Sixteen years after Gen. Augusto Pinochet seized power and vowed to rid Chile of Marxism, his Communist foes have survived to make a bid for seats in Congress. Twenty-one known Communist Party members are among 600 candidates campaigning for the Dec. 14 election marking the end of military rule. The general was forced to call elections after losing a referendum a year ago on his continued rule.
The Communists are barred by law from using the party name in campaigning. Officially, they belong to the Broad Socialist Left Party, a political front for banned leftist parties. Chile's party is Latin America's oldest Communist organization. Its ranks were decimated by repression after the 1973 takeover.