On this day in 1970, Salvador Allende became President of Chile. He immediately began to nationalize large-scale industries (notably U.S. copper mining and banking), expand access to health care and education, offer free milk for children, redistribute large land holdings, raise the minimum wage, support public work projects and public arts, and promote widespread voter participation. The U.S. gov’t. had worked to prevent his election. Once elected, the CIA sponsored a kidnap attempt. Within three years, the CIA funded a coup that led to Allende’s death and the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet.
October 11th, 1941: National Liberation War of Macedonia. The People’s Liberation Army of Macedonia, a Communist-dominated section of the during WWII, fought from this date until the reestablishment of Yugoslavia in 1944. Today, Revolution Day is celebrated in Macedonia on October 11th.
October 10th, 1945: the Double Tenth Agreement is signed. The agreement was the result of discussions between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang. In effect, it allowed the Kuomintang to be declared the official governing party, and the Communist Party the official opposition, thus forcing each to recognize the legitimacy of the other.
October 9th, 1967: Ernesto “Che” Guevara is killed in Bolivia. Che, a legendary hero of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, had been promoting revolution internationally for several years. He was assassinated by CIA-trained operatives.
Hello, my lovely followers,
As you perhaps know from my other blog, we-are-revolting, I am going to Cuba for three weeks with the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade. I will be back on the 18th of May, at which point daily historical updates will be back as well.
In the mean time, sorry for the brief hiatus.
April 25th, 1974: the beginning of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. The Carnation Revolution is perhaps one of the only examples of the peaceful overthrow of an authoritarian regime. A left-wing military group deposed the government in a coup, and asked the general population not to become involved. Soon, however, people filled the streets, holding carnations and adorning the soldiers’ gun with them. The carnations were chosen primarily because of their colour — red, a universal symbol of socialism (a fact which the US Republican Party seems to have overlooked when choosing their colours). The revolution deposed the former regime, installed a democracy in Portugal, and paved the way for an era of new rights, decolonization, and political freedom.
April 24th, 1926: the Treaty of Berlin is signed by representatives of Germany and of the Soviet Union. The Treaty of Berlin effectively renewed the policy of non-aggression in the event of a third party established in 1922 by the Treaty of Rapallo. The Treaty of Berlin reaffirmed this for a five-year period. Relations between Germany and the USSR — especially economically — remained positive, though admittedly very cautious, until Hitler’s rise to power in 1933.
April 14,1958: Sputnik 2 falls from orbit. Sputnik 2 was a Soviet satellite launched on November 3rd, 1957, and is significant in that it was the first satellite to carry a living animal. Though Laika, the dog on board Sputnik 2, did not survive the voyage due to high temperatures on board the satellite, studying her reaction to space was an important step in the development of later spacecraft that could carry humans. As such, it was a vital step of the space race.
April 13, 1919: Eugene V. Debs is imprisoned for speaking out against the Wilson administration and the draft during the First World War. Debs was initially sentenced in November 1918; he then took his case to the supreme court, which ruled that, though he had been careful not to directly advocate resistance to the draft, his message was clear enough to make him guilty. A march in protest of Debs’ imprisonment was held in Cleveland on May 1st 1919 which sparked a riot. Debs ran for president in the elections of the following year, despite still being in prison, and received roughly 4% of the vote. He was eventually released in 1921 by President Harding, as Wilson had declared that Debs was a traitor who should never be released during his time in office.
(For the record, I know he was a socialist rather than a communist. This blog is very loosely defined.)