When there are new days for the presidential elections in Chile, which will certainly have a second round, the politician outsider right-wing and ultra-conservative on values, Jose Antonio Kast, met this Friday with the international press, and answered the queries of Clarion.
He accused the Argentine government of denying the terrorism of groups that claim to claim the Mapuche cause, and then “surrender to the facts, because clearly what we have here are terror policies.” Kast leads four of the last six polls published in the trans-Andean country.
During the 49 minutes that the round of questions lasted, the topics were varied. Remarkably, on three occasions he made references and comparisons with Argentina regarding what, in his opinion, should not be done in pursuit of good policy.
The first of them, regarding what type of State those countries that qualify as prosperous have.
The candidate, a Catholic from the Schoenstatt movement and father of nine childrenHe pointed out that “the great development that Chile has had has been to be able to harmonize well that it is not the State, generally, the one that produces or generates the best quality in some things. If we see the example of Argentina, which could be an agri-food and energy power, and it is not, it is because it is a bad state ”.
Jose Antonio Kast, before the press this Friday in Santiago de Chile. Photo: REUTERS
Harsh criticism of Argentina
Kast added that “a Welfare State has beneficiaries, which are the people. The State is at the service of the people and we are the people at the service of the State. In many Latin American countries that is not the case. We have giant states, which call themselves benefactors, but have their people in misery and poverty. If we compare with Argentina, they are clearly in a situation of poverty that one could imagine. That is because they have a bad government ”.
To explain the point, the Republican standard-bearer deepened: “They have inflation, they have more camps than in Chile, a lower survival rate than Chile’s. Whose fault is that? They have a much bigger state than ours! A Federal Republic, with local parliaments, so they have more politicians at the service of the people, supposedly, and even then they are not able to get ahead, “he said categorically.
From that comparison, he built what he defines as the hallmark of his eventual management.
“What we say is that we believe in a small, austere and efficient state, but strong. More resources are going to reach people, because what we want is to reduce political spending to improve social spending, because we want a large social arm. For that we need resources, that’s why we fight the ‘apitutado’ (gnocchi) and the relatives ”.
Consulted again by Clarion, this time regarding the Mapuche conflict and the alleged coordination between sovereignist groups of both countries, the candidate – whose proposals are the toughest and most militarized regarding the conflict – explained: drug trafficking and criminal organizations that are dedicated to the theft of wood “.
And he added: “We have a common border that we must control, for arms or human trafficking. Our first mission is to control what happens here.”
Then, he outlined a new criticism of the Alberto Fernández administration. “Many governments, such as the current Argentine government, denied that there was terrorism, but they have had to surrender to the facts, because clearly what we have here are terror policies that some were carrying out, based on the claim of land, but clearly they use it for other purposes ”.
Mapuche groups clash with the police in Santiago on November 4. Photo: AP
Continental shelf and cooperation
To the obvious ideological distance that would exist with his peer on the other side of the Cordillera, if he were to win the presidency, geopolitical definitions are added.
Kast states only unfinished business between the two neighboring nations. “With the continental shelf we have nothing pending, because that is Chilean.” And he adds that “there is a demarcation issue that is pending to be resolved in Campos de Hielo Sur. That is the issue that is pending with Argentina ”.
However, it was not all comparisons of development models and ideological visions when drawing a commercial roadmap towards the future.
“We can be a very good commercial partner for Argentina. They have serious problems, they need to be able to reach Asia quickly, directly and we are a door to reach Asia. We must give them all the road and port facilities so that they can use them ”, he assured.
José Antonio Kast does not want to be compared to Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: REUTERS
He also referred to the export potential of his country in green energy. “In the future, we will be able to export energy to Argentina. We can become in the medium term, 10, 15 years, an energy exporting country, due to solar energy from the north or wind energy from the south. Here there will be a revolution, “he predicted.
Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro
Comparisons with other leaderships in the region were also a matter of consultation, particularly from the European and North American media. For the Chilean candidate, there are no possible comparisons with the American Donald Trump or the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro.
“There is no comparison with what political leadership can be in other countries like the United States or Brazil. We have a common sense project, where social urgencies are the first thing we are going to put on the table. Where the efficiency and modernization of the State are a fundamental pillar for what we want to do ”, he clarified.
There, he took a minute to ask that he not be treated as the extreme right. “The definitions of right and left are from the past. I even consider myself progressive in some things. Therefore, ask me in what and I will answer you. I ask that you simply refer to me as the candidate of “common sense,” he said.
Asked about the political references or connections he has, he said he admires the policies of Angela Merkel in Germany and the British Conservative Party, after the efforts of David Cameron and Boris Johnson. He also acknowledged having links with the far-right Vox party in Spain.
About the Argentine candidate Javier Milei? Kast says he doesn’t meet him in person. “I have seen his videos, I think he is doing a great job, but I have not had the pleasure of talking with him,” he concluded.
Santiago de Chile, special