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


A headline reading "Moscow Seems Quietly Pleased by the Allende Victory in Chile,"19 or the view that the UP victory was "a triumph for the Popular Front approach that Moscow has been supporting,"20 also served to portray the election as a triumph for the forces of international communism.

Of twenty-eight articles written for the New York Times about events in Chile between September 4, 1970 and November 4, 1970, twenty-six stress Allende's friendship with Fidel Castro, the presence of the Communist Party in the UP, or his Marxist beliefs, while only eight mention Allende's long political career. Because we can assume that the average New York Times reader was as unable to differentiate between socialism, communism, and Marxism as the New York Times editors, the repeated references to Allende as "the Marxist candidate of a leftist coalition"21 were undoubtedly as effective in instilling alarm as the reminders of his friendship to Castro, particularly in the absence of information on his over thirty-five year commitment to constitutionalism.

In one of three articles to provide any substantial biographical information on Allende, Juan de Onis concedes that "Allende does not believe in violence" and that "his long political career...has been within Chile´s democratic system." "However," De Onis cautions the reader, "Dr. Allende heads a leftist coalition that has at its core the strong Chilean Communist Party." De Onis does not elaborate here; presumably the reader instinctively understands that Allende's very affiliation with communists undermines any of his democratic credentials. Later in the article De Onis tells the reader that Allende pledged to be "gentle and cautious in bringing about changes" but follows this with a

19. "Moscow Seems Quietly Pleased by the Allende Victory in Chile," New York Times, October 24, 1970, 15.
20. Juan de Onis, "Chile's Winning Coalition," New York Times, September 8, 1970, 3.
21. Joseph Novitski, "Election Affects Chile´s Economy," New York Times, September 8, 1970, 8.
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