“I don’t expect all of the economic elite to necessarily agree with me. What I do hope is that they understand they need to contribute more.”
The president-elect was interviewed on Uruguayan radio station M24 and also spoke to former president Jose “Pepe” Mojica.
HAVANA TIMES – The president-elect was interviewed on the Uruguayan radio station M24 and at the end spoke to former president Jose “Pepe” Mojica who expressed his “confidence” in the “breath of fresh air” the Frente Amplio leader will bring to Chilean politics. Boric explained what his upcoming tax reform proposal will be – which will include taxes on high-income earners. The President-elect and lawmaker today spoke about his future relationship with national business owners when he enters La Moneda on March 11th.
In this regard, Gabriel Boric said: “I don’t expect all of the economic elite to necessarily agree with me. What I do hope is that the economic elite understand that to live in a harmonious society, which isn’t boiling with tensions and on the brink of exploding and breaking apart every now and then because of inequality, they need to contribute more and can’t live isolated from the rest of society.” In any case, the President-elect said that “we hope to have a relationship with dialogue, respect, contributions and feel part of the same country” with business owners.
Former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica (2010-2015) is confident about the “breath of fresh air” the current Frente Amplio lawmaker, Gabriel Boric, president-elect of Chile, will bring to Chilean politics. He spoke with Boric in the same interview with a local radio station.
M24 interviewed upcoming the Chilean president, who will come into office on March 11th, and was connected up with Mujica via a video call during the broadcast, whom Boric called a “mentor.”
“We spoke to each other quite a while ago, we’ve met a couple of times and Pepe knows that he is a guide for us. We paid heed to advice: take small steps so as not to fall into ruin, but always going one step up the ladder,” the Apruebo Dignidad politician said, which is a coalition between Frente Amplio and the Communist Party.
During the approximately 15 minutes they shared on live radio, Mujica expressd his “confidence” in the “capacity” and “breath of fresh air” Boric represents for Chile, who, Mujica said, has “a more open view on the progressive world.”
The former Uruguayan president from Frente Amplio – a coalition of leftist parties that include the Christian Democrats to former Tupamaro guerrilla fighters – said that Chile is an example that there is a great difference between “economic success”, which macroeconomic figures show, and “terrible social debts”, that led to social unrest.
“This is your work ahead. What sense is there in economic growth if it doesn’t raise those at the bottom of society and prosperity isn’t distributed fairly?” Mujica said to Boric.
He lamented not being able to go to the presidential inauguration in Santiago for health reasons, but he offered his advice whenever Boric needs it.
“I am 86 years old, almost 87, if there’s a wind blowing against me it could finish me. I love politics, but I love life more,” Mujica said.
Chile’s president-elect called himself “part of the seed” sown by Mujica and said that he’s looking to learn from previous generations “with the transfer of failures in all of their reality and not the fears.”
Boric also took advantage of the occasion to talk about the relationship he will have with the country’s business sector, and he also dropped a hint about a tax reform that will better redistribute revenue. “The problem we have, not only in Chile, is the level of appropriation of surplus value that owners of capital have compared to the situation of those who generate this wealth. As a result, how we bring about fairer distribution, where we can put growth, environmental sustainability, and distribution into the same equation, is one of the main challenges we face,” he said.
He said that he hopes that after the social unrest, “it’s settled in the conscience (of the country’s business sector) that they can’t grow in a country that is socially fractured and Chile is really fractured socially, it’s very segregated (…) Chile has lots of good things, I don’t want to sell a catastrophic image of the country.”
Regarding his relationship with the business sector, President-elect Gabriel Boric said that “I don’t expect all of the economic elite to agree with me necessarily. What I do hope is that the economic elite understand that to live in a harmonious society, which isn’t boiling with tensions and on the brink of exploding and breaking apart every now and then because of inequality, they need to contribute more and can’t live isolated from the rest of society.”
In any case, the President-elect said that “we hope to have a relationship with dialogue, respect, contributions and feel part of the same country” with business owners, which I feel is what has been missing or lost over decades of explosive growth in Chile after a democracy was reinstated (…). I hope to be a President that allows a process of change and transformation in our country, that takes small steps because countries aren’t reinvented overnight, but we have to establish a new order.”
Boric also had something to say about the situation in Venezuela, where, according to him, “the constant siege by the US comes into play of course, but there has also been a very brutal setback in democratic conditions, not to mention on living conditions. The exodus of 6 million Venezuelans is irrefutable proof of this.”
“This isn’t our path, and we aspire to build a profoundly democratic Left, that respects human rights, and is able to criticize itself,” he concluded.
Boric talked about the two occasions he traveled to Uruguay, the first trip in 2008, when he was 22 years old and, after going to a music festival in Argentina, he traveled nearly “the entire (Uruguayan) coast, from Colonia (south-west) to Santa Teresa (south-east).”
He also highlighted connections with the country with the “entire history of the Uruguayan Frente Amplio” and the iconic image of an inverted South America, painted by the founder of Universal Constructivism, Joaquin Torres-Garcia.
“Saying that ‘our north is the south’ is something that has always guided us in the political struggle here in Chile,” he said.
At just 35 years old and with over 4.6 million votes, Boric became the youngest president-elect on December 19th 2021, with the most votes in the history of Chile, with 55.8% of votes in his favor, almost 12 more points than far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast.
For our readers that understand Spanish here is the full interview of Boric and his conversation with Pepe Mujica.