During the entire management of Roberto Ampuero in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was an open secret, in the Government and Chile Vamos, that the reins of the Chancellery were never carried by the convert writer, but were fingered from the second floor of La Moneda , especially from the offices of the head of the second floor, Cristián Larroulet, and one of his closest advisers, Benjamin Salas Kantor, son of the Minister of Sport, Pauline Kantor.
The problem is that while Ampuero was chancellor, that design, they told the government, destroyed the «self-esteem» of RR.EE officials, in the face of the permanent intervention of Salas Kantor, who ended up almost as a kind of minister in the shadows. It is that the young lawyer of the Catholic University and the Institute of Freedom and Development, cradle from which the trade union replicates hosts of professionals, is not only one of the most trusted advisors of Larroulet, but is also one of the «gifts» of the President Sebastián Piñera.
In fact, in the current administration they have recognized that both are the leaders of ill-advised decisions, such as the insistence to prioritize the issue of Venezuela, the erratic trip from Piñera to Cúcuta in February and the idea of putting the Chilean flag within that of America and show it as «grace» under the Ombudsman’s bilateral with its American peer, Donald Trump, at the White House.
The Minrel was one of the portfolios that underwent changes with the cabinet adjustment of last week, as the First Mandatario chose to put the historic RN Teodoro Ribera, a figure with knowledge in international matters, with a political track record and closeness to it. Government sources said that, from that day on, among the officials who were part of ampuero’s circle there is a sense and conviction that the writer paid the costs of mishandling international relations this year and a half, which in the practice was not his responsibility but of Salas Kantor.
The new chancellor has not yet shown the letters of how he will carry his relationship with the second floor of La Moneda or how he will resolve the Minrel’s conflicting relationship with Salas Kantor, which makes it uncomfortable and pulls out hives in the ministry. How you solve that equation will help Ribera signal real control of the portfolio, something career officials have been waiting for for a while.
They say that this is precisely the question that is going around in the Chancellery these days, whether or not Ribera will fight to return normalcy to the ministry. One thing is clear: if he doesn’t, career officials this time won’t stay as spectators and that can become a headache for the new minister and The Coin.