I have been thinking a lot about the idea of progress lately. What is the best way for our country to move forward? How do we end dictatorship and usher in democracy in Chile? When they took Sofia, I seethed with rage at the regime. I still remember her face, at that rally two years ago, brimming with confidence and conviction. We were marching down the Plaza de Armas de Maipú, at a rally of thousands, when the security forces drove in with armored cars and tear gas. In the ensuing chaos, she and I were separated. Taking refuge in an alleyway, I managed to climb atop a lamppost, only to see three thugs dragging her into a vehicle and driving away before I could come close to reaching her. After that, I wanted to take up arms against the regime. I wanted to kill every last brute who was a part of the system that took Sofia away from me. I even tried to join the military wing of the Communist Party, but their operations were so secretive it was hard to gain a foothold in the organization with no prior connections.
When I saw the news of the FPMR’s failed assassination attempt on Pinochet, it struck a chord in me. Here were twenty-four young men, armed with RPGs and rocket launchers, and even they couldn’t kill Pinochet after following a meticulously planned operation? Is the man invincible? Will he be an everlasting presence in our country, a dark, shadowy figure whose tyrannical presence will live on even after his death? I can not allow myself to think that. I have determined that armed resistance is futile against this man; his command of the military forces will allow him to swat down any violent action against his rule. To rid ourselves of Pinochet, we must defeat him at the ballot box. The 1988 plebiscite is the first step toward ushering in a new age of democracy.
I, along with Jorge, Tomàs, and Alonso, have gotten back into politics. We have been attending meetings of the Socialist Party. They tell us that we must focus all of our efforts on making sure the “No” vote wins the plebiscite. It will be an uphill battle that will entail massive voter registration drives and door-to-door canvassing. We also have to broadcast to the world what is at stake in this election so that international pressure will make sure the vote is free and fair. I am ready to pour my heart and soul into this campaign. I have seen too many opportunities torn away from me to allow this one to fail. We must succeed. Pinochet must go so that Chile can breathe new life again.