GABRIEL Boric has only gone and done it.
The leftist firebrand has cemented the return of socialism to Latin America in another stunning progressive victory on the continent.
We are a generation that emerged in public life demanding our rights be respected as rights and not treated like consumer goods or a business,” Boric told supporters after his victory.
“We no longer will permit that the poor keep paying the price of Chile’s inequality.
The former student leader dispatched his right-wing free-market opponent, Jose Antonio Kast, with ease in the second round of voting this weekend.
With over 55 per cent of the vote, there is a clear mandate for his progressive pledges, which include expanding social rights, reducing the work week and boosting green investment – as well as blocking a controversial mining project.
Boric was barely old enough to compete in his primary for the Apruebo Dignidad party in July. After his win, he triumphantly declared: “Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism, and it shall also be its grave!”
A nation with dark memories of the Pinochet regime has given capitalism a bloody nose.
Chileans have voted for a new era. Yanis Varoufakis said: “The spectre of Pinochet is removed from Chile. Congratulations to fellow Progressive International member Gabriel Boric. The hard work to redistribute wealth in Chile begins now.”
Just a decade ago Boric was playing his part in the 2011 student protests which shook the Pinera government – he’s now ruling the nation with a stark promise to rid it of the conditions that necessitated the demonstrations.
It’s part of a wider leftist movement in the continent. As Redaction Report‘s infographic shows, the tide is turning. Previously isolated bulwarks like Cuba and Venezuela now have allies in the region.
[READ MORE: Maduro’s comprehensive Venezuela victory signals Washington defeat in South America]
His victory presents further challenges for Biden – who has not yet commented on the victory – as the people regain control of Latin America despite Washington’s best meddling efforts.
His vow to fight “the privileges of the few” may remind many of a certain Labour politician who gave the Left hope from 2015 to 2019.
Thanks to candidates like Boric, that glimmer is yet to go away.
Featured Image: Mediabanco Agencia @WikimediaCommons (CC BY 2.0)
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