Chile and the Boric Government: Integration or Division in Latin America?

Tony López R

“Boric has nothing to do with the thinking of president-martyr Salvador Allende and it will be the actions of his government that will demonstrate what its political and ideological direction will be.”

The recent elections in Chile have prompted disparate commentary from international and local analysts and predictions about what the political, economic and social direction of the new government and its young president Gabriel Boric will be. A normal exercise, from the major press media and influential analysts of the neoliberal system, who work to prevent changes in Chile.

It is not necessary to be a great connoisseur of Chilean and even Latin American politics to realize that the course of Boric’s government will be strongly influenced by what the so-called Concertación governments of Ricardo Lagos and especially that of Mrs. Michell Bachelet have been . The support of the senior UN official is so strong that she traveled from Geneva to Chile to support him.

Since the beginning of the electoral process in Chile, opinions and comments on the candidates were diverse, but the most significant was the McCarthyite campaign, scaring voters with the danger of electing a communist, Castro-Chavist candidate or one close to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Thus, in his electoral campaign, Gabriel Boric had no qualms about attacking Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, with the well-known and manipulated discourse that dictatorial governments reign in these three countries, violating human rights and freedom of expression.

A scenario scripted in Washington, propagated and paid in its media campaigns and social networks for many years and that has penetrated some sectors of Chilean society, that some in his campaign even say and believe that communists eat the “guagua”, as they call the children. Political illiteracy shamefully reaches these extremes in many sectors of Chilean and Latin American society, including the new and supposedly leftist.

The campaign against these three countries has been brutal and more so, after former President Donald Trump described them as the “socialist axis of evil” that needed to be exterminated, a topic we will address in the second part of this article.

As a colleague and political scientist pointed out to me, before the primaries, the polarized vote in the territorial elections meant an impressive rise of the Chilean communists, of the traditional right, and yet the candidacies of Boric and Kast reflected a more coherent trend of defeat of the left, and indeed of the lineage of the hero and martyr of President Salvador Allende.

With great internal opportunism and due to the prestige of “El Chicho” as Salvador Allende was called by his people, the social-democratic sectors linked to the governments of the Concertación and the New Majority (Nueva Mayoria) and the social networks at the service of the Chilean elites, raised the false idea that Boric represented the political line of Allende. Nothing could be further from the truth.

They knew that Boric had the support of the 25.3% who went to the polls in the first round, and that the 30% who went with that 25% in the second round, with their 55.8%, did not belong to them. In reality, this support of 30% was aimed at preventing the victory of pinochism and the right. This sector that voted for him and the more than 7 million that abstained, will only support and accept him if he fully respects what he proclaimed in his speech on December 19, when he won the presidency.

To reaffirm that we are not dealing with a president who represents Salvador Allende, I will refer to November 11, 1971, and the answer Allende gave to the prestigious colleague and journalist-martyr of the dictatorship, Augusto “El perro” Olivares. (1)

Augusto Olivares: President Allende, the expression “Chilean way” is spoken of in Chile, if not throughout the world. How would you define this political concept that has been called “the Chilean way”?

Allende:

“The peoples who fight for their emancipation must, in all logic, adapt the tactics and strategy that will lead them to transform themselves to meet their own reality.”

“Chile, because of its characteristics, because of its history, is a country where bourgeois institutions have fully functioned and where, within this bourgeois legality, the people have advanced sacrificially and achieved conquests, they have become aware, they have understood that not in capitalist and reformist regimes will Chile be able to reach the dimension of a country, owner of its economic independence and capable of achieving higher levels of life and existence.”

Something similar has been done now with the “Chilean way” of identifying Boric with Allende, propagating this opinion matrix through social networks and the biased, center-right Chilean press.

Allende clearly stated that neither capitalism nor reformism, and the beloved president-martyr argued that only the electoral and peaceful path was viable, but with strategic changes in the Chilean economic, political and social model of the time, because the Christian democracy of Eduardo Frei’s government had plunged the country into great inequality, poverty and had handed over the mining resources to the large American transnationals.

He firmly believed in this position, which must be respected, but history has taught us that capitalist power does not accept changes that harm its interests and that was at stake at the time in Chile, as the political and social movement called for the radicalization of the Chilean socialist government and, among other demands, the nationalization of ITT and the non-payment of the foreign debt to the United States.

This scenario alarmed the establishment, both internally and in the United States, as we saw many years later, the plot against the Allende government was led by Henry Kissinger and supported by the Chilean right and extreme right, to which he was no stranger with the support of Patricio Aylwin and sectors of the Christian Democracy, not to mention the truckers’ strike that Aylwin not only encouraged but also supported.

All this political atmosphere apparently encouraged Colonel Roberto Souper, head of the armored regiment, who rose up against the government and with his tanks attacked La Moneda on June 29, 1973, a military coup that failed in a few hours under the command of General Carlos Prats, leaving 22 dead and 32 wounded.

The intervention of the prestigious and constitutionalist general Carlos Prats (2), warned of the danger faced by the right wing and American interests, if the Allende government was joined by the support of a constitutionalist military sector and they pushed forward the coup.

According to information from important sources, since then the coup was brewing within the Navy, headed by Admiral José Toribio Merino and involving General Augusto Pinochet, who had been promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the military armed forces.

Alarmed by the events of June 29, the conspirators rushed all the pawns, including the actions of the paramilitary gangs called Patria y Libertad, led by fascists Pablo Rodríguez Grez and Benjamín Matte, in order to create a climate of violence and non-conformity against the government, and this is how the coup d’etat of September 11, 1973 was conceived and justified.

In recalling this historical and sad memory, I do so in the interest of making people aware today that the most important thing about what happened in Chile is, first and foremost, that the Constitutional Convention actually achieves a Magna Carta that supports the national interests of Chile, its people and the indigenous peoples.

That there is not a single vestige of the current Pinochet Constitution must be the objective of Gabriel Boric’s government. Because the Concertación and Nueva Mayoría governments, presided over by Ricardo Lago and Michelle Bachelet, did not move a finger to change the legacy of the criminal dictator Augusto Pinochet, when they occupied the head of state. In the case of former president Bachelet, who in her presidential campaign promised to change the Constitution, but did not keep that promise and did not comply.

The debate that is currently taking place in various sectors of the so-called Chilean and even Latin American left, is obviously colored by the political tendencies or militancy of the different exponents, respectable and cautious so far from what I have been able to read, but in my humble opinion it is very clear that Boric has nothing to do with the philosophy of President Martyr Salvador Allende and that the actions of his government will demonstrate his political and ideological orientation.

There are several factors and elements to consider in this assessment. The strategy will focus on the policy adopted by the government, in the economic field, in its foreign and social policy. For now, the information received from the government program is more related to social and much reserve in the economic and its foreign policy.

It is very important that the new president defines these two issues very well, because they have to do with Latin American and Caribbean integration, where Chile can play an important role and not let itself be used to divide, on the contrary, work to strengthen CELAC and UNASUR which are strategic for the region and in this sense Chile can be an important factor.

Journalist, political scientist and international analyst.

Notes:

1) The journalist Augusto Olivares. He died alongside President Allende, in La Moneda, defending democracy against the criminal fascist attack of the Chilean army.

2) The heroic general Carlos Prats, a refugee in Argentina and Buenos Aires, was assassinated by a DINA commando with the support of the CIA.