HAVANA TIMES – Many mainstream media and some analysts painted the Chilean presidential elections as a contest between the hard line, pro-Pinochet dictatorship candidate, Jose Antonio Kast, and left-wing former student protest leader Gabriel Boric.
However, Boric’s activist background, discourse and supporters as a young leader are quite far from the traditional macho left that often blindly supports or turns a blind-eye to the authoritarianism of “its” leaders and allies, while rejecting it from the right-wingers, who do the same thing in reverse.
We bring you the complete English translation by pressenza.com of the victory speech from Sunday night in Santiago by the president elect Gabriel Boric.
GOOD EVENING, CHILE!
PO NUI, SUMA ARUMA, PUN MAY CHILE !
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, TO ALL THE PEOPLE, TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF CHILE.
First of all, I thank all the Chilean men and women who went to vote on this day, honouring their commitment to democracy.
In the hard and noble north. In the rainy and windy South. In the hot and fertile centre. In Rapa Nui, Juan Fernández and Chilean Antarctica. Abroad.
It does not matter whether they did it for me or for my opponent: the important thing is that they did it, that they were present, that they showed their commitment to this country that belongs to all of us. Also, of course, to the thousands of people who wanted to vote and were unable to do so because of the lack of public transport. It cannot happen again that on such an important day people are deprived of exercising their right to vote.
Also to those who made this beautiful campaign possible. Independents, social organisations and parties, to all the people who in recent weeks have organised themselves throughout Chile and abroad, from Magallanes to Arica, from Visviri to Puerto Toro to raise a citizens’ campaign that has made this victory possible. The same commitment and enthusiasm will be necessary during the years of our government so that, among all of us, we can sustain the process of change that we have already begun, step by step.
Thanks to my campaign manager, Dr. Izkia Siches, for having put everything and more into this candidacy, with so much love, so much energy and so much enthusiasm. Thanks to all the technical teams that joined this proposal, to each of the independents and parties that made this campaign possible.
Thanks to the children who, throughout this journey, filled us with love and hope, with beautiful drawings that expressed with innocence and hope the Chile they dream of. A Chile that is green and full of love, that cares for nature and animals, that recovers neighbourhood squares to play in, a Chile where fathers and mothers have more time to spend with their children and grandfathers and grandmothers are not alone at this stage of their lives. We have looked into the eyes of the children of Chile and I know that we cannot fail them.
Thanks to the women of our country. Who organized across Chile to defend the rights they have worked so hard to achieve. From the right to vote to the right to decide about their own bodies.
From the right to non-discrimination based on the type of family they have decided to form to recognition for the care work they do today. Count on us. You will be the protagonists of our government. Also to the dissidences and diversities that have been discriminated against for a long time and in this campaign have seen the few advances they have achieved threatened. In our government, non-discrimination and stopping violence against diversities and women, together with feminist organisations, will be fundamental.
I also thank the Servel for its impeccable work. It symbolises the State we need: efficient, impartial, fair. To the national and regional media for bringing information to the farthest corners of the world. A free press is the essential foundation of democracy, and you are its vehicle.
I would like to thank all the candidates who participated in this election, because in the end, democracy is made by all of us, and we need each other. To Yasna Provoste, Sebastián Sichel, Marco Enriquez Ominami, Franco Parisi, Eduardo Artes and José Antonio Kast. The future of Chile needs all of us on the same side, on the side of the people, and I hope to count on your support, your ideas and proposals to begin my government. I know that beyond the differences we have, in particular with José Antonio Kast, we will know how to build bridges between us so that our fellow countrymen and women bridges between us so that our compatriots can live better. Because what unites us is our love for Chile and its people.
And by the way, thanks to my family, my father and my mother, my two brothers, my grandparents who are no longer here. To my travelling companion Irina. You are my pillars in the dark days and you are responsible for my being here today.
You know that. I come from Magallanes, in the extreme south of Chile, almost touching Antarctica. I am 35 years old.
And I know that history does not start with us. I feel I am heir to a long historical trajectory, that of those who, from different positions, have tirelessly sought social justice, the expansion of democracy, the defence of human rights, the protection of freedoms. This is my large family, which I would like to see reunited again in this stage that we are now beginning.
Compatriots, I will be the President of all Chilean men and women. Of those who voted for this project today, of those who chose another alternative and also of those who did not vote.
The times ahead will not be easy. We will have to face the social, economic and health consequences of the worst pandemic our country has experienced in more than a century. It will be difficult, there is no doubt, but we will move forward with small but firm steps, learning from our history.
Because Chile has a short history as a nation state: barely two centuries of independent life, but rich in experiences of achievements, mistakes, successes and frustrations. Of beautiful and also difficult moments. And we have learned from that experience. Today we can be more certain about some things than before:
That economic growth based on inequality has feet of clay: that only with social cohesion, meeting again and sharing a common ground, can we move towards true and sustained development that reaches every Chilean family and that also includes the SMEs that with so much effort are built up by honest men and women throughout the length and breadth of the country.
That destabilising democratic institutions leads directly to the reign of abuse, the law of the jungle, and the suffering and helplessness of the weakest. We will take care of democracy, every day, every day.
That progress, to be solid, must be the fruit of broad agreements. And that in order to last, they must always be gradual, step by step, so as not to derail or risk what each family has achieved with their efforts.
That respect for human rights must always and everywhere be an unwavering commitment and that never, for any reason, should a president declare war on his own people. Truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.
And there are many challenges ahead. Timely health care that does not discriminate between rich and poor by equalising access, quality and response times upwards. Decent pensions for those who have worked all their lives making our Chile great and can no longer wait, growth and fair distribution of wealth, which must go hand in hand. The drama of homelessness and access to basic services that we must address. Strengthening public education, guaranteeing workers’ rights to build a country with Decent Work and better salaries, creating a national care system that recognises and values the women who today take care, also advancing in co-responsibility and leaving behind the patriarchal heritage of our society.
The security emergency we are experiencing, making neighbourhoods safer and free of drug trafficking, putting culture in the place it deserves and not as a caboose, dignifying its workers, expanding sport, promoting science, moving towards a new relationship with indigenous peoples, recognising their right to look at the world from other linguistic and cultural perspectives, and paying special attention to care for the environment will be part of our tasks.
Because climate change, dear compatriots, is not an invention. It is here, and it has direct effects on our lives and those of future generations. It is no coincidence that it is the young people of the world who have raised their voices, from Greta to Juliet, in the face of irrational powers. We cannot look the other way when our farmers and peasants, when entire localities are deprived of water or when unique ecosystems are destroyed when we can avoid it.
Of course, not everything can be done at the same time and we will have to prioritise in order to achieve progress that will allow us to improve, step by step, the lives of our people. It will not be easy, it will not be quick, but our commitment is to advance along this path with hope and responsibility.
Chilean men and women
We have come this far with a government project that can be summed up in a few simple words: to advance responsibly in the changes that Chile has been demanding, leaving no one behind.
This means growing economically; converting what some understand as consumer goods into social rights, guaranteeing a more peaceful and secure life, deepening the freedoms of all, and especially of all: in our government, women will not retreat in the rights and freedoms they have achieved throughout history.
Our project also means advancing in more democracy and, of course, as we have already said here, taking care of the constituent process, a source of world pride and the only way to build, in democracy and with everyone, a better country. For the first time in our history we are writing a Constitution in a democratic and equal manner, with the participation of the indigenous peoples.
Let us all take care of this process so that we have a Magna Carta that is a meeting point and not a source of division.
We are going to work as a team with all sectors. The challenges are too important for us to remain tied to the trenches. We are all needed here. The workers who forge the wealth of our country day by day. The cooperation of the business world, to build alliances, to bring our views closer together. If we are here, it is to ensure that prosperity reaches every corner of our land, and for that no one is superfluous.
On this night of triumph I repeat the commitment we made throughout the campaign: we will expand social rights and we will do so with fiscal responsibility, we will do so while taking care of our macro-economy. We will do it well and that will allow us to improve pensions and health care without having to go backwards in the future.
We will have a balanced Congress, which in turn means an invitation and an obligation to dialogue. I honestly see it as an opportunity to meet again, to unite in great deeds for the welfare of our country, to reach broad and lasting agreements to improve the quality of life of our compatriots. I trust in the responsibility of all political forces to keep differences within the framework of ideas, to always put the common good first and to clearly and unambiguously reject violence in politics in our life in society.
Please know that in me you will find a President who is open to listen and to incorporate different visions, and who is also receptive to constructive criticism that will help us to improve.
Chilean men and women
I receive this mandate with humility. I know that the future of our country is at stake in the coming years. That is why I guarantee that I will be a President who cares for democracy and does not expose it, who listens more than he speaks; who seeks unity of agreements and who attends, day by day, to the needs of the people; who fights against privileges and works every day for the quality of life of your family.
Today is a day of great happiness, but above all of great responsibility, the work ahead of us is enormous, and we need all of us. We must continue to be one, we must continue to come together to bring about the changes that the country needs so much.
This is how we will do it, by governing with all the people. Adding ideas, opening doors, building bridges. This is how we will go, step by step, building a just homeland little by little, day by day.
That is why tonight we must celebrate, but we will do so calmly. Go home with the healthy joy of the clean victory we have achieved. I ask you to take care of this triumph.
tomorrow we will have a lot of work to do to reconnect, to heal wounds, and to walk towards a better future.
With hope intact.
With the awareness of the challenges we face.
I bid you farewell with a giant hug, I will leave the best of me.
Thank you very much.