Remembering Salvador Allende and the other 9/11

Today is the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. It is also my birthday. It is a day where Americans will remember those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers, Pentagon and Pennsylvania. It’s a day that change my generation and the United States of America. A day that was supposed to be a wake up call for the U.S. administration became an opportunity for ultra conservatives to take advantage of people’s pain and transform it into one huge economic catastrophe. Don’t get me wrong, I also mourn the losses of those that passed away. I prefer to be in silence and pray for the victim’s families as they go through another year of mourning their loved ones. I pray for those who weren’t able to get adequate health care and died due to our messed up health care system. I pray for the families who don’t believe that going to war will bring healing to their loved ones.

It is sad to know that a government will use a catastrophe to fit perfect into their agenda. Going to war was never the answer to remember those who died on September 11. The U.S. has been terrorizing countries for as long as one can remember. They have invaded Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, Panama, and supported military dictatorships in countries throughout the world. It was the U.S. backed coup on September 11, 1973, that ousted Chilean President, Salvador Allende and paved the way for Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 17 year dictatorship. 
One would wonder if the American politicians would reflect on the U.S. foreign policy and if the atttacks on 9/11 were a message for the U.S. to change its foreign policy. To me, attacking the World Trade Center can be interpreted as attacking the capitalist economic system. The Pentagon is a symbol of the atrocities that the U.S. military has carried out in other countries. By attacking the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, one can interpret the attacks as a warning to the U.S. to change its evil ways. Instead it only got worse and here we are 10 years after feeling the effects of such policies. While the few Americans who benefited from the attacks continue to live in their lavish lifestyle, the rest of us are trying to survive.

Today is a day of reflection. A day where I reflect on the life of Salvador Allende. I remember this great charismatic man as a true humanist. A man who advocated peace, transparency, tolerance and social justice. Salvador Allende not only became the democratically elected President of Chile, but became the 1st socialist President in our hemisphere. It was his 4th try running for President and the great Pablo Neruda stated that this was his fourth and final try. While Allende’s government suffered many economic setbacks, no one can deny the amazing support that he had from the poorest of the poor and the working class. His ability to connect with the people was magical. His speeches were poetic and somewhat prophetic.

On Tuesday, September 11, 1973, he was going to ask the Chilean people for a national referendum. He was to ask if the people were satisfy at the way his government was operating. Rather than have Salvador Allende give his speech to the Chilean people, the military under the direction of Gen. Augusto Pinochet decided to act and that’s where the coup took over.

Allende defended the Chilean people until the final minutes of his life. The U.S. government had an eye on Allende since the early 60s when he was a senator. The CIA finance the coup. Augusto Pinochet dictatorship led to more than 3,000 people dying and thousands more tortured and disappeared. And during Pinochet’s 17 year dictatorship, the U.S. was a proud ally.

On this day, I like to remember all of the victims who passed away on September 11, 1973 and 2001. I especially like to remember Salvador Allende for being a man dedicated to the values of peace and social justice.

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