My only lasting memories as a young child are associated with the military coup in Chile in 1973. I remember a mixed collection of facts, experiences and emotions. All of them have in common a sense of loss, of being denied a happiness which could have been.
This year marks 50 years since the military coup and bloody crushing of the Chilean workers’ movement in September 1973, and the beginning of the Pinochet dictatorship, which lasted until 1990. The dress rehearsal for the 11 September coup happened on 29 June and is often referred to as the Tanquetazo (for the military’s use of tanks).
Much has been said about COVID-19 and its impact on children. How are they affected and what responsibilities do they and the adults around them have in the context of this historic crisis? I make no claims to any new meaningful health knowledge in this regard, but I do want to say something about the impact of this health and social crisis on the psychology of children and young people.
Sunday a week ago, Bolivia experienced a coup orchestrated by the most reactionary forces of the country’s ruling class. The workers of Bolivia will not accept the coup or the rule of those elites who want to reassert their direct, unrestrained dominance in the Bolivian state.
On the day of the military coup in Chile, 11 September 1973, Victor Jara heard the brief radio transmissions on the Communist Party’s Radio Magallanes. Probably some of Salvador Allende’s final words: “This will surely be the last chance I can address you. The Air Force has bombed the towers of Radio Portales and Radio Corporación. My words have no bitterness, but disappointment ... I can only tell the workers: I will not resign! I will pay with my life the loyalty of the people”.
National Assembly speaker Juan Guaidó swore himself in as Venezuela’s interim president on 23 January and was duly recognised by all and sundry right wing governments in South America. Jair Bolsonaro and Iván Duque, who head two of the most reactionary governments, in Brazil and Colombia, have joined the Trump administration in the US and Venezuela’s right wing, to bring down the government of Nicolás Maduro.