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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Ricardo Lagos

Interviewed December 10, 2023

Well, in fact, even though I was motivated by public affairs, if you want to say in a broader way, to be specifically involved in politics that is simply because of Pinochet.

[Augusto Pinochet (1915 – 2006) was dictator of Chile between 1973 and 1990.]

At the time of the coup I was a professor at the University [of Chile] and at the same time I was the Secretary General of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. It was just the beginning of social science in Chile and UNESCO, the United Nations educational branch, decided to have an institute devoted to social science and I was appointed as Secretary General of that [Institute]

[The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a United Nations agency that promotes international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.]

It is true also that President Allende asked me to be his Ambassador to Moscow, to the Soviet Union. During those days it was necessary to have the approval by the Congress, by the Upper Chamber, the Senate.

[Salvador Allende (1908-1973) was president of Chile between 1952-1973.]

And at the time of the coup there was no ambassador in Moscow, in Washington, in Paris, in [Havana]. Simply because there was a non-competition agreement between Allende and the Congress.

So at the time of the coup, I was to be ambassador and, nevertheless, I never went to Moscow till many, many years later when I arrived in Moscow, but as the President of Chile and the Soviet Union didn’t exist anymore.