This is a decisive moment. The fate of the country is at stake. As the Constituent Assembly advances, elections will be held to choose the next president. The candidacy of Gabriel Boric is the inevitable result of each of the events that began with the secondary movement of 2006 and culminated with the start of the constitutional discussion. This is where its experience lies, of which the older generations did not have to question the existing model. This explains why Boric expresses a clear commitment to the defense of the freedoms acquired so far and proposes to move forward in the transformations requested by the citizens. And, at the same time, he stresses that peace and security will not be guaranteed as long as the poorest, the excluded, are denied their basic rights. José Antonio Kast is the main opponent and he suggests the opposite. His ideas are a step back from the libertarian values already established and, at the same time, he unreservedly defends the existing economic model.
For more than four decades, life has been tough for the vast majority of Chilean families. The policy of transition to democracy has enabled the conquest of certain cultural freedoms specific to the 21st century, such as divorce, abortion for three reasons and living as a couple between people of the same sex. Unfortunately, however, the political class, of all stripes, did not make much effort to change the economic-social model of injustice and abuse put in place by the Pinochet dictatorship. This political class has even supported big business in reproducing its wealth and, what is more serious, has accepted its dirty money and fallen into corruption.
The neoliberal model has built a strong wall that separates Chileans and excludes indigenous peoples. We are not all equal before justice, economic life, work, health, education and housing, and above all 90% of the elderly suffer from the precariousness of famine pensions. The economic model and its institutions have served to reproduce the wealth of the few, imposed by inequalities and abuses on the majority. Something was holding back the requests. The protest was locked in the minds of the majority, but did not reach the streets. Labor without unions, harassment of shopping malls, indebtedness of the poor and media propaganda have put citizens to sleep and shown a thriving country, with access to mass consumption by rich and poor alike. Complacency has been aided by irresponsible recognition of economists and unethical media disciplined by big business.
But the time had come. And the young people dared to face the model of injustice. Youth has installed hope in the hearts of millions of compatriots. It is our debt to them. First in 2006 and then in 2011, they led the way with their demand for quality non-profit education. But other struggles have been added to this: that of women for their freedoms, that of environmentalists for the protection of ecosystems, the enemies of AFP and isapres for decent pensions and the right to health without discrimination.
Young and old, men and women, sexual diversity and the different peoples who inhabit our territory, have united and mobilized relentlessly to demand changes in favor of justice and against abuses and inequalities. The great national majority came to the conviction that without these changes there will be no peace in the country; without these changes the insecurity of the Chilean family will persist and without these changes the future of children will remain uncertain and many of them will be pushed into delinquency and drug trafficking.
First October 18, then November 15, were decisive milestones in the struggle to destroy the wall that separates us. And then, with the installation of the Constitutional Convention, the hope of building a better country, based on a new Constitution, was consolidated. For it became clear that the Guzmán-Pinochet Constitution had only served to enrich a minority and violate the rights of the majority. The way is now open to tear down the wall that separates us. We have the urgent urgency of the moment. It is time to initiate the changes that our country needs to unite the whole Chilean family and also to recognize the demands of the indigenous peoples.
This is a decisive moment. The fate of the country is at stake. As the Constituent Assembly advances, elections will be held to choose the next president. The candidacy of Gabriel Boric is the inevitable result of each of the events that began with the secondary movement of 2006 and culminated with the start of the constitutional discussion. This is where his experience lies, whose older generations have not had to question the existing model. This explains why Boric expresses a clear commitment to the defense of the freedoms acquired so far and proposes to move forward in the transformations requested by the citizens. And, at the same time, he stresses that peace and security will not be guaranteed as long as the poorest, the excluded, are denied their basic rights. José Antonio Kast is the main opponent and he suggests the opposite. His ideas are a step back from the libertarian values already established and, at the same time, he unreservedly defends the existing economic model.
First, because Kast openly declared himself a defender of the Pinochet dictatorship. He even dared to relativize the human rights violations, asserting that the prisoners of Punta Peuco are the object of “legal fictions”, in the name of his friend, the psychopath Miguel Krassnoff. Second, because it rejects acquired cultural freedoms. Kast is a delusional opponent of the morning after pill, the decriminalization of abortion on three grounds and rejects gender identity. And now, in his government program, he proposes to abolish the Ministry of the Status of Women. Thirdly, because he does not want to modify the current neoliberal economic model and, therefore, following the teachings of his brother, Miguel Kast, he proposes to maintain the AFP, the isapres, to increase the retirement age and to strengthen paid education. And now, in his program, he argues that our pets and even nature must pay rights to exist.
Unlike José Antonio Kast, Boric offered to break the wall that separates us. He recalls that our country must serve the reunification of all Chilean families, which includes rights for all, without discrimination based on income or wealth. He also proposed that our country serve the meeting of indigenous peoples so that their claims can be rightly rectified. Decent wages, fair pensions, the same quality health and education for all, women with the same rights as men, small businesses without obstacles in their operation and a country where the care of nature and the end of extractivism guarantees a safe environment for our societies.
Boric assures us that his transformation proposal will guarantee growth, but with social and environmental balances. And it will also help end the violence and bring greater peace of mind to our families. It is time to move from the darkness of inequality to the bright path of social justice. With Boric this path is possible, with Kast it is a return to darkness.