As Chile’s presidential campaigns draw to a close, one candidate, Gabriel Boric, has received an outpouring of support from around the world. Politicians, philosophers, and actors are just a few of those who have expressed their support for Boric in an open letter criticizing his opponent José Antonio Kast. Former President Michelle Bachelet is also all in for the Apruebo Dignidad hopeful.
For Chile’s presidential candidates, the second round campaigns end tomorrow, Dec. 16. In a week where a slight hiccup may trigger an avalanche that buries one of the contenders, an open letter “in defense of Chilean democracy” seeks to undercut Republican candidate José Antonio Kast. The letter, signed by many international figures such as former United Kingdom Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and philosopher Slavoj Zizek, criticizes Kast for “endorsing the legacy” of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The letter accuses Kast of presenting a political program that seeks to “revive” the Pinochet legacy. The signatories from over 15 nations worldwide also criticize the role played by foreign governments during the dictatorship before adding that they would not allow a similar situation to occur in Chile again.
“Foreign governments played a sordid role in financing, facilitating and legitimizing the rise and rule of Pinochet. We, representatives and personalities from all over the world, will not repeat their mistake.” Linguist Noam Chomsky and journalist Naomi Klein are also included as signatories of the letter.
The French Academy of language also rejected the admission of academic Mario Vargas Llosa for his support of the Christian Social Front standard bearer. The academy cited that the admission of Vargas Llosa would present “serious ethical problems,” due to his close political position within the far right.
Famous rapper Residente (Calle 13) also spoke out in support of Boric
— People ᴮᵀˢ⁷🌌 (@sugarap1993) December 15, 2021
Boric’s allies here and abroad
In the second open letter this week, 40 members of the country’s National Awards championed left wing candidate Gabriel Boric. Among them are National Prize winners from across the years such as Isabel Allende, Romilio Espejo, Ivan Núñez, and Jorge Pinto Rodríguez.
Earlier this week, U.S. actor and left wing activist Danny Glover also expressed his support for the former student leader on social media. “Vote as if the fate of your beautiful country depends on it,” said the Lethal Weapon star. Glover shared his concerns about Kast: “I am concerned about what is happening in your country, where a man named Kast, an admirer of General Pinochet, wants to become president. Fortunately, Gabriel Boric is there to stop Kast.” “I ask you to vote for Boric. Vote for hope. Vote for joy. Vote for democracy,” said the actor, clarifying his support for Boric.
Glover is not the only actor to come out in support of Boric. Gael García Bernal also made his announcement on social media. The Bad Education star urged people to go out and vote following a more than 47 percent turnout in the first-round elections as reported by the Election Examining Tribunal.
“If I were Chilean, I would vote for Gabriel Boric,” concluded García Bernal. Narcos actor Pedro Pascal retweeted García Bernal in agreement adding that he hopes Boric wins on Sunday.
Chile’s two-time former president Michelle Bachelet has also endorsed the presidential hopeful. Following her recent arrival to Chile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) joins the growing list of Boric supporters as she declared Boric would have her vote this coming Sunday.
Emmanuela is an International Relations and Modern Languages student from the Univeristy of East Anglia. Human Rights is of key interest to her as are culture, politics and sports.