisdiction and for a year it appeared before that tribunal. Its
appeal was not accepted, and it decided to use its considerable power
to deprive us of the benefits of our copper exports and put pressure on
the Government of Chile. In September, it went so far in its arrogance as
to demand the embargo of the payment of these exports in courts in
France, Holland and Sweden. It will surely try the same thing in other
countries. The basis for this action cannot be more unacceptable from the
judicial and moral points of view.
Kennecott would have the courts of other nations, that have absolutely
nothing to do with the problems or the negotiations between the Chilean
state and the Kennecott Copper Corporation, decide that a sovereign act
of our Government -carried out in response to a mandate of the highest
authority, like that of the political constitution, and supported by
all the Chilean people - is null and void.
This attempt of theirs is in contradiction to basic principles of
international law by virtue of which the natural resources of a country,
especially those which constitute its livelihood, belong to the nation
and it can dispose of them at will. There is no universally accepted
international law or, in this case, specific treaty, which provides for
that. The world community, organized under the principles of the United
Nations, does not accept an interpretation of international law,
subordinated to the interests of capitalism, that will lead the courts
of any foreign country to back up a structure of economic relations at
the service of the above-mentioned economic system. If that were the
case, there would be a violation of a fundamental principle of
international life: that of non-intervention in the internal affairs of
a state, as was explicitly recognized at the third UNCTAD.
We are guided by international law repeatedly accepted by the United
Nations, especially in resolution 1803 (XVIII) of the General Assembly;
norms that have just been reinforced by the trade and development board,
based itself on the charges my country made against Kennecott. The
respective resolution reaffirmed the sovereign right of all states to
freely dispose of their natural resources, and declared in application
of this principle, that the nationalization carried out by states to
regain control over those resources are an expression of their sovereign
powers. Every state must set the standards for those measures and the
disputes that may arise as a result are the exclusive concern of its
courts, without prejudice to resolution 1803 of the General Assembly.
This resolution allows the intervention of extra-national jurisdictions
under exceptional conditions and as long as there is an agreement
between sovereign states and other interested parties.
This is the only acceptable thesis of the United Nations. It is the only
one that is in keeping with its philosophy and principles. It is the
only one that can protect the rights of the weak against the abuses of
Since it could not be any other way, in the courts of Paris we have
obtained the lifting of the embargo that had been in effect on the
payment of a shipment of our copper. We will continue to ceaselessly
defend the exclusive jurisdiction of Chilean courts over any dispute
resulting from the nationalization of our basic resource.
For Chile, this is not only an important matter of judicial
interpretation. It is a problem of sovereignty and, even more, of
Kennecott's aggression inflicts grave damage on our economy. Just the
direct difficulties imposed on the marketing of copper have resulted
in the loss of many millions of dollars for Chile in the last two months
alone. But that isn't all. I have already discussed the effects linked
to the blocking of my country's financial operations with the banks of
Western Europe. There is also an evident effort to create a climate of
distrust among the buyers of our main export product, but this will
The objectives of this imperialist firm are now going even further than
that, because in the long run it cannot expect any political or legal
power to deprive Chile of what rightfully belongs to her. It wants to
bring us to our knees, but this will never happen.
The aggression of the big capitalist firms seeks to block the
emancipation of the people. It represents a direct attack on the
economic interests of the workers in the concrete case against Chile.
The Chilean people are a people that have reached the political maturity
to decide by a majority the replacement of the capitalist economic
system by a socialist one. Our political regime has institutions that
have been open enough to channel that revolutionary will without violent
clashes. It is my duty to warn this assembly that the reprisals and the
blockade, aimed at producing contradictions and the resultant economic
distortions, threaten to have repercussions on peace and internal
coexistence in my country. They will not attain their evil objectives.
The great majority of Chileans will find the way to resist them in a
patriotic and dignified manner. What I said at the beginning will always
be valid: our history, land and man are joined in a great national
THE PHENOMENON OF THE TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS
At the third UNCTAD I was able to discuss the phenomenon of the
transnational corporations. I mentioned the great growth in their
economic power, political influence and corrupting action. That is the
reason for the alarm with which world opinion should react in the face
of a reality of this kind. The power of these corporations is so great
that it goes beyond all borders. The foreign investments of US companies
alone reached US$ 32,000 million. Between 1950 and 1970 they grew at a
rate of 10 per cent a year, while that nation's exports only increased
by 5 per cent. They make huge profits and drain off tremendous resources
from the developing countries.
In just one year, these firms withdrew profits from the Third World that
represented net transfers in their favour of US$ 1,743 million:
US$ 1,013 million from Latin America; US$ 280 million from Africa;
US$ 376 million from the Far East; and US$ 74 million from the Middle
East. Their influence and their radius of action are upsetting the
traditional trade practices of technological transfer among states, the
transmission of resources among nations and labour relations.
We are faced by a direct confrontation between the large transnational
corporations and the states. The corporations are interfering in the
fundamental political, economic and military decisions of the states.
The corporations are global organizations that do not depend on any state
and whose activities are not controlled by, nor are they accountable to
any parliament or any other institution representative of the collective
interest. In short, all the world political structure is being
undermined. The dealer's don't have a country. The place where they may
be does not constitute any kind of link; the only thing they are
interested in is where they make profits. This is not something I say;
they are Jefferson's words.
The large transnational firms are prejudicial to the genuine interests
of the developing countries and their dominating and uncontrolled action
is also carried out in the industrialized countries, where they are
based. This has recently been denounced in Europe and in the United
States and resulted in a US Senate investigation. The developed nations
are just as threatened by this danger as the underdeveloped ones. It is
a phenomenon that has already given rise to the growing mobilization of
organized workers including the large trade union organizations that
exist in the world. Once again the action of the international solidarity
of workers must face a common enemy: imperialism.
In the main, it was those acts that led the Economic and Social Council
of the United Nations -following the denunciation madeby Chile- to
unanimously approve, last July, a resolution that called for a group
of world figures to meet and study the effects and function of
transnational corporations in the process of development, especially in
the developing countries, and their repercussions on international
relations, and present recommendations for appropriate international
Ours is not an isolated or a unique problem. It is the local expression
of a reality that overwhelms us, a reality that covers Latin America
and the Third World. In varying degrees of intensity, with unique
features, all the peripheral countries are threatened by something
The spokesman for the African group at the Trade and Development Board a
few weeks ago announced the position of those countries towards the
denunciation made by Chile of Kennecott's aggresion, reporting that his
group fully supported Chile, because it was a problem which did not affect
only one nation but, potentially, all of the developing world. These words
have great value, because they represent the recognition of an entire
continent that through the Chilean case, a new stage in the battle between
imperialism and the weak countries of the Third World is being waged.
THE COUNTRIES OF THE THIRD WORLD
The battle in defence of natural resources is but a part of the battle
being waged by the countries of the Third World against underdevelopment.
There is a very clear dialectical relationship: imperialism exists because
underdevelopment exists; underdevelopment exists because imperialism
exists. The aggression we are being made the object of today makes the
fulfilment of the promises made in the last few years as to a new large-
scope action aimed at overcoming the conditions of underdevelopment and
want in the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America appear illusory. Two
years ago, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the
United Nations, the UN General Assembly solemnly proclaimed the strategy
for a second decade of development. In keeping with this strategy, all
UN member states pledged to spare no efforts to transform, via concrete
measures, the present unfair international division of labour and to close
the vast economic and technological gap that separates the wealthy
countries from the developing ones.
We have seen that none of those aims ever became a reality. On the
contrary, the situation has worsened.
Thus, the markets of the industrialized countries have remained as tightly
closed as they ever were to the basic products - chiefly the agricultural
products - of the developing countries and the index of protectionist
measures is on the increase. The terms of exchange continue to
deteriorate, the system of generalized preferences for the exportation of
our manufactured and semi-manufactured goods has never been put into
effect by the nation whose market - considering its volume- offered the
best perspectives and there are no indications that this will be done in
the immediate future.
The transfer of public financial resources, rather than reaching 0.7 per
cent of the gross national product of the developed nations, has dropped
from 0.34 to 0.24 per cent. The debt contracted by the developing
countries, which was already enormous by the beginning of this year, has
skyrocketed to between $70 and $75 thousand million in only a few months.
The sums for loan services paid by those countries, which represent an
intolerable drain for them, have been to a great measure the result of the
conditions and terms of the loans. In 1970 these services increased 18 per
cent, and in 1971, 20 per cent -more than twice the mean rate for the 1960
This is the drama of underdevelopment and of the countries which have not
stood up for their rights, which have not demanded respect for their
rights and defended, through a vigorous collective action, the price of
their raw materials and basic products and have not confronted the threats
and aggressions by neo-imperialism.
We are potentially wealthy countries and yet we live a life of poverty.
We go here and there, begging for credits and aid and yet we are - a
paradox typical of the capitalist economic system - great exporters of
LATIN AMERICA AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT
Latin America, as part of the developing world, forms part of the picture
I have just described. Together with Asia, Africa and the socialist
countries, she has waged many battles in the last few years to change the
structure of the economic and commercial relations with the capitalist
world, to replace the unfair and discriminatory economic and monetary
order created in Bretton Woods at the end of World War II.
It is true that there are differences in the national income of many of
the countries in our region and that of the countries on other continents,
and even among countries that could be considered as relatively less
developed among the underdeveloped countries.
However, such differences - which many mitigate by comparing them with the
national product of the industrialized world - do not keep Latin America
out of the vast neglected and exploited sector of humanity.
The consensus at Vina del Mar, in 1969, affirmed these coincidences and
defined, pointed out clearly and indicated the scope of the region's
economic and social backwardness and the external factors that determined
it, pointing out the great injustices that are being committed against the
region under the disguise of cooperation and aid. I say this because large
cities in Latin America, admired by many, hide the drama of hundreds of
thousands of human beings living in marginal towns that are the product
of unemployment and sub-employment. These beautiful cities hide the deep
contrast between small groups of privileged individuals and the great
masses whose nutrition and health indexes are the lowest.
It is easy to see why our Latin American continent shows such a high rate
of infant mortality and illiteracy, with 13 million people out of jobs and
more than 50 million doing only occasional work. More than 20 million
Latin American do not use money even as a means of exchange.
No regime, no government has been able to solve the great deficit in
housing, labour, food and health. On the contrary, the deficit increases
with every passing year in keeping with the population increase. If this
situation continues, what will happen when there are more than 600 million
of us by the end of the century?
The situation is even more dramatic in Asia and Africa, whose PER CAPITA
income is even lower and whose process of development shows an even
It is not always noticed that the Latin American subcontinent - whose
wealth potential is simply enormous - has become the principal field of
action of economic imperialism for the last 30 years. Recent data given
by the International Monetary Fund shows that private investment by the
developed countries in Latin America shows a deficit against Latin America
of $9,000 million between 1960 and 1970. In a word, that amount represents
a net contribution of capital from our region to the wealthy world in one
Chile is completely in solidarity with the rest of Latin America, without
exception. For this reason, it favours and fully respects the policy of
non-intervention and self-determination, which we apply on a worldwide
scale. We enthusiastically foster the increase of our economic and
cultural relations. We are in favour of the complementing and the
integration of our economies. Hence, we work with enthusiasm within the
framework of LAFTA and, as an initial step, for the creation of the Andean
countries' common market, which unites us with Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and
Latin America has left the era of protest behind her. Needs and statistics
contributed to an increased awareness. Reality has shattered all
ideological barriers. All attempts at division and isolation have been
defeated and there is an ardent desire to coordinate the offensive in
defence of the interests of the countries on the continent and the other
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution
inevitable. These are not my words. I simply share the same opinion. The
words are those of John F. Kennedy.
CHILE IS NOT ALONE
Chile is not alone. All attempts to isolate her from the rest of Latin
America and the world have failed. On the contrary, Chile has been the
object of endless demonstrations of solidarity and support. The ever-
increasing condemnation of imperialism; the respect that the efforts of
the people of Chile deserve; and the response to our policy of friendship
with all the nations of the world, were all instrumental in defeating the
attempts to surround our country with a ring of hostility.
In Latin America, all the plans for economic and cultural cooperation or
integration, plans of which we form part on both the regional and
subregional level, have continued to take on strength at an accelerated
pace. As a result, our trade - particularly with Argentina, Mexico and the
countries of the Andean Pact - has increased considerably.
The joint support of the Latin American countries in world and regional
forums in favour of the principles of free determination over natural
resources has remained firm as a rock. And, in response to the recent
attacks against our sovereignty, we have been the object of demonstrations
of complete solidarity. To all of these countries, we express our most
Socialist Cuba, which is suffering the rigours of blockade, has always
given us her revolutionary solidarity.
On the world scale, I must point out very especially that we have enjoyed
the full solidarity of the socialist countries in Europe and Asia from the
very beginning. The great majority of the world community did us the
honour of electing Santiago as the seat of the third UNCTAD meeting and
has welcomed with great interest our invitation to be the site of the next
world conference on rights to the sea - an invitation which I reiterate
on this occasion.
The non-aligned countries' foreign ministers meeting, held in Georgetown,
Guyana, in September, publicly expressed its determined support in
response to the aggression of which we are being made the object by
The CIPEC, an organization of coordination established by the main copper-
exporting countries - Peru, Zaire, Zambia and Chile - which met recently
in Santiago, at the ministers' level, at my suggestion, to analyse the
situation of aggression against my country created by Kennecott Copper,
has just adopted a number of resolutions and recommendations of vast
importance to the various states. These resolutions and recomendations
constitute an unreserved support of our position and an important step
taken by countries of the Third World in defence of trade of their basic
The resolutions will no doubt constitute important material for the second
commission. But I would like to refer at this moment to the categorical
declaration to the effect that any action that may impede or obstruct the
exercise of a country's sovereign right to dispose freely of its antural
resources constitutes an economic attack. Needless to say, the Kennecott
actions against Chile constitute an economic aggression and, therefore,
the ministers agreed on asking their respective governments to suspend all
economic and commercial relations with the firm and state that disputes
on compensation in case of nationalization are the exclusive concern of
those states which adopt such measures.
However, the most significant thing is that it was resolved 'to establish
a permanent mechanism of protection and solidarity' in relation to copper.
Mechanisms such as this one, together with the OPEC, which operates in the
field of petroleum, are the germ of what would be an organization which
would include all the countries of the Third World to protect and defend
all basic products - including the mining, petroleum and agricultural
The great majority of the countries in Western Europe, from the
Scandinavian countries in the extreme north to Spain in the extreme south,
have been cooperating with Chile, and their understanding has meant a form
of support to us. It is thanks to this understanding that we have
renegotiated our foreign debt.
And, lastly, we have been deeply moved by the solidarity of the world's
working class, expressed by its great trade union central organizations
and demonstrated in actions of great significance, such as the port
workers of Le Havre and Rotterdam's refusal to unload copper from Chile
whose payment has been arbitrarily and unfairly embargoed.
End of Salvador Allende's speech to the UN General Assembly, 4 December
1972. Nine months later, un unholy alliance between the Chilean generals,
led by Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean Christian Democrat Party led by
Eduardo Frei, one sector of the Chilean Catholic Church, the Government
of the United States of America (led by Henry Kissinger), the Chilean
large capitalists and the U.S. big capitalists, succeeded in murdering
Salvador Allende, the President of Chile, and victimising the Chilean
people to make room for larger profits for the Chilean capitalist class
and the international capitalist class.