José Antonio Kast, the far-right candidate in the Chilean presidential elections who defends the Pinochet dictatorship, is a threat to the freedoms and social conquests of the people of Chile.
Kast does not hide that he wants to end social benefits for families or children who are outside marriage. In his programme, Kast announced that he would close the Ministry of Women. He rejects the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and other forms of sexual diversity. He also wants to extend the retirement age to 75 years. He proposes that the first three withdrawals people have made from their pension funds are paid back into it. His party makes an amalgamation between “narco-terrorism” and the Mapuche people. He has promised to release the Punta Peuco inmates (those who carried out killings and torture) through presidential amnesty. This includes Miguel Krasnof who was convicted of so many crimes that he already has sentences for more than 840 years ratified by the Supreme Court.
In the first round of the election, only 45% of the electorate voted. SR (CWI Chile) and others did not support any of the candidates. We did not vote for Boric, of the Frente Amplio, in the first round, because he is a regime politician. Together with the right-wing UDI deputies, he threw a lifeline to Piñera when he was about to fall due to the social uprising of October 2019 onwards by supporting the ‘Pact for Peace and the New Constitution‘.
Boric does not support the release of the young people imprisoned for participating in the revolt. The anti-looting and anti-barricade laws have contributed to keeping thousands of young people in jail. His campaign is characterized by ambiguity and evasion on this issue.
However, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI Chile) calls for a vote for Boric in this round, to defeat Kast and to prevent the coming to power of the extreme right. We do so but give no blank check to Boric. Rather we vote against Kast and the forces of Pinochet’s reaction.
Whatever the next government, we have to rely on social mobilization as the main tool of struggle. We declare ourselves in opposition to any neoliberal government of the bosses, be it that of the neo-fascist Kast or that of Boric. But we do this understanding that the candidates represent the extreme far-right and neo-liberal capitalist democracy. A struggle must be prepared against all of them. Part of this is taking the necessary steps to build a real political alternative for workers and young people on a socialist programme. But for this election, it is necessary to hold your nose and vote for Boric to defeat Kast.