In a recent election, a leftist has won the presidency in Chile.
Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric has won Chile’s presidential election to become the country’s youngest ever leader.
In what was expected to be a tight race, the 35-year-old former student protest leader defeated his far-right rival José Antonio Kast by 10 points.
Mr Boric told supporters he would look after democracy, promising curbs on Chile’s neoliberal free market economy.
He will lead a country that has been rocked in recent years by mass protests against inequality and corruption.
Mr Boric’s victory prompted celebrations on the streets of the capital Santiago, with his supporters waving flags and honking car horns.
In his speech, Mr Boric said he was taking on the job with humility and a “tremendous sense of responsibility”, vowing to “firmly fight against the privileges of a few”.
Official results gave Mr Boric 56% of the votes against Mr Kast’s 44%. Mr Kast conceded defeat barely an hour-and-a-half after polls closed, and with around half of ballots counted.
Once the most stable economy in Latin America, Chile has one of the world’s largest income gaps, with 1% of the population owning 25% of the country’s wealth, according to the United Nations.
Mr Boric has promised to address this inequality by expanding social rights and reforming Chile’s pension and healthcare systems, as well as reducing the work week from 45 to 40 hours, and boosting green investment.
His rival, meanwhile, stood on a platform of law and order, pledging cuts to tax and social spending. Mr Kast also defended the legacy of Gen Pinochet, who took power in a coup and ruled the country from 1973 to 1990. Under his leadership more than 3,000 people were murdered by the state or disappeared.
The BBC article, whitewashing history to hide the ugly facts of imperialism, does not mention that Pinochet’s coup and brutal rule was enabled by the US facilitating and supporting the coup that put him in power because they could not tolerate the socialist Salvador Allende being president, despite him having won in a free and fair election. Allende was killed in the coup, which I am sure occasioned celebrations in the White House. That was just one of the many crimes of Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon.
The US believes in democracy as long as the people they like win elections. Boric will have to watch his back. Although Kissinger no longer holds any government position, he is still alive (probably because he sold his soul to the devil) and the policies he advocated are permanent features of US imperialism.