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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Castro in Chile, 1971

50 years ago today Fidel Castro began his historic 23 day visit to Chile and President Allende.

On November 10, 1971, Fidel Castro landed in the Chilean city of Antofagasta for an historic 23 day visit to Chile. This was just over a year after Salvador Allende's election as President, the first democratically elected Marxist president in the Americas.

Castro toured many factories, mines, cities and towns, including Santiago, Santa Cruz and the leftist stronghold coal-mining town of Lota whose mines had been nationalized by the Popular Unity government of Allende.

At every point on his tour Castro was met by huge crowds and the visit culminated in a massive rally and speech at the National Stadium in Santiago on December 2.

As he and his delegation crossed into Chilean airspace on a Soviet IL-62, Castro sent the following message to Allende:

Dear friend: I have just crossed the border of your country. We are now flying over Chilean territory. Within 2 hours we shall have the honor of meeting you and your people. Allow me to express the deep emotion we experience as we send you, from Chilean skies, the warm and fraternal greeting of our people and our delegation.


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