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.
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.
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