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Beatriz AllendeA Revolutionary Life in Cold War Latin America$
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Tanya Harmer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654294

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654294.001.0001

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Revolutionary Upheaval

Revolutionary Upheaval

(p.135) 6 Revolutionary Upheaval
Beatriz Allende

Tanya Harmer

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter six examines revolutionary upheaval in the last years of Eduardo Frei’s presidency and Beatriz’s role in it while remaining committed to the ELN’s Bolivian project and Cuba’s revolutionary regime. It describes the fragmentation of the Left and the growing specter of violence in Chile, characterized by the government’s reliance on force and a growing propensity on the left to confront it. It asks how Beatriz responded, noting the role she played as a confidant of Chile’s revolutionary left leaders, her father, and Cuba’s intelligence apparatus through her love affair with one of its principal officials. Beatriz’s internationalist preoccupations and her age separated her from local developments and youth movements. Yet, as a lecturer at a new public health department, recruiter for the ELN and collaborator of the MIR, she was involved and complicit in political and societal upheaval – serving as a mediator, facilitator, and bridge between different factions. She was nevertheless pessimistic and depressed about the pace of change. When the ELN ran into trouble in Bolivia and was progressively abandoned by Cuba, her romanticization of guerrilla insurgencies diminished. Like many others on the radicalized left, she was also sceptical about electoral strategies for bringing about radical change.

Keywords:   Chile, Chilean Socialist Party, Cuba, Eduardo Frei, Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, Ejército de Liberación Nacional, Public Health, Student politics, University Reform, Youth

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