Tomic, Radomiro (1914–1992)

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Tomic, Radomiro (1914–1992)

Radomiro Tomic, Chilean politician and former ambassador to the United States. Tomic, born May 7, 1914, in the Yugoslav enclave in Antofagasta, helped form the Partido Demócrata Cristiano (PDC). In 1968, after serving as ambassador to the United States, he returned to Chile, where he emerged as one of the leaders of the PDC's progressive wing. Selected as the Christian Democratic candidate for president in 1970, Tomic attempted to hold onto the Christian Democratic faithful while reaching out to the leftist vote by advocating more radical agrarian reform, nationalization of the copper mines, and massive state involvement in economic development. Tomic's tactics failed. Unable to retain the vote of those who had voted for Eduardo Frei six years earlier and often ridiculed for being bombastic, he came in a distant third, winning but 27 percent of the vote.

True to an earlier promise, Tomic endorsed the election of Salvador Allende to the presidency. But the Christian Democrat did not abandon his party and even repudiated those who did leave to join the Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria (MAPU) or the Christian Left. Tomic, moreover, became increasingly discontented when it became clear that the Unidad Popular (UP) government would refuse to cooperate with the PDC and that it would not moderate its more radical policies. So much so, apparently, that Tomic, like Frei, supported the 1973 anti-Allende coup. He subsequently fled Chile, later returning to join the anti-Pinochet movement and to act as an elder statesman of the Christian Democratic Party. Tomic supported the national ownership of Chile's mines, and in 1997, CODELCO named a a mine in his honor. He died in Santiago in 1992.

See alsoAllende Gossens, Salvador; Chile, Political Parties: Christian Democratic Party (PDC).


Radomiro Tomic, Fundamentos cristianos para una nueva política en Chile (1945).

Paul E. Sigmund, The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, 1964–1976 (1977), pp. 26, 36, 45, 68, 72, 80, 84, 94-95, 104, 106, 150-151.

Michael Fleet, The Rise and Fall of Chilean Christian Democracy (1985), pp. 44, 50, 114-116, 119-123.

Additional Bibliography

Aguilera, Pilar, and Ricardo Fredes, eds. Chile: El otro 11 de Septiembre. 2nd ed. New York: Ocean Press, 2006.

Oppenheim, Lois Hecht. Politics in Chile: Socialism, Authoritarianism, and Market Democracy. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2007.

Yocelevsky R., Ricardo A. Chile, partidos políticos, democracia y dictadura, 1970–1990. Santiago: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002.

                                       William F. Sater