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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 24. 26th September 1973

An Editorial Note

An Editorial Note

Last week we published what we believe to be a correct analysis of the Chilean situation, by Terry Auld. The main thrust of it was that because Allende had adhered steadfastly to constitutional means of political struggle, trusted in the army and failed to lead the working class and peasants in seizing state power, the Chilean ruling class was able to deal 'a fascist blow to the head' of Allende's reformist government.

As Auld showed in his article, Allende was no Marxist. He failed to rely on the masses or to provide them with genuine leadership, and finally sold them down the drain. Ignoring the experience and advice of revolutionaries like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tsetung and Enver Hoxha, Allende restricted his "socialist" movement solely to parliamentary struggle. In doing this he was encouraged by the Chilean "Communist" Party and its Soviet comrades. With supreme irony 'Moscow News' printed an article lauding the "prolonged democratic struggle within the framework of the existing Constitution and law" in Chile, only a few days before Allende was overthrown.

This week we print an article by financier Bob Jones, who has just returned from Chile. While we are happy to print the article because of the first hand experience it reports, we do not draw the same conclusions as Jones. We believe his conclusions typify the short-sightedness of many people in analysing events in that country. Jones makes great play of the black market, sodden bed linen and 500 yard long bread queues. But Allende fell not because his administration was incompetent or corrupt, but because the Chilean bourgeoisie, who largely retained their ownership of the means of production, were not prepared to give up their power peacefully.

While it has not gone as far as the British Government and given diplomatic recognition to the junta, the Labour Government in New Zealand seems to have quietly opted the military regime as the legal government of Chile. Mr Kirk's comments on the coup were restricted to a few platitudes expressing the hope that social and economic progress would continue within the framework of the law.

Mr Kirk and his government seem to have a liking for illegal governments. They accept the military junta in Chile without any public protest, and they still give diplomatic recognition to the 'Mayor of Phnom Penh', Lon Nol, and his cronies while treating the only legal and truly representative government of Cambodia, that of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, as a band of "communist rebels".

Is this an 'independent' foreign policy; as Kirk has frequently boosted, or is it a policy of keeping in step with Washington which has been behind conspiracies to oust both Sihanouk and Allende?

—Peter Franks & Roger Steele