Chile Extends a Hand to Nicaragua, while the Right Hides

By Andres Kogan Valderrama

HAVANA TIMES – The recent offer by the Chilean government of residency and nationality to Nicaraguans who were expatriated by the Ortega dictatorship should not only make very happy those of us who think that this type of measure is essential for regional solidarity, but it is also key to commemorating the 50th anniversary of the coup in Chile and the beginning of a bloody 17-year history led by Pinochet (1973-1990).

Hence this offer to people like Sofia Montenegro, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Dora María Tellez. Sergio Ramirez, and also Gioconda Belli, who accepted Chilean nationality, not only leave Chile and President Gabriel Boric in a good light. He has always shown an unrestricted defense of democracy and human rights, wherever he is. It also reminds us of the painful history of thousands of Chilean men and women who had to leave the country after 1973.

For the same reason, this gesture with Nicaragua reminds me how countries like Argentina, France, Mexico, Cuba, Sweden, Venezuela, Canada, among many others, received many compatriots who had to leave everything in Chile to save their lives and those of their family, while an illegitimate and undemocratic regime of terror was imposed. Not being enough with repression, the Pinochet dictatorship imposed a constitution that governs us to this day.

However, the Chilean right, with the exception of very specific cases, has not recognized this humanitarian gesture on the part of the current government of Gabriel Boric. This, despite the fact that the Ortega dictatorship defines itself as left-wing and it is assumed that Chile’s Right is a staunch critic of the human rights violations in Nicaragua, and therefore supposedly concerned about the victims of that government.

Apart from Ivan Moreira, no other right-wing politician has so far come out to support the decision of the Chilean government, which shows us opportunism in its use of human rights, as has happened not only with the extreme right of Jose Antonio Kast, but also with the so-called center right, who have not said anything either, despite the fact that at other times, especially in the campaign, they used the Ortega dictatorship to insult the entire the left in Chile.

It seems that human rights for the Right in Chile are a mere electoral means, not a real goal. Such is a terrible precedent and is very worrying, considering the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état during this year, where the presence of a democratic and liberal right must appear if we really want a more reconciled society.

This added to the new constituent process underway and the drafting of a new democratic constitution, where the defense of human rights should be a minimum floor of any country, away from all kinds of opportunism and political exploitation.

Consequently, the discourse of the Right against the Left for a supposed double standard in terms of human rights falls to pieces with this, since it shows that more than showing solidarity with victims of left-wing dictatorships, what interests the Right is only putting on a show media show against the government.

On the other hand, although much more in the minority, there is also a sector of the left in Chile that, rather than remain silent, like the right, has explicitly questioned the decision of the Chilean government on residence and nationality for Nicaraguans. They argue against supposed meddling in the internal situations of other countries, since it would play into the blockade and interventionism of the United States in the region.

This is the case of the Communist Party mayor, Daniel Jadue, who faithful to his personalist style and part of a strongman, authoritarian, dogmatic left and incapable of seeing itself, pointed out that he prefers not to express himself with what happens in other countries and he would recommend that the government take better care of what is happening in Chile.

With such a basic argument, one should not comment or do anything with what happened with the illegal occupation of the State of Israel in Palestine, for example, but I doubt that Jadue would agree in that case, which shows that, like the right, human rights for him are when they agree and adjust to his ideological frameworks.

Luckily, the Chilean Communist Party is much more than Jadue, since it has supported President Boric’s decision on Nicaragua, showing significant progress in terms of human rights violations with respect to left-wing governments in the region. Although the Right would never admit it, this time the Communist Party lived up to defending human rights, unlike them.

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