Socialist Party of Chile
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
|Socialist Party of Chile
Partido Socialista de Chile
|Founded||April 19, 1933|
|Headquarters||París 873, Santiago de Chile|
|Youth wing||Socialist Youth of Chile|
|Coalition||Concert of Parties for Democracy|
|International affiliation||Socialist International and the Sao Paulo Forum|
|Colours||Red and White|
|Chamber of Deputies|
The Socialist Party of Chile (Spanish: Partido Socialista de Chile, or PS) is a political party within the center-left Coalition of Parties for Democracy. Its historic leader was the late President of Chile Salvador Allende Gossens, who was deposed by General Pinochet in 1973. Twenty-seven years later, the President of Chile Ricardo Lagos Escobar represented the Socialist Party in the 1999 presidential elections. He won 48.0% in the first round of voting and was elected with 51.3% in the second round. In the last legislative elections on December 16, 2001, as part of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy, the party won 10 out of 117 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 5 out of 38 elected seats in the Senate. After the 2005 elections, the Party increased its seats to 15 and 8, respectively. In the 2009 elections, it retained 11 Congressional and 5 Senate seats.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
The Socialist Party of Chile was co-founded on April 19, 1933 by Colonel Marmaduque Grove, who had already led several governments, Oscar Schnake, Carlos Alberto Martínez, future President Salvador Allende, and other personalities. After the Chilean coup of 1973 it was proscribed (along with the other leftist parties constituting the Popular Unity coalition) and the party split into several groups which would not reunite until after the return to civilian rule in 1990.
Socialist thought in Chile goes back in the mid-19th century, when Francisco Bilbao and Santiago Arcos began discourse on civil rights and social equality in Chile. These ideas took hold in the labour movement at the beginning of the 20th century and, along with them, the various communist, anarchist, socialist, and mutualist ideals of the time were diffused through writers and leaders such as Luis Emilio Recabarren. The impact of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia was to give new vigor to Chile's revolutionary movements, which in the 1920s were mostly identified with Communist theory, including the formation of the Communist Party of Chile.
The Great Depression of 1930 plunged the country's popular sectors and media into a serious crisis that led them to empathize with the socialist ideas expressed in the establishment of the short-lived Socialist Republic of Chile in 1932. The idea to found a political party to unite the different movements identified with socialism crystallized in the foundation of the Socialist Party of Chile, April 19, 1933. In Santiago, at 150 Serrano, the parties concurred: 14 delegates of the Socialist Marxist Party conducted by Eduardo Rodriguez Mazer; 18 of the New Public Action, headed by the lawyer Eugenio Matte Stolen; 12 delegates of the Socialist Order, whose main exponent was the architect Arturo Bianchi Gundian; and 26 representatives of the Revolutionary Socialist Action of Oscar Schnake for the Party's Foundation, and to elect its first executive Secretary General, Oscar Schnake.
The Party's Statement of Principles was:
-The Socialist Party embodies Marxism, enriched by scientific and social progress. -The Capitalist exploitation based on the doctrine of private property regarding land, industry, resource, and transportation, necessarily must be replaced by an economically socialist state in which said private property be transformed into collective. -During the process of total transformation of the system of government, a representative revolutionary government of the manual and intellectual labourers' class is necessary. The new socialist state only can be born of the initiative and the revolutionary action of the proletariat masses. -The socialist doctrine is of an international character and requires the support of all the workers of the world. The Socialist Party will support their revolutionary goals in economics and politics across Latin America in order to pursue a vision of a Confederacy of the Socialist Republics of the Continent, the first step toward the World Socialist Confederation.
The Party quickly obtained popular support. Its partisan structure exhibits some singularities, such as the creation of "brigades" that group their militants according to environment of activity; brigades that live together organically, and brigades of militant youths such as the Confederacy of the Socialist Youth, and the Confederacy of Socialist Women. In the later 1930s they included the "Left Communist" faction, formed by a split of the Communist Party of Chile, headed by Manuel Noble Plaza and comprising the journalist Oscar Waiss, the lawyer Tomás Chadwick and the first secretary of the PS, Ramón Sepúlveda Loyal, among others.
In 1934 the Socialists, along with the Radical-Socialist Party and the Democratic Party constituted the "Leftist Bloc". In the first parliamentary election (March 1937) they obtained 22 representatives (19 representatives and 3 senators), among them its Secretary general Oscar Schnake Vergara, elected senator of Tarapacá-Antofagasta, placed by the PS in a noticeable place inside the political giants of the epoch. For the 1938 presidential election, the PS participated in the formation of the Popular Front, withdrawing its presidential candidate, the colonel Marmaduque Grove, and supporting the Radical Party's candidate, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, who narrowly defeated the right-wing candidate following an attempted coup by the National Socialist Movement of Chile. In the government of Aguirre Cerda the socialists obtained the Ministries of Public Health, Forecast and Social Assistance, given to Salvador Allende, the Minister of Promotion, trusted to Oscar Schnake, and the Ministers of Lands and Colonization, handed out to Rolando Merino.
The participation of the Socialist Party in the government of Aguirre Cerda reached an end on December 15, 1940, due to internal conflicts among the Popular Front coalition, in particular with the Communist Party. In the parliamentary elections of March 1941 the PS advanced outside of the Popular Front and obtained 17,9% of the votes, 17 representatives and 2 senators. The PS integrated into the new leftist coalition following Cerda's death, now named Democratic Alliance, which supported the candidacy of the Radical Juan Antonio Ríos, who was triumphantly elected. The Socialists participated in his cabinet, alongside Radicals, members of the Democratic Party and of the Liberal Party and even of the Falange. Oscar Schnake occupied once again the post of Promotion and the socialist Pedro Populate Vera and Eduardo Escudero Forrastal assumed the positions of Lands and Colonization and Social Assistance, respectively.
The youth of the party assumed a very critical attitude toward these changes and mergers, which caused the expulsion of all the Central Committee of the FJS, among them Raúl Vásquez (its secretary general), Raúl Ampuero, Mario Palestro and Carlos Briones. In the IX Congress of the PS of the year 1943 Salvador Allende displaced Marmaduque Grove as Secretary General and withdrew his party from the government of Ríos. Grove did not accept this situation, and was expelled from the PS and the Authentic Socialist Party. These conflicts caused the PS to drop violently to only 7% of the votes in the parliamentary elections of March 1945, diminishing significantly its parliamentary strength.
After World War II
||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (March 2012)|
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
There was complete confusion in the Socialist Party for the presidential election of 1946. The PS decided to raise its own candidate; its secretary general Bernardo Ibáñez. However, many militants supported the radical candidate Gabriel González Videla, while the Authentic Socialist Party of Grove stopped supporting the conservative Eduardo Cruz Coke.
After the failure of the candidacy of Ibáñez (who obtained barely a 2.5% of the votes), the purges continued. In the XI Ordinary Congress the current "revolution" of Raúl Ampuero was imposed and he assigned to academic Eugenio González the making of the Program of the Socialist Party which defined its north; the Democratic Republic of Workers.
The promulgation, in 1948, of the Law 8.987 "Law of Defense of the Democracy" that banned the communists, was again a factor of division among the socialists. Bernardo Ibáñez, Oscar Schnake, Juan Bautista Rosseti and other anticommunist socialists supported it with enthusiasm; while the board of directors of the party directed by Raúl Ampuero and Eugenio González rejected it. The anticommunist group of Ibáñez was expelled from the PS and they constituted the Socialist Party of the Workers; nevertheless the Conservative of the electoral Roll assigned to the group of Ibáñez the name Socialist Party of Chile, forcing the group of Ampuero to adopt the name Popular Socialist Party.
The Socialist Popular Party proclamation, in its XIV Congress, carried out in Chillán in May 1952, as its presidential standard bearer to Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, despite the refusal of the senators Salvador Allende and Tomás Chadwick. Allende abandoned the party and united the Socialist Party of Chile, which, as a group with the Communist Party (outlawed), raised the candidacy of Allende for the Front of the People. The triumph of Ibáñez permitted the popular socialists to have important departments such as that of Work (Clodomiro Almeyda) and Estate (Felipe Herrera).
After the parliamentary elections of 1953; where the Socialist Popular Party obtained 5 senators and 19 representatives, the popular socialists abandoned the government of Carlos Ibáñez del Campo and proclaimed the need to establish a Front of Workers, in conjunction with the Democratic Party of the People, the socialists of Chile and the outlawed communists.
Finally, on March 1, 1956, the two socialist parties (Socialist Party of Chile and Socialist Popular Party), the Party of the Workers (communist outlawed), Democratic Party of the People and the Democratic Party all signed the minutes of constitution of the Front of Popular Action (FRAP) with Salvador Allende Gossens as the president of the coalition, which participated successfully in the municipal elections of April 1956.
After the parliamentary elections of March 1957 the "Congress of Unit" was carried to power, formed from the Popular Socialist Party directed by Rául Ampuero and the Socialist Party of Chile of Salvador, directed by Allende Gossens. These chose the secretary general of the unified Socialist Party; Salomón Corbalán.
July 31, 1958 the Law of Permanent Defense of the Democracy was derogated by the National Congress, therefore the ban of the Communist Party was repealed. In the presidential elections of 1958, the standard bearer of the Front of Popular Action (FRAP), the socialist Salvador Allende, lost the presidential election narrowly to Jorge Alessandri. In spite of the loss, the unification of the socialist parties had a new leader, and Chile was one of the few countries of the world in which a Marxist had clear possibilities to win the presidency of the Republic through democratic elections.
The overwhelming triumph of Eduardo Frei Montalva over the candidate of the FRAP Salvador Allende Gossens in the presidential elections of September 1964 caused demoralization among the followers of the "Chilean way to the socialism". The National Democratic Party (PADENA) abandoned the coalition of left; and the influence of the Cuban revolution and above all of the "guerrilla way of Ernesto Guevara" they were left to feel the heart of the Socialist Party. The discrepancies of the party were perceived clearly. In July from 1967 the senators Raúl Ampuero and Tomás Chadwick and the representatives Ramón Silva Ulloa, Eduardo Osorio Pardo and Oscar Naranjo Arias were expelled, and founded the Popular Socialist Union (USOPO).
In the XXII Congress that took place in Chillán in November 1967, the political line was radicalized, as favoured by political line was made, favored by Carlos Altamirano Orrego and the leader of the Rural Confederation Ranquil. The party now officially adhered to Marxism-Leninism, declared itself in favour of revolutionary, anticapitalist and anti-imperialist changes.
The Popular Unity government
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
In the year 1969, the skepticism for the "Chilean way to the socialism" was the majority in the Central Committee of the PS. Salvador Allende Gossens was proclaimed presidential preliminary candidate of its party with 13 votes in favor and 14 abstentions, among them that of its secretary general, Aniceto Rodriguez, of Carlos Altamirano Orrego and of Clodomiro Almeyda Medina. Nevertheless, the candidacy of Allende galvanized the forces of left, who constituted, in October 1969, the Popular Unity coalition of the Socialist Party, Communist Party, Radical Party, Popular Unitary Action Movement (split of the Christian Democrat Party) and former supporters of Carlos Ibáñez grouped in the Independent Popular Action alliance, that culminated with the presidential triumph of September 1970.
October 24, 1970 Salvador Allende Gossens was officially proclaimed President of the Republic of Chile. There was world expectation; he agreed to manage the coalition and to be a Marxist president with the explicit commitment to build socialism, while respecting the democratic and institutional mechanisms.
The position of the PS at first, of the government of the UP, was radicalized with the choice of the party's direction, chosen in the XXIII Congress, carried out in the Serene One in January 1971, by the senator Carlos Altamirano Orrego; who proclaimed that the party he should transform into "the Chilean vanguard in the march toward the socialism".
In the municipal elections of April 1971, the leftist coalition reached the simple majority in the election of managers, which caused growing polarization due to the alliance of the Christian Democrats with the sectors of the right in the country. The retreat of the Party of Radical Left from the government, with its 6 representatives and 5 senators, meant that the government of Allende remained with less than one third of both houses of the parliament.
In the parliamentary elections of March 1973, the Popular Unity ruler coalition managed to block the initiative of the opposing Democratic Confederation to promote a constitutional accusation against the president Allende, to obtain this two thirds of the votes would have been required.
The Socialist Party under Pinochet
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
The serious economic problems facing the government only deepened the country's political divisions. The Socialist Party, which had posted its highest electoral showing in history, was opposed, along with MAPU, to any dialogue with the right-wing opposition. On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet led the military coup against Allende's government, putting an end to the Presidential Republic Era begun in 1924. President Salvador Allende refused to relinquish power to the Armed Forces, and ultimately committed suicide in his office at the Palace of La Moneda, during an intensive air bombardment of the historic edifice.
The military coup d'état was devastating to the organization of the Chilean Socialist Party. Within a few weeks of the coup, four members of their Central Committee and seven regional secretaries of the Partido Social had been murdered. A further twelve members of the Central Committee were imprisoned, while the remaining members took refuge in various foreign embassies. The Socialist Party's Secretary General, Carlos Altamirano, managed to escape from Chile, appearing in Havana on January 1, 1974, during the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
Lack of experience working 'underground' during the ban led to the breakup of the Party's Secret Directorate. The secret services of the military state managed to infiltrate the organization and, one by one, arrested its principal leaders. The bodies of Exequiel Ponce Vicencio, Carlos Lorca Tobar, Ricardo Lagos Salinas and Víctor Zerega Ponce were never found.
Other victims of repression were the former home Secretary, José Tohá González and the former Minister of National Defense, Orlando Letelier del Solar. Having reviewed the consequences of the defeat of the Unidad Popular, and observed the experiences of refugees of "true socialism" in Eastern Europe, and seeing the lack of a cohesive strategy to continue against Pinochet's regime, there was deep dissent within its exterior organization, whose central management was in the German Democratic Republic.
In April 1979, the Tercer Pleno Exterior, the majority sector of the party, named Clodomiro Almeyda as the new Secretary General, Galo Gómez as the Assistant Secretary and expelled Carlos Altamirano, Jorge Arrate, Jaime Suaréz, Luis Meneses and Erich Schnake from the party, charging them with being "remnants of a past which is in the process of being overcome who testify to the survival of a nucleus which is irreducible and resistant to the superior qualitative development of a true revolutionary vanguard".
Altamirano, not accepting this, declared a re-organization of the party and called a Conference. The XXIV Conference took place in France in 1980 and Altamirano declared there that, "Only a very deep and rigorous renewal of definitions and proposals for action, language, style and methods of "doing politics" will make our revolutionary action effective (...) It does not force us to "relaunch" the Partido Social (Socialist Party) of Chile. Yes, it means we must "renew it", understand it as our most precious instrument of change, as an option for power, as an alternative to transformation."
In the 1980s socialist factions reemerged as active opponents to the Pinochet government. A sector, from among the so-called "renewed socialist", founded the Convergencia Socialista (the Socialist Convergence), which contributed to the Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria - MAPU (Unified Movement of Popular Action), the peasant worker MAPU, and the Christian Leftists. They aimed, in conjunction with the Christian Democracy, to end dictatorship through "non-disruptive methods". The other sector (majority from among the socialist militants in the interior of the country) formed the "popular rebellion" alliance - an agreement with the Communist Party, the Leftist Revolutionary Movement and the Radical Party of Anselmo Sule. The objectives were the same. After the First National Protest against the Pinochet regime, which occurred on May 11, 1983, the efforts of the different factions of the Socialist Party intensified.
The XXIV ("renewed") Socialist Party Congress, directed by Ricardo Ñúnez, decided to form the Democratic Alliance. This was a coalition of Christian Democrats, Silva Cimma radicals, and sectors from the republican and democratic right wing. They convened the Fourth National Protest Day (August 11, 1983) and proposed, in September 1983, the formation of the Socialist Bloc, the first attempt at a unification of Chilean socialism under the slogan "Democracy Now!".
In the meantime, the "Almeyda" Partido Social, in conjunction with the Communist Party, Aníbal Palm radicals and the Leftist Revolutionary Movement, founded the "Movimiento Democrático Popular" (MDP) (Popular Democratic Movement) on September 6, 1983, which caused the Fifth Day of National Protest.
The signing of the National Accord in late August 1985, between the Democratic Alliance and sectors of the right wing aligned to the military regime, deepened division among the Chilean left wing. The most radical politico-military arm opposed the method of gradual transition towards democracy. Their primary exponent was the Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez (FPMR) (the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front).
In September 1986, the politico-military method of "mass violent insurrectionist uprisings" was finally aborted after the failure of "Operation 20th century", as the assassination attempt on Pinochet by the FPMR was called. Some of the top leaders from among the revolutionary sectors of the "Almeyda" Partido Social, along with conciliators and opportunists, on realizing that the idea of overthrowing the dictatorship was not a viable strategy, began to take control of the party and distance themselves from the Communist Party. As a result, the socialist left wing realized that a "negotiated solution" to the conflict could not be found outside of the provisions of the 1980 Constitution.
In March 1987, Clodomiro Almeyda entered Chile secretly and presented himself before the court to rectify his situation. He was deported to Chile Chico, condemned and deposed of his civic rights.
In April 1987, Ricardo Núñez, new leader of the "renewed" Partido Social, announced, at the 54th Anniversary of the party, "We are not going to remove Pinochet from the political scene using weapons. We shall defeat him with the ballot boxes (..) We are convinced that the town is going to stop Pinochet with the ballot boxes. We are going to build that army of seven million citizens to embrace different alternatives to the Chilean political landscape".
In December 1987 the "renewed" Partido Social founded the Partido por la Democracia (PPD) (Party for Democracy), an "instrumental" party serving as a tool to enable legally democratic forces to participate in the 1988 Plebiscito (Referendum) and in subsequent elections. Ricardo Lakes was appointed as the president. Some radicals, dissident communists, and even democratic liberals joined this party.
In February 1988 the Concertación de Partidos por el No (Coalition of Parties for the 'No') was formed. 17 political parties and movements in Chile joined this coalition. Among them were the members of the Alianza Democrática (the Democratic Alliance), the Almeyda Partido Social, and the Christian Left. The political direction of the campaign fell on the Christian Democratic leader, Patricio Aylwin, and Ricardo Lakes from the PPD. They achieved successful results in the October 5, 1988 Plebiscito, where close to 56% of the valid votes cast rejected the idea that Pinochet would continue as the President of the Republic.
After the October 1988 Plebiscito, the Coalition called for constitutional reform to remove the "authoritarian clauses" of the 1980 Constitution. This proposal by the democratic opposition was partly accepted by the authoritarian government via the July 30, 1989 Plebiscito, where 54 reforms to the existing Constitution were approved. Among these reforms were the revocation of the controversial article 8, which served as the basis for the exclusion of the socialist leader, Clodomiro Almeyda, from political involvement.
In November 1988 the Almeyda Partido Social, the Christian Left and the Communist Party, among other left wing organizations, formed an "instrumental" party called Partido Amplio de Izquierda Socialista (PAIS) (the Far Left Socialist Party), with Luis Maira as the president and Ricardo Solari as the secretary general.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
In May 1989, the "renewed" PS carried out (for the first time in the history of Chilean socialism) internal elections by secret ballot by its membership throughout the country. The list composed of Jorge Arrate and Luis Alvarado was imposed, winning against the competing lists of Erich Schnake and Akím Soto; and of Heraldo Muñoz (this last one supported by the internal tendency of Ricardo Lagos).
The winning list of Jorge Arrate represented the tendency of the "socialist renewal", follower of a permanent alliance with the Christian Democracy in the framework of the coalition, as he was a firm champion of the unification of the party, to the opposition of the other internal currents, more excépticas in this last matter. They finalized the elections in the XXV Congress, that was carried out in the locality of Costa Azul, and in which the transcendental decision for the Chilean socialism was taken to abandon its traditional isolationism and incorporate the International Socialist.
In June 1989, the Coalition appointed the Christian democrat Patricio Aylwin as its standard bearer for the presidential elections. Aylwin had imposed, in the internal elections of its party, to the preliminary candidates Gabriel Valdés and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and received, in the few weeks before its election, the support of the radicals of Silva Cimma and of the own one PS-Almeyda. Finally the PS-Arrate (or "renewed") low[clarification needed] to its candidate Ricardo Lagos and added to the candidacy whose was one[clarification needed] of the main adversaries of the government of the Popular Unity, being president of the Christian Democratic Party.
The candidacy of Aylwin was imposed easily in the presidential elections of 1989, gaining more than the 55% of the valid votes. This position was strengthened as 16 representatives of the party were elected, 13 of whom were militants of the PS-Arrate. In the matter of senators, three of their militants were chosen (Ricardo Núñez Muñoz, Jaime Gazmuri and Hernán Vodanovic), but there was regret over the rout of Ricardo Lagos in his candidacy of Santiago West.
The PS-Almeyda obtained seven representatives, two of them chosen via Amplied Party of the Socialist Left and five of them chosen as independent in the ready coalition. In matter of senators, Rolando Calderon Aránguiz was chosen by Magallanes.
The fall of the wall of Berlin, which occurred November 9, 1989, deeply affected the Chilean left, especially in its more orthodox sector, which accelerated the process of unity of the party, which itself strengthened December 27, 1989. This opportunity incorporated itself to the PS Unified the Movement of Unit Popular Action, headlined by Oscar Guillermo Garretón.
Between 22 and 25 November 1990 the Savior Unit Congress Allende was carried out, where itself incorporated historic leaders as Raúl Ampuero and Aniceto Rodriguez and the Christian Left headed by its president Luis Maira and its two representatives (Sergio Aguiló and Jaime Naranjo). In that Congress Jorge Arrate MacNiven was chosen as the president, Ricardo Núñez Muñoz as vice president and Manuel Almeyda Medina as secretary general.
The first challenges for the unified socialism were the exercise of power and the relation of "double membership" that had the "socialist renewed" in the PS and in the Party for Democracy. Finally, the Socialist Party decided to be recorded under its name and symbols in the electoral rolls and gave a time limit to its militants of two years to opt for the PS or the PPD. A prominent number of socialists "renewed" did not return; among them Erich Schnake, Sergio Bitar, Guido Girardi, Jorge Molina, Vicente Sotta, Víctor Barrueto and Octavio Jara.
In power; the socialist Enrique Correa (as the minister General Secretary of Government), Carlos Ominami (Economy), Germán Correa (Transportation), Ricardo Lakes and Jorge Arrate MacNiven (Education) and Luis Alvarado (National Goods) integrated the cabinets of the Patrician president Aylwin, while in the Camera (House) of Representatives, the socialist José Antonio Viera-Gallo and Jaime Estevéz exercised its presidency.
In the elections of 1992, Germán Strap was chosen as president of the PS, supported by the sector "renewed" of Ricardo Núñez Muñoz and the fraction "tercerista" of the almeydismo, who imposes on themselves the candidacy of Camilo Escalona, Clodomiro Almeyda and Jaime Estevez, who represent an alliance between the traditional supporters of Clodomiro Almeyda and a faction of the "renewed" of Jorge Arrate MacNiven.
Presidents elected under Socialist Party of Chile
- Victor Olea Alegria, disappeared in 1974
- Carlos Lorca, disappeared in 1975
- Carlos Altamirano Orrego (general secretary between 1971 and 1979)
- wikisource:Chamber of Deputies of Chile Resolution of August 22, 1973
- Kautsky, John (2002), Social Democracy and the Aristocracy, Transaction, p. 44
- (Spanish)Declaration of Principles of the Socialist Party, 2001
- (Spanish)Walker, Ignacio (1990), Socialismo y Democracía, Cieplan, p. 230
- (French) Pierre Ostiguy, La transformation de système des partis politiques chiliens, Politique et société, vol.24, Éditeur : Société québécoise de science politique, 2005. p 132
- Associated Press (20 July 2011). "Chilean president Salvador Allende committed suicide, autopsy confirms". The guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Socialist Party of Chile|
- Partido Socialista de Chile (Spanish)