Mural: â€œTribute to Allendeâ€ (1973) by Smiley Benavides
thesis statement based on your observation of this mural: In his mural â€œTribute to Allende,â€ Smiley Benavides is illustrating that the military forces unleashed against the supporters of the Allende regime in Chile are a metaphor for the political oppression facing Chicanos in the United States during the early 1970s. Benavides is demonstrating that the Chicano fight for justice is comparable to the Chileansâ€™ support for Allendeâ€™s â€œPopular Unityâ€ platform of justice, equality, labor rights, quality education, etc. Furthermore, by depicting the Chilean military in dark, austere monochrome tones, Benavides makes the analogy that forces of conformity and conservatism of those opposed to Allende are equivalent to that of the Nixon Administration and its disdain toward those in support of civil rights and those opposed to the Vietnam War.
one cause or consequence of an event associated with this mural: Following the ouster of the Allende government on September 11, 1973 (thatâ€™s right, Chile had its own 9-11), General Augusto Pinochet oversaw the installation of a brutal military government that lasted until 1990, when democracy returned to country. But in that 17-year dictatorship, the Pinochet regime in a brutal campaign of terror against alleged â€œsubversivesâ€ and â€œradicals,â€ including students, social workers, doctors, artists, and musicians, such as legendary folk singer Victor Jara, who was executed by security forces at the National Stadium in Santiago. Pinochet was convinced he had to protect â€œla patriaâ€ from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and because Pinochet was committed to fighting Communism, he earned much praise from US presidents through the 1980s. Although Pinochet did usher in an era of economic expansion in the country in the rest of 1970s, popular agitation began to emerge during the early 1980s, and as the Cold War was winding down by the end of the decade, Pinochet was becoming more and more isolated, and after a 1988 â€œplebisciteâ€ in which Chileans voted to end the regime, Pinochet finally ceded power in 1990. But the brutal legacy of Pinochetâ€™s regime still lingers today, and itâ€™s a reminder of just how governments, including constitutional republics, will go to great lengths to exterminate its own citizens just for the sake of preserving its power structure.
one historical individual involved in this event and explain his or her significance in this event: The deceased figure in the mural represents Salvador Allende, the Chilean president who died in the violent coup against him on September 11, 1973. Nobody knows for sure if he took his own life or was murdered by military forces that stormed the presidential palace. Allende was the candidate of the Unidad Popular (â€œPopular Unityâ€) party during the 1970, defeating two other candidates in a three-way race. The UP coalition was made of various left-leaning groups, including Socialists and Communists, which angered the Nixon Administration. Nixon was so incensed that he vowed to â€œsmash that son-of-a-bitch Allende.â€ But for the people who supported Allende, he represented their aspirations of overcoming the legacy of colonialism that had permeated Latin America since the days of the Spaniards. For its supporters, the UP promoted improved social security and public health, an improved and expanded housing sector, gender equality, and the extension of the right to organize unions. Therefore, Allende became a hero to many Chicano activists, who felt that their own aspirations were the mirror image of what UP supporters were fighting for. Unfortunately, Allende could not contain many of the internal struggles within the UP coalition, let alone pressures from the Chilean armed forces, conservative forces, and the Nixon Administration. And as Benavides indicates in his mural, the death of Allende is symbolic of the dashed hopes and dreams of many in the Chicano movement during the mid-1970s. But in modern times, Allende is still viewed as a martyr, as someone who fought for the interests for the common people, but paid the ultimate price for his beliefs