Socialist Party of Chile
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Socialist Party of Chile
(SPC; Partido Socialista de Chile), a party founded in 1933. The SPC consists of industrial and nonindustrial workers, peasants, and members of the urban petite bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia. In 1938 the SPC joined the Popular Front and members of the party entered the government of P. Aguirre Cerda, the Popular Front candidate. The right wing of the SPC shortly thereafter spoke out against participation in the Popular Front and the Aguirre Cerda government. Leftist elements and groupings in the party leadership hindered the SPC in its collaboration with the communists and other left-wing forces and caused frequent serious disputes in the party, which resulted in splits.
In February 1956 the SPC participated with the Communist Party in the creation of the Popular Action Front and began to collaborate regularly with the Communist Party and other left-wing forces of the Popular Action Front and the United Central Workers’ Union. The Eighteenth Congress of the SPC, held in October 1959, approved new party rules, which proclaimed Marxism as the ideological foundation of the party. These rules superseded the first set of party rules, which had been adopted in 1935 at the Third Congress of the SPC. The Nineteenth Congress, held in 1961, advanced the policy of closer cooperation between socialists and communists and joint action against imperialist domination and the local oligarchy. In the 1970 presidential elections S. Allende Gossens, a leader of the SPC, won a plurality of votes as the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition, formed in 1969 by the SPC, the Communist Party, and other left-wing parties. Allende became president of the country. Members of the SPC and the Communist Party joined the Popular Unity government.
The Twenty-third Congress of the SPC, held in 1971, expressed support for the Popular Unity government and its program. A delegation from the CPSU attended the congress.
Since the reactionary coup of September 1973, the SPC has been illegal and its members have been persecuted. Allende himself was killed during the coup.
The highest organ of the SPC, according to the party rules, is the party congress. The party is directed by the Political Commission of the Central Committee and the Secretariat of the Central Committee, which is headed by a general secretary. C. Altamirano became general secretary in 1971.