The presidential candidate of Apruebo Dignidad, Gabriel Boric joined the criticism against the leader of the Republican Party, José Antonio Kast, for defending the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, under the argument that in the plebiscite of 1989 the opponents were not imprisoned, making a comparison with what happened in Nicaragua with the government of Daniel Ortega.
In a meeting with foreign correspondents accredited in Chile, Kast said that “there is a situation that makes a difference with what is happening in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua (…) I believe that Nicaragua fully reflects what did not happen in Chile (with Pinochet): democratic elections were held and political opponents were not locked up. That makes the fundamental difference.”
Along with describing this as “very serious”, the standard-bearer of Apruebo Dignidad said that “it shows not only what his vision is regarding history, but also regarding the future. Because he not only denies the crimes committed by the dictatorship in Chile that supported him, but also in his program he proposes to close the National Institute of Human Rights, he proposes to persecute leftist activists in coordination with other Latin American governments, he proposes to discriminate against women according to whether they are married or not. ”
“So, Kast’s commitment to human rights I think has been evident, or rather the lack of commitment has been evident precisely with these statements where he gets what he thinks in the background and what reflects his program,” he added, according to Biobío.
Likewise, Marco Enríquez-Ominami pointed out that “if I follow Kast’s reasoning, he is saying that to prepare an authoritarian and violent government. (…) If we fall into your game, then I want to take it seriously, it means that for Mr Kast, the people who entered the National Stadium in dictatorship and are missing, are not political prisoners or disappeared; it means that, in your government, you are going to subtract people and those people how you are going to rate them; you’re going to arrest people for political reasons and what you’re going to call that according to you.”
Earlier, candidate Sebastián Sichel (Chile Podemos+) also swooped against Kast, noting that “it is very bad for democracy and we must condemn what José Antonio Kast does when he relativizes how painful it was for thousands of Chileans to see their human rights violated, or for an entire generation not to know what freedom or democratic elections were.”
Meanwhile, the candidate of the New Social Pact, Yasna Provoste, said that “in Chile the opponents were imprisoned, in Chile the opponents were tortured, in Chile the opponents were made to disappear. It seems to me to be of the utmost gravity. We cannot heal ourselves when there are people who deny a reality of what happened, and what is happening today in Nicaragua, of what has happened in our country in recent times.”