SANTIAGO – Hortensia Bussi, the widow of Chilean President Salvador Allende, died Thursday at her home in the capital, family members said. She was 94.
Bussi’s two surviving children, Carmen Paz and Isabel, were with her when she passed away. The couple’s other daughter, Beatriz, committed suicide in 1977.
Born July 22, 1914, “Tencha” Bussi became a professor of history and geography and wed Salvador Allende in 1940.
She fled to Mexico in the wake of the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup that toppled her husband’s Socialist government and led to his death.
During the subsequent 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Bussi worked with other exiles and with dissidents inside Chile for the restoration of democracy.
Last year, on the occasion of Bussi’s 94th birthday, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, whose father served in Allende’s Cabinet, sent the widow a card lauding her “enormous commitment, yesterday and today, to our democracy.”
Bussi gave further evidence of that commitment during the 1996 Ibero-American Summit in Chile, where she urged Fidel Castro – an ally of her late husband’s government – to hold free elections in Cuba.
Family members said Bussi died peacefully and that she remained lucid to the end. EFE