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European Solidarity with Chile – 1970s – 1980s

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Edited By Kim Christiaens, Idesbald Goddeeris and Magaly Rodríguez García

The overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and the coming to power of a military regime led by Augusto Pinochet on 11 September 1973 drew worldwide attention towards Chile. The political repression shook the world and ignited one of the largest social movements of the 1970s and 80s. Hundreds of solidarity committees and a gamut of human rights and justice organizations mobilized thousands of people. This volume offers a compelling insight into the exceptional impact that the Chilean crisis made in Western and Eastern Europe. In doing so, it provides a new and broader perspective into the history of the Cold War, transnational activism, and human rights.
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Italy: The ‘Chilean Lesson’ between the Legacy of the Struggle against Fascism and the Threat of New Authoritarian Shifts

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Monica Quirico and Valentine Lomellini*

Chilean exile in Italy has not yet been studied with the attention it deserves. Yet, Italy was one of the primary European destinations for Chileans fleeing repression: it is estimated that out of the estimated 400,000 people who left Chile for political reasons, 50.78% went to Argentina, 7.87% to the US, 6.18% to Venezuela, 3.85% to Canada, 3.68% to France, 2.38% to both Italy and Sweden, and 2.21% to Australia.1 The figures are controversial, however, notably due to the difficulties in distinguishing political from economic exile. What is undisputed, however, is that Rome was from the beginning the meeting pointpar excellence of the Chilean exile opposition all over Europe. It was the place where the top of the exiled Unidad Popular parties settled.2 Chile Democrático, the unitary international exile organization of Unidad Popular parties, established its headquarters in the Eternal City as early as the autumn of 1973, thanks to an agreement between representatives of the UP and the Italian Communist Party (PCI).3 In September 1974, the magazine Chile-América was founded by prominent representatives of Chilean politics (UP, DC, MAPU); for nine years it would be a source of political debate and critical reflection spread across the Chilean community worldwide. The growing popularity of Chilean culture in Italy was of great help to the campaigns for Chile: the musicians of Inti Illimani, who were already in Italy when the coup was carried out, were crucial in spreading...

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