The popular unity's programme presented to the Chilean people for the Presidential Election campaign in 1970

Download 217 Kb.
Date conversion20.04.2016
Size217 Kb.
  1   2   3
Programme presented to the Chilean people for the Presidential

Election campaign in 1970
The parties and movements of which the Popular Unity's Coordinating

Committee is composed, without prejudice to our individual

philosophy and political delineations, fully agree on the following

description of the national situation and on the programme

proposals which are to constitute the basis of our common effort

and which we now present for consideration by the whole nation.

Chile is going through a grave crisis, manifested by social and

economic stagnation, widespread poverty and deprivation of all

sorts suffered by workers, peasants(*), and other exploited classes

as well as in the growing difficulties which confront white collar

workers, professional people, small and medium businessmen, and in

the very limited opportunities open to women and young people.

These problems can be resolved in Chile. Our country possesses

great wealth such as copper and other minerals, a large hydro-

electric potential, vast forests, a long coast rich in marine life,

and more than sufficient land, etc. Chile also has a population

with a will to work and progress and people with technical and

professional skills.

What has failed in Chile is the system - a system which does not

correspond to present day requirements. Chile is a capitalist

country, dependent on the imperialist nations and dominated by

bourgeois groups who are structurally related to foreign capital

and who cannot resolve the country's fundamental problems -

problems which are clearly the result of class privilege which will

never be given up voluntarily.
Moreover, as a direct consequence of the development of world

capitalism, the submission of the national monopolistic bourgeoisie

to imperialism daily furthers its role as junior partner to foreign

capital, increasingly accentuating its dependent nature.
For a few people it is good business to sell off a piece of Chile

each day. And every day this select few make decisions on behalf of

all the rest of us. On the other hand, for the great majority of

Chileans there is little to be gained from selling their labour and

brain power and, in general, they are still deprived of the right

to determine their own future.
The 'reformist' and 'developmentalist' solutions, which the

Alliance for Progress promoted and which the Frei Government

adopted, have not changed anything of importance in Chile.

Basically, the Christian Democrat Government was nothing but a new

government of the bourgeoisie, in the service of national and

foreign capitalism, whose weak efforts to promote social change

came to a sad end in economic stagnation, a rising cost of living,

and violent repression of the people. This experience demonstrated

once more that reformism cannot resolve the people's problems.
The development of monopoly capitalism prevents the extension of

democracy and exacerbates violence against the people. As

'reformism' fails and the people's capacity to struggle increases,

the most reactionary sectors of the dominant classes who, in the

last analysis, have no recourse but to use force, become firmer in

their position. The brutal forms of violence perpetrated by the

Frei Government, such as the activities of the Riot Police Unit,

the beating up of peasants and students, and the killing of shanty

town dwellers and miners, are inseparable from other and no less

brutal forms of violence which affect all Chileans. People living

in luxurious houses while a large part of the population lives in

unhealthy dwellings or has no shelter at all also constitutes

violence; people who throw away food while others lack the means to

feed themselves also commit violence.
Imperialist exploitation of backward economies takes place in a

variety of ways: through investments in mining (copper, iron, etc),

industrial, banking and commercial activities; through the control

of technology which obliges us to pay exaggerated sums for

equipment, licences and patents; through American loans with

crippling conditions which require us to purchase from the U.S.A.

and with the additional obligation to transport these purchases in

North American ships. Just one example of imperialist exploitation

is the fact that from 1952 to date, the U.S.A. invested US$ 7,473

million in Latin America and received back US$ 16,000 million.
Imperialism has taken resources from Chile equivalent to double the

value of the capital accumulated in our country throughout its

history. American monopolies, with the complicity of bourgeois

governments, have succeeded in taking over nearly all of our

copper, iron and nitrate resources. They control foreign trade and

dictate economic policy through the International Monetary Fund and

other organisations. They dominate important branches of industry

and services, they enjoy statutory privileges while imposing

monetary devaluation, the reduction of salaries and wages and the

distortion of agricultural activities through their agricultural

surpluses policy.
They also intervene in education, culture and in the communications

media and they try to penetrate the Armed Forces, making use of

military and political agreements.
The dominant classes, acting as accomplices in the process and

unable to defend their own interests, have increased Chile's

foreign indebtness over the last ten years. It was argued that the

loans and arrangements with international bankers would increase

economic development. But the only result is that today Chile holds

the record of being one of the world's most indebted countries in

proportion to its population.
In Chile government and legislation is for the benefit of the few

-that is they only serve the large capitalists and their hangers-on,

the companies which dominate our economy, and the large landholders

whose power still remains almost intact.
The owners of capital are only interested in making more money and

not in satisfying the needs of the Chilean people. For example, if

it appears to be a good business proposition to produce and import

expensive cars they use our economy's scarce resources for this

purpose, ignoring the fact that only a minute percentage of

Chileans have the means to purchase them and that there are far

more urgent needs to be satisfied. The improvement of public

transport and provision of machinery for agriculture are obvious

examples of such urgent needs.
The groups of businessmen who control the economy, the press and

other communications media, the existing political system, and the

threats to the State, when it hints at intervention or refuses to

favour all these interests, are an expensive burden on the Chilean

people. For these groups to deign to continue 'working' - since

only they can afford the luxury of working or not - the following

conditions are necessary. They have to be provided with all kinds

of assistance. Important businessmen pressure the State under the

threat that, unless the help and guarantees they request are

authorized, there will be no private investment.

They have to be allowed to produce the products they want with

money belonging to the whole Chilean people, instead of producing

the goods needed by the great majority; and to transfer the profits

obtained to their foreign bank accounts. They wish to be allowed to

dismiss workers if they ask for better wages; and to be permitted

to manipulate food distribution and stockpile food products in

order to create artificial shortages and thereby raise prices in

order to continue enriching themselves at the expense of the

Chilean people.
Meanwhile, a large proportion of those people who actually produce

face a difficult situation. Half a million families lack housing

and as many or more live in appalling conditions lacking sewage,

drinking water, light, and healthy conditions. The population's

education and health requirements are insufficiently provided for.

More than half of Chile's workers receive wages which are

insufficient to cover their minimum vital needs. Every family

suffers from unemployment and unstable employment. The chances of

employment are impossible or uncertain for countless young people.
Imperialist capital and a privileged group not exceeding 10% of the

population receive half of the National Income. This means that out

of every hundred escudos produced by Chileans, 50 end up in the

pockets of 10 of the oligarchy and the other 50 have to be shared

among 90 Chileans from the poor and middle classes
The rising cost of living creates havoc in people's homes,

especially for the housewife. According to official statistics, the

cost of living has risen almost 1,000% in the last 10 years.
This means that every day Chileans who live from the proceeds of

their work are robbed of part of their salaries or wages. The same

happens to retired people, craftsmen, independent workers and small

scale producers, whose meagre incomes are daily eroded by


Alessandri and Frei gave assurances that they would put an end to

inflation. The results are there for all to see. The facts prove

that inflation in Chile is the outcome of deeper causes which are

related to the capitalist structure of our society and not to

increases in incomes, as successive governments have tried to make

us believe in order to justify the system and restrain workers'

On the other hand, the large capitalist can defend himself from

inflation and what is more he profits from it. His property and his

capital become more valuable, his construction contracts with the

State are revalued, and the prices of his products always rise

ahead of wage increases.
A large number of Chileans are underfed. According to official

statistics, 50% of children under 15 years of age are

undernourished. This affects their growth and limits their learning

capacity. This shows that the economy in general and the

agricultural system in particular are incapable of feeding Chile's

population in spite of the fact that Chile could support a

population of 30 million people right now - that is, three times

the present population.
Yet, on the contrary, each year we must import hundreds of

thousands of dollars worth of food products.
Most of the blame for the food supply and nutritional problems of

the Chilean people can be attributed to the existence of LATIFUNDIA

which are responsible for the backwardness and misery which

characterize the Chilean countryside. Indices of infant and adult

mortality, illiteracy, lack of housing and ill health in the rural

areas are markedly higher than for the cities. The Christian

Democrat Government's restricted Agrarian Reform Programme has not

resolved these problems. Only the peasants' struggle, backed by the

whole nation, will resolve them. The present struggle for land and

the abolition of the latifundio is opening up new perspectives for

the advance of the Chilean people.
The growth rate of our economy is minimal. In recent five year

periods the average rate of growth has been scarcely 2% p.a. per

capita; and since 1967 there has been no growth at all. On the

contrary, we have moved backwards according to the Government

Planning Office's figures. This means that in 1966 each Chilean had

more goods than he has today, which explains why the majority are

discontent and are looking for an alternative for our country.
The only alternative, which is a truly popular one, and one which

therefore constitutes the Popular Government's main task, is to

bring to an end the rule of the imperialists, the monopolists, and

the landed oligarchy and to initiate the construction of socialism

in Chile.
The growth in size and organization of the labour force and the

growing struggle and consciousness of its own power reinforce and

propagate criticism of the established order, the desire for

profound change and conflicts with the established power structure.

There are more than three million workers in our country whose

productive efforts and enormous constructive capacity cannot be put

to good use within the present system, which only exploits and

subjects them.
These organized forces, in a common effort with the people to

mobilize those who are not sold out to national and foreign

reactionary interests, could destroy the present system and, by

means of this united struggle on the part of the large majority of

Chileans, progress could be made in the task of liberating

themselves. The Popular Unity alliance has been formed precisely

for this purpose.
The imperialists and the country's dominant classes will struggle

against a united people and will try to deceive them once again.

They will say that freedom is in danger, that violence is taking

hold of the country, etc. But each day the popular masses are less

and less taken by these lies. Social mobilization is growing daily,

and is now reinforced and encouraged by the unity of the left wing

In order to encourage and guide the mobilization of the Chilean

people toward the conquest of power, we will set up Popular Unity

Committees in every factory, farm, poor neighbourhood(**), office

or school, to be run by the militants of the left wing movements

and parties and to be composed of the thousands of Chileans who are

in favour of fundamental change. These Popular Unity Committees

will not only constitute electoral organizations. They will

interpret and fight for the immediate claims of the masses and

above all they will learn to exercise power.
This new form of power structure which Chile needs must begin to

develop itself right now, wherever people need to be organized to

fight over specific problems and wherever the need to exercise this

power becomes apparent. This system involving a common effort will

be a permanent dynamic method for developing our Programme,

constituting a practical school for the masses and a concrete way of

deepening the political content of the Popular Unity at all levels.

At a given point in the campaign the essential contents of this

Programme, enriched by discussion with and the support of the

people, and together with a series of immediate government measures

will be set out in a People's Act (Acta del Pueblo) which the new

Popular Government and the Front which sustains it will regard as an

unrenounceable mandate.
Support for the Popular Unity's candidate does not, therefore, only

involve voting for a man, but also involves declaring oneself in

favour of the urgent replacement of our present society, the basis

of which is the power and control exercised by large national and

foreign capitalists.
Popular Power
The revolutionary changes required by Chile can only be carried out

if the people of Chile take power into their own hands and exercise

it in a true and effective manner.
In the process of a long struggle, the Chilean people have achieved

certain democratic liberties and guarantees which will require

vigilance and constant battle if they are not to be lost.
The revolutionary and popular forces have not united to simply

fight for the substitution of one President of the Republic by another,

nor to replace one party by others in Government but, rather, to carry

out the profound changes which are required by national circumstances,

based on the transfer of power from the old dominant groups to the

urban workers, rural population and progressive sectors of the

urban and rural middle-classes. This popular triumph will therefore open

up the way for the most democratic political government in the

country's history.
As regards the political structure, the Popular Government has the

double task of preserving and making more effective and real the

democratic rights and achievements of the working classes, and

transforming present institutions in order to install a new system

of power in which the working classes and the people are the ones who

really exercise power.

The strengthening of democracy and working class progress
The Popular Government will guarantee the exercise of democratic

rights and will respect the social and individual liberties of all

sectors of the population. The freedom of worship, speech, press

and of assembly, the inviolability of the home, and the right to

unionize will be made effective, removing the present obstacles put up by

the dominant classes to limit them.

In order to put this into practice, the unions and social

organizations formed by manual workers, white collar workers,

peasants and rural workers, shanty town dwellers and inhabitants of low

income neighbourhoods(***), housewives, students, professional people,

intellectuals, craftsmen, small and medium businessmen, and other

groups of workers, will be called upon to participate in government

decision making at the relevant level. For example, in the social

security institutions we will establish a system of management by

the contributors themselves, ensuring that the government bodies are

elected democratically and by secret ballot. As for firms in the

public sector, their governing committees and production committees

must include direct representation of manual and white collar

The Neighbourhood Committees (Juntas de Vecinos) and other

organized groups of inhabitants of poor neighbourhoods will have ways and

means of controlling the activities of the pertinent national housing

organizations and of participating in many aspects of their

activities. It is not just a question of these particular examples,

but of a new philosophy in which ordinary people achieve real and

effective participation in the different organisms of the State.
Likewise, the Popular Government guarantees the right of workers to

employment and to strike, and the right for all people to obtain a

proper education and culture, fully respecting all ideas and

religious beliefs and guaranteeing the freedom to practise them.

All democratic rights and guarantees will be extended, by granting

to social organizations real means of exercising their rights and

creating the mechanisms which will allow them to participate in the

different levels of the State's administrative apparatus. The power

and authority of the Popular Government will essentially be based

on the support extended to it by the organized population. This is our

notion of strong government - the very opposite of that held by the

oligarchy and imperialists who identify authority with the use of

coercion against the people.
The Popular Government will be a multiparty one, composed of all

the revolutionary parties, movements and groups. The executive will

therefore be truly democratic, representative and cohesive. The

Popular Government will respect the rights of the opposition as

long as they are exercised within the legal framework.
The Popular Government will immediately proceed to effectively

decentralize the administration which, in conjunction with

democratic and efficient planning, will eliminate the centralization of the

bureaucracy, replacing it with real coordination between all parts

of the administration.
The structure of the municipalities will be modernized according to

the plans for coordinating the whole state administration, while

granting them the authority due to them. They will become local

organs of the new political organization, possessing sufficient finance

and powers to enable them to deal with the problems of the local

districts and their inhabitants, in conjunction and coordination with the

Neighbourhood Committees. The Provincial Assemblies must begin to

operate with the same purpose in mind.

The police must be reorganized so that they can never again be used

as a repressive force against ordinary people but, instead, ensure

that the population is protected from anti-social behaviour. Police

procedures will be made more humane, effectively guaranteeing full

respect for human dignity and physical integrity. The prison system

and prison conditions at present constitute one of the worst

aspects of the present judicial system and must be radically transformed

with a view to reforming the lawbreaker.

  1   2   3

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page