William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"

4

relevance here and neither does the Inter-American Defense Treaty."10 Again we find the Times editors highlighting the international gravity of Allende's election, while cautioning the Nixon administration to avoid intervention.

Three days later, a September 9 New York Times editorial, titled "Severe Tests for Chile," cast another dreary picture of that country's future under Allende, warning that the country likely faced "constitutional crisis or even civil war."11 Unlike the two previous editorials, "Severe Tests for Chile" goes beyond lamenting the inevitably fatal consequences of a socialist infection in Chile, to speculating on possible preventitive remedies. One prescription called for blocking Allende's path to La Moneda, the Chilean presidential palace, under the provisions of the Chilean Constitution. Allende had received 36.3 percent of the vote, while the conservative Jorge Alessandri had received 34.9 percent, and Radomiro Tomic, the Christian Democrat whose platform closely resembled Allende's, had received 27.8 percent.12 Because no candidate had received more than 50 percent of the ballots, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies and Senate, in joint session, had the power to choose between the two leading candidates on October 24. The Times found it "understandable" that Jorge Alessandri's supporters would try to subvert Chilean tradition and the plurality of the Chilean electorate by persuading the Congress to elect Alessandri instead of Allende. The Times could not endorse "the only other means


10. Ibid.
11. "Severe Tests for Chile," New York Times, September 9, 1970, 46.
12. Radomiro Tomic, "Some Clarification of Historical Facts," in Chile at the Turning Point: Lessons of the Socialist Years, 1970-1973, ed. Federico G. Gil, Ricardo Lagos E., and Henry A. Lands Berger, trans. John S. Gitlitz (Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, Inc., 1979), 188. According to Tomic, his "agreement with the program of the Unidad Popular was manifest," and his platform called for the "replacement of capitalism in Chile." This is significant because while nearly 65% of Chileans had voted against Allende, 65% had also voted to shift from a capitalist system.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19