The deteriorating political situation in Chile appeared to worsen on Thursday (August 2nd) when striking truck owners were joined by private bus and taxi owners.
The deteriorating political situation in Chile appeared to worsen on Thursday (August 2nd) when striking truck owners were joined by private bus and taxi owners. As food and fuel shortages threatened, the government requisitioned vehicles, and used police and government drivers. Efforts by groups of owners to block the roads were met with police tear gas.
These events contrasted with a more hopeful note following a meeting between President Salvador Allende and his chief political opponent, Christian Democrat Party (PDC) Leader Patricio Aylwin. President Allende made a number of concessions aimed at Breaking the deadlock in Congress, among them agreement to promulgate a constitutional reform making further nationalisations subject to Congressional approval.
Both extreme wings in Congress have opposed any compromise. Only a warning by Cardinal Raul Silva Enriquez, primate of Chile, that civil war threatened, persuaded President Allende and his opponents to meet. Local observers believed the military were torn between Presidential orders and Congress insistence on Constitutional Rights. Both socialist and conservative extremists have been pushing hard for a military take-over in order to avert civil war.
SYNOPSIS: Striking truck owners in Chile were joined by bus and taxi owners on Thursday. Police broke up strikers attempts to stop government requisitioned vehicles, being driven by police and government workers. Food and fuel shortage threatened in some areas.
The increasingly angry clashes on the roads contrasted with a more hopeful note following a meeting between President Allende and his chief political opponent, Christian Democratic Party leader Patricio Aylwin, after Cardinal Raul Silva Enriquez, primate of Chile, warned that civil war could be imminent. Extremists opposed discussions aimed at reaching a compromise.
But President Allende, faced with a deadlocked Congress, where his party is in the minority, offered important concessions to reach a settlement. He agreed to act on a Constitutional reform to make further nationalisations subject to congressional approval, and to end seizure of farms of lass than 100 acres.
Extremists nevertheless continued efforts to whip up passions that prevented the uneasy situation being normalized. Local political observers believed the military were torn between a traditional support of constitutional government and uneasiness over Chile's deepening crisis.