Chile’s newly elected president, Gabriel Boric, has been hailed by critics as a “communist”. But the young leftist leader wants to build Chile as a “welfare state” like other European countries. Chile is one of the most discriminatory countries in the world. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the top 1 percent of Chile’s people own more than 25 percent of the country’s wealth.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Chile is the second most developed country in terms of household income among developing economies. One of the reasons for the violent protests that erupted in the country in 2019 was the widening gap between rich and poor. Many were killed in the protests, and those in control of the country’s economy and politics were forced to flee.
Former student leader Borik supported the protest. Now he has the opportunity to change Chile. Explaining how he wanted to change Chile, Boric said: “Our goal is to build a European-style society. We want to build a welfare state in which everyone has the right to the amount of money they have. ‘ Again, investors are not looking favorably on his promise to raise taxes. Many Chileans are deeply concerned about communist policies. Many Venezuelans have now immigrated to Chile, and many in Chile blame communist policies for the country’s deteriorating situation.
Rodrigo Spinoza, a political analyst at Diego Portrales University, thinks Boric is more left-wing than traditional leftists. But an analysis of his program shows that his position is different from that of the leftists in Venezuela or Bolivia. His position is related to social democracy in Europe. The name of Borik’s alliance is Approved Dignity. His ideology is very moderate. He defeated Daniel Jadu of the Communist Party in the race for the presidency. Spinoza said Boric fell victim to fake news-based propaganda during the election campaign. He was attacked as Hugo Chভvez of Chile. Boric has voiced “Chilezuela” allegations against him. But the fact of the matter is that Borik’s program has nothing to do with breaking the “free market economy.”
His opponent in the election was the far-right Conservative leader Jose Antonio Cast. The proponent of the neo-liberal economy accused Borik of being a communist. He also gets a lot of benefits. Cast said in his election campaign, “The leftists only support poverty. Poverty like in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. People are fleeing from those countries. ‘
Borik won last Sunday’s election by a margin of more than 1 million votes. But Kast got 36 lakh votes out of 63 lakh votes. Ricardo Sepulveda, a native of Santiago. The 65-year-old former construction worker voted for Casto in this election. The reason, he said, was that “the communist regime … affected everything in the life of our middle-class family.”
Boric is not a communist, Chilean economist Francesco Castaneda told AFP. His political alliance needs to learn that it is important to strike a balance between revenue and government spending. The reform program that needs to be taken to reduce social inequality must be long-term. It has to be implemented step by step.
Explaining his position, Boric told AFP before the election that in a multi-party society like Chile, it was not possible to do business or move the country forward. In his election promise, he announced that he would reduce the weekly working hours from 45 to 40 hours to take the country towards green development. Create employment for 5 lakh women. He also wants to change Chile’s retirement benefits. This was one of the demands of the 2019 protests.
After winning the election, Borik reiterated his call for increased social rights. But he wants to do that by combining revenue and government spending. “We will do it to protect the macro-economy,” he said. The Santiago Stock Exchange index fell 7.8 percent the day after the results were announced. The Chilean peso’s currency depreciated to record levels against the US dollar. Many analysts believe that bigger shocks are coming.
If this young Chilean president wants to make a radical change to the neo-liberal economic model, it will be very difficult for him. Because the number of left and right is equal in the legislature. Maria Cristina Escudero, a political analyst at the University of Chile, also rejected the idea of Venezuelan-style socialism. He said Borik was trying to build a larger alliance outside his own approved dignity alliance. Because it is not possible for his government to take any action without the consent of the legislature.
Borik needs every vote of the center-left outside his own alliance to get his program passed. This means that it is not possible for him to exclude anyone. All in all, he stood in front of the ordeal.