A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.
I wake early as usual. Victor is still asleep, so I get out of bed quietly and wake Manuela who has to get to school early. I go downstairs to put the kettle on and a few minutes later Monica appears, rubbing her eyes and yawning. Everything is normal, within the abnormality in which we are living. It is a cold, cheerless, overcast morning.
We have breakfast, Manuela and I, and set out for school. It isn’t far by car, but difficult to reach by public transport even if there were any. Luckily we still have some petrol. We are obviously the only people stirring. Everyone else seems to have decided to stay in bed, except of course the maids, who get up early and go to queue for bread at the bakery on the comer. Monica had come back with the news that Allende’s car has already raced down Avenida Colón accompanied by his usual escort, much earlier than usual. People in the bread queue and in the newspaper kiosk were saying that something is afoot.
Manuel de Salas is full of students. There is no sign of the strike here. Only a tiny percentage of families are not supporters of Popular Unity. On the way home I switch on the car radio and the news comes through that Valparaiso has been sealed off and that unusual troop movements are taking place. The trade unions are calling for all workers to assemble in their places of work because this is an emergency, a red alert.
I hurry home to tell Victor. He is already up when I arrive and is fiddling with the transistor radio trying to get Magallanes or one of the other radio stations that support Popular Unity. ‘This seems to be it,’ we say to each other, ‘it has really started.’