Allende's Chile: An inside View

By Edward Boorstein | Go to book overview

1
A Personal Introduction

I n early 1971 my Chilean friend Jaime Barrios, with whom I had worked in Cuba during the early years of the Cuban Revolution, invited me to work with the Popular Unity government in Chile. I was unable for personal reasons to move to Chile immediately, so Jaime arranged for me to be advisor to Javier Urrutia, president of the Chile Trading Corporation in New York and coordinator of all other Chilean state agencies in that city. I worked at Chile Trading from March 1971 till September 1972, and then left for Chile to work as assistant to Jaime who was at first general manager of the Central Bank and then economic advisor to President Allende.

Jaime and I felt keenly our experience in Cuba. We had seen there the fierceness of the imperialist resistance to the revolution. Almost constantly for many months we had lived in the expectation that the imperialists would intervene militarily -- send in the marines, attack with mercenaries, do something. We felt that the struggle in Chile was also one of life or death. We hardly ever met without discussing the problem of coup d'etat.

We were also struck by the fact that, along with underlying similarities, there were important differences between Cuba and Chile. Chile's political traditions were different; democracy and

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