Chile: The double standard in human rights and the ‘nice’ left

Source: aporrea.org

December 21 2021

Amid the joy of many Chileans who celebrate Boric’s victory against the neo-fascist Kast, and as a memorable response to some who, exaggerating a lot about the president-elect, come to compare him with Salvador Allende, Pablo Neruda or with Other icons of the world left, throughout yesterday, some of the statements made by deputy Gabriel Boric circulated on the networks some time ago.

There was also a response written by Allende’s grandson, “Pablo Sepúlveda Allende”:

Pablo Sepúlveda Allende

Dr. Pablo Allende, grandson of former President of Chile Salvador Allende

Deputy, I dare to answer you because I see the danger that it means that important leaders like you, young referents of that “new left” that has emerged in the Frente Amplio, make simplistic, absurd and misinformed comparisons on issues as delicate as human rights .

It is very biased and rude that you equate – without the slightest argument – the supposed “weakening of the basic conditions of democracy in Venezuela”, the “permanent restriction of freedoms in Cuba” and “the repression of the Ortega government in Nicaragua” with the proven atrocities of the military dictatorship in Chile, the evident criminal interventionism of the United States around the world and the terrorism of the State of Israel against the People of Palestine.

The fact that you write such nonsense does not “mean to become a pseudo CIA agent” but it does denote an important irresponsibility and political immaturity that can transform you into a useful element for the right, or worse, end up being that “left” than the right craving; a dumb, ambiguous left, a harmless left that prefers to appear “politically correct” because of opportunism, that left that is “neither chicha nor lemonade”, that one that does not want to look bad with anyone.

Such a left is confusing, because it does not dare to point out and courageously confront the true enemies of the peoples. There is the danger of issuing politically immature opinions. Have you ever wondered why Venezuela is being so vilified and attacked in the media? Why is it news every day in practically every country in the Western world where the mass media dominate? Why is it attacked from all sides and in a gang? Why do those big newscasts keep quiet about the continuous massacres in Colombia and Mexico? Why don’t those who tear their clothes worrying about a Venezuelan deputy, who confessed to participating in an assassination attempt, have the courage to demand that Israel stop the genocide against the Palestinian people?

The world upside down. That is the world of politics without heart and without courage. Margarita Labarca Goddard has already argued clearly and forcefully why you are wrong in your judgments towards Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. I will only add that Venezuela has a much healthier and more transparent democracy than the one in Chile, whenever you want I can argue it to you and we can debate it, if you are interested.

It is also easy to argue why the “permanent restriction of liberties in Cuba” is a fallacy. Not to mention that the word “freedom” is so cluttered that by now its true meaning is ambiguous, and a sensible definition requires even a philosophical debate. Or tell me, what is freedom?

I name these two countries because I know them quite well. I lived in Cuba for 9 years and in Venezuela I have been living for another 9 years. I do not know Nicaragua first-hand, but I invite you to ask yourself what the reaction of a right-wing government would have been to the action of paid and heavily armed criminal gangs, who come to take over sectors of the most important cities in the country; and where, in addition, said mercenary gangs are installed to commit abominable acts such as kidnapping, torturing, maiming, raping and even burning alive, dozens of human beings, for the mere fact of being militants of a cause -in this case, Sandinista militants- , where the persecution reached the point of murdering entire families in their own homes.

The legitimately elected government in Nicaragua, even having the resources, the legal framework, and the strength to take immediate forceful action against such a fascist destabilization, was quite contained. Do you think that the right wing in power would have had that peaceful vision and a call for dialogue to resolve the conflict? History answers us.

I understand that you may be confused by the great “media” that were in charge of victimizing the perpetrators; just like they did a year ago in Venezuela during the so-called guarimbas.

Therefore, Gabriel, objectively speaking, with serious arguments -without opinions formed and shaped by the media based on misrepresentations and lies repeated daily-, there is no double standard in which we defend Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

We do not have disappeared or tortured, we do not imprison those who think or think differently, yes criminals; be these deputies, politicians or supposed students. Rather, it seems to me to see that “double standard” in yourself, by making comfortable value judgments from manipulation and ignorance.

On the media, democracy and freedoms, we can discuss comparing Chile with these countries. I assure you that unfortunately Chile would not fare very well, even more so, if we include human rights, economic and social, which there are nothing more than merchandise.

“A person reaches his highest level of ignorance when he rejects something of which he knows nothing.”

Health.

* Doctor, Coordinator of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity, grandson of President Salvador Allende Gossens.

Historic Win for Gabriel Boric in Chile Presidential Elections

Source: TeleSUR

December 19 2021

Apruebo Dignidad candidate Gabriel Boric is Chile’s president-elect, having beat his opponent Jose Antonio Kast in a historic victory for the Left in Latin America. | Photo: Twitter/@KawsachunNews
 

Apruebo Dignidad candidate Gabriel Boric has won Chile’s presidential elections in a historic victory for the Left in Latin America.

Left-wing former student leader Gabriel Boric has beat out far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast with nearly 100% of the votes tallied, according to figures published by Chile’s electoral authorities SERVEL.

RELATED: Chile Election Update: Polls Have Closed and Vote Count Begins

Winning 55,86% of the votes cast thus far, compared to Kast’s 44,214%, Boric has a wide enough margin of over 11.5 percentage points to be declared winner of this Sunday’s democratic exercise.

Polls officially closed at 6 pm local time in the country’s second-round runoff presidential elections, after which the vote count immediately began and within the span of just two hours, practically all of the total votes had been tallied.

RELATED: World Leaders Celebrate Boric’s Victory in Chile

Speaking to his supporters after his defeat Sunday, Kast said, “”I want to congratulate Gabriel Boric. He deserves all our respects, he won in a very good fight, many Chileans trusted him and we hope he has a very good government.” 

Kast further said in the afternoon from his command center, “Today that journey is a joint one. Today there are great majorities that have been expressed and great balances that have been reached. That balance today is in the Parliament and it is a balance that I believe will help Gabriel Boric to govern. Because we are good people, we look for things that improve the quality of life of the people,” said Kast.

RELATED Latin America Hails Boric’s Victory In Chilean Elections

Boric, in his victory speech to the nation Sunday night, referencing the government’s implicit boycott of the election, said, “I thank the people who tried to vote and were unable to do so due to lack of public transportation, this cannot happen again.”

He continued saying he wanted to “thank the women of our country, who organized themselves throughout the country to defend their hard-earned rights,” stating that “our project is the heir of a long historical trajectory… I will be the president of all Chilean men and women.”

Boric, in his speech, said he would show “respect for human rights everywhere is an unwavering commitment, and that we can never, for any reason, have a president here who declares war on his own people.”

Boric had previously secured victory among Chilean voters abroad, notably in Spain, Germany and France, and has successfully mobilized young people, women and the working class despite considerable difficulties in public transport in the capital Santiago de Chile on election day, in an attempt to prevent voters from reaching polling stations.

Boric and Kast earned the first two spots on Chile’s November 21 first round of elections, beating out five other presidential hopefuls. Yet, this Sunday, Boric’s progressive-oriented platform was able to convince the majority of voters over Kast’s outward sympathy to the Pinochet dictatorship as well as his divisive and xenophobic ideology. 

RELATED: ‘Leftist Winds Blow through Latin America’: The Puebla Group

‘Leftist Winds Blow through Latin America’: The Puebla Group

Source: TeleSUR

Published 30 November 2021

Ecuador’s ex-President Rafael Correa (C), Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 30, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @tcanarte

The 2022 presidential elections in Colombia will mark not only the future of democracy but “the difference between peace and war,” former President Samper said.

During the summit held in Mexico City on Tuesday, the Puebla Group congratulated the election of Xiomara Castro as President of Honduras and expressed its confidence in the triumph of popular forces in the presidential elections in Chile and Brazil.

RELATED: Puebla Group’s Seventh Summit Starts In Mexico City

“Xiomara Castro will be the first female president in the history of Honduras. This is very important for Central America, a region that always has many social problems,” Spain’s former President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said.

Paraguay’s former President Fernando Lugo asserted that Castro’s triumph in Honduras cheered the entire continent as it brought with it a “gentle wind that hopefully will become a unstoppable hurricane.”

Rodriguez Zapatero also demonstrated his support for Chile’s leftist presidential candidate Gabriel Boric, who is likely to defeat the far-right candidate Jose Kast in the Dec. 19 run-off elections.

Referring to the presidential elections to be held in Brazil in 2022, the Spanish politician pointed out that “the victory of Lula da Silva will change the continent and the international order.”

Colombia’s former President Ernesto Samper stated that the 2022 presidential elections in his country will mark not only the future of democracy but “the difference between peace and war” in this South American country.

Founded in 2019, the Puebla Group brings together 54 progressive Ibero-American leaders and intellectuals. Also present at the Mexico City summit were former presidents Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador). Bolivia’s President Luis Arce and former President Lula da Silva took part by virtual media.

Chile: Polls Give Lead to Gabriel Boric in Presidential Runoff

Source: TeleSur

December 3 2021

Leftist Gabriel Boric currently leads all polls for the upcoming Chilean presidential run-off. | Photo: Twitter/@PopulismUpdates

Chilean pollster Criteria released Thursday that, according to its most recent opinion poll, 54 percent of the electorate will vote for center-left candidate Gabriel Boric (Apruebo Dignidad alliance) for the country’s presidency, which he will contest against right-winger José Antonio Kast (Republican Party) in the second round on December 19.

The study revealed that if the elections were held on Sunday, December 5, 59 percent of women would lean towards Boric, who obtained 71 percent support among voters between 18 and 29 years old.

RELATED:Chile: Gabriel Boric To Face Jose Antonio Kast on Dec 19 Runoff

Kast, on the other hand, attracted 46 percent of voters’ intentions to become president. According to Criteria, he obtained 53 percent of support among men and 60 percent of voting intention among the population aged 60 and over.

The right-wing candidate obtained 55 percent support among the higher-income segment of the population, while Boric is ahead in the other segments.

When asked another question in the survey (“Who do you think will be the next president of Chile?”), both candidates tied with 40 percent, while the rest answered “don’t know”.

Days before, the results of another poll (Pulso Ciudadano) also gave as favorite Boric, who received 53.9 percent of voters’ preference against Kast’s 31.2 percent.

This study showed that the presidential aspirant for Apruebo Dignidad captured votes from voters who had previously leaned towards other candidates.

According to Pulso Ciudadano, among those who say they will vote for Boric on December 19 there are 97.2 percent who already voted for him in the first round, as well as 86 percent of those who voted for Eduardo Artés (Unión Patriótica) and 52.3 percent for Yasna Provoste (Nuevo Pacto Social).

In addition, 46.1 percent of those who voted for Marco Enríquez-Ominami (Partido Progresista), 36.8 percent of those who voted for Franco Parisi (the third best voted in the first round, representative of Partido de la Gente), 15.3 percent of voters for Sebastián Sichel (Chile Podemos Más) and 3.2 percent of former Kast voters will support him.

As for voters who would support the ultra-conservative candidate, 90.1 percent who already voted for him in the first round, 42 percent voted for Sichel, 12.4 percent supported Parisi, 8.2 percent gave their support to Enríquez-Ominami, 4.9 percent voted before for Provoste and 0.3 percent sympathized with Boric.

Chileans Choose Sichel and Boric as Presidential Candidates

Source: TeleSUR

July 18 2021

Sebastian Sichel (L) and Gabriel Boric (R). | Photo: Twitter/ @ElOrientalMon

Local political analysts hold their triumph evidences a generational change, as neither of the two pre-candidates were born at the time of the 1973 coup d’état.

On Sunday, the Chilean presidential primary elections produced results that opinion polls had not predicted. Citizens elected independent politician Sebastian Sichel as the candidate of the “Let’s Go Chile” coalition of right-wing parties and former student leader Gabriel Boric as the candidate in the “Approve Dignity” coalition of left-wing organizations.

RELATED: Chile Sets up Over 2,000 Voting Centers for Primary Elections

With 49 percent of the vote, Sichel defeated former Mayor Joaquin Lavin, Mario Desbordes (National Renovation party) and Ignacio Briones (Evopoli party). Sichel was Social Development Minister in 2018 and president of the State Bank until December 2020.

Politically, he gained experience in several organizations, among which is the Christian Democratic Party where he militated for over a decade. During the electoral campaign, Sichel positioned himself as a “center” candidate, concerned about the “punished” middle class and the discredit of traditional politics.

“The time has come to change history for the better, the history of the common people… Goodbye to the old politics that splits the world in two,” he said.

Gabriel Boric won 60,3 percent of the votes and defeated Communist Party candidate Daniel Jadue, whom the mainstream media attacked harshly during the election campaign. Besides promoting feminist and environmentalist demands, Boric pledged to change the current economic and social model.

“Do not be afraid of the youth to change this country… If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its tomb”, said this 35-year-old lawmaker who got over a million votes in the primary elections, a feat that happened the last time in 2013 when Chileans elected Michelle Bachelet as presidential candidate.

According to local political analysts, the triumph of Sichel and Boric evidences the existence of a generational change in Chilean politics, as neither of the two pre-candidates were born at the time of the 1973 coup d’état.

“It is also a great defeat for the right-wing parties that succumbed to an independent candidate,” University of Talca professor Mauricio Morales said and recalled that the right has suffered defeats since the social outbreak of 2019, the last one being the election of constituents, in which it only achieved 37 of the 155 seats in the convention in charge of drafting the new Constitution.

“For the first time, the left elects a candidate with possibilities of electoral success without the support of the parties that have governed for almost three decades,” said Lucia Dammert, professor at the University of Santiago de Chile