Copper, Compañeros, and Counterrevolution, July–December 1971
This chapter describes how the stakes at play in implementing La Via Chilena had been rising long before Castro's plane touched down in Santiago in November 1971. In June, the murder of Chile's former interior minister, Edmundo Perez Zujovic, by a small extremist group had intensified fear of radicalism in the country, leading more than one foreign observer to warn that “sharp conflict” was on the horizon. Meanwhile, as the Unidad Popular pushed ahead with redistributing Chile's wealth and nationalizing the country's copper industry, it ran up against domestic and international hostility. At home, parliamentary opposition, paramilitary violence, rumors about military intervention in politics, and divisions within Allende's own cabinet considerably undermined the chances of a peaceful democratic road to socialism.
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