Friday, June 11, 2010

#322 Chile...Thanks Oriane!

The $410 stamp was issued in 2008 commemorating 100th birthday of Salvadore Allende with the painting "La vida Allende la muerte" (Life beyond Death) by Matta.

Salvador Allende (1908-1973) was a Chilean physician and is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in the Americas.

Allende's involvement in Chilean political life spanned a period of nearly forty years. As a member of the Socialist Party, he was a senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency in a close three-way race.

He adopted the policy of nationalization of industries and collectivization. His policy of collectivization resulted in expropriation of lands and crop production dropped,amidst strikes by the far-right Patria y Libertad and CIA opposition under the Nixon administration. Protests were held in Chile against Allende's rule.The Supreme Court criticized Allende for subordination of the judicial system to serve his own political needs and the Chamber of Deputies requested the military to restore laws in Chile. After this request by the Chamber of Deputies, General Augusto Pinochet deposed Allende in a U.S.-backed coup d'état on September 11, 1973 and this ended the Popular Unity government.During the air raids and ground attacks that preceded the coup, Allende gave his last speech where he vowed to stay in the presidential palace.The same day, Allende committed suicide.

Roberto Mtta (1911-2002) was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th century abstract expressionist and surrealist art.

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