Salvador Allende voted greatest Chilean

This video says about itself:

Dr. Salvador Allende, President of Chile, speaking to the United Nations (Spanish with German subtitles).

From IPS news agency:

CHILE: Salvador Allende – Greatest Chilean, by Popular Acclaim

By Daniela Estrada

SANTIAGO, Sep 19 – The late socialist President Salvador Allende, who was overthrown by the armed forces on Sept. 11, 1973, was elected the “greatest Chilean in history” in a viewers’ poll organised by a television programme that stirred up controversy.

The series “Great Chileans in History,” broadcast by the state channel TVN, concluded on Wednesday night with the votes for Allende just barely outstripping those for naval captain Arturo Prat, hero of the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific waged by Chile against Bolivia and Peru.

Out of over four million votes from viewers, 38.81 percent went to Allende and 38.44 percent to Prat. In third place, with 7.97 percent, was Saint Alberto Hurtado (1901-1952), a Jesuit priest canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

They were followed by folk singer and songwriter Víctor Jara, who was tortured and murdered a few days after the 1973 military coup that ushered in the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, and Chilean independence heroes Manuel Rodríguez (1785-1818) and General José Miguel Carrera (1785-1821).

Next on the list were legendary Mapuche indigenous leader Lautaro (1534-1557), and poets Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) and Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), both winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Famous singer and songwriter Violeta Parra (1917-1967) took 10th place. …

Allende’s first place in the television poll “means that the efforts of the dictatorship, and the social and political sectors that supported it, to systematically discredit and denigrate his memory, as well as the shameful attempts by governments in power since 1990 to hide his achievements, have been unsuccessful,” Chilean historian Sergio Grez told IPS.

“The continued relevance and popularity of Allende in Chile today can be explained not only by his heroic death, but also by the large numbers of Chileans who continue to cherish dreams and plans for major social changes that include many aspects of Allende’s programmes,” said the University of Chile professor.

“Unlike other figures in national and world history, Allende has not been diminished in death. On the contrary, his stature has grown, in spite of the ‘collapse of the walls’ and the ‘end of history’ announced by some talking heads,” Grez said. …

“Prat is a hero too, but in contrast to Allende, who was a hero of the struggle for social liberation, Prat is a patriotic figure belonging to the final stages of the expansion of the Chilean state,” said Grez.

“Although he was not a conservative, but more of a liberal, during this poll Prat has been held up as a symbol by today’s conservative social sectors in an attempt to prevent a new triumph, symbolic this time, for Allende,” he said.

“A barrage of messages has been flooding the Internet, from rightwing sectors and retired military officers, and it is said from those in active service too, calling on people to vote for Prat to prevent the triumph of the ‘communist’ Allende,” the historian said.

In July, it was even reported that a hacker had interfered with the Internet web page of the “Great Chileans” programme so that Prat would win the contest.

“These conservative sectors, unlike some leftwing activists and academics who looked down on the television contest with Olympian disdain, fully grasped the political significance of this opinion poll and mobilised all their forces to win this symbolic battle,” Grez said.

The series “Great Chileans in History” was a licensed adaptation of the original British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) series on “Great Britons,” in which former Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was ranked first. The show has inspired a score of spin-offs across the globe.

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