Communist Candidate Wins Chile Presidential Election After Year of Leftist Mob Violence
Chile elected Gabriel Boric its president on Sunday, a sharp turn left after two years of Marxist mob violence targeting churches and government institutions. Boric is a far-left radical protest organizer endorsed by the Communist Party.
Boric defeated conservative candidate José Antonio Kast, who won the first round of presidential voting in November. Kast conceded on Sunday night. In the past month – during which Boric and Kast had the election to themselves after defeating a large slate of candidates in round one – rising numbers of violent attacks by leftists on Kast supporters and staffers had come to define the election.
“I have just spoken to [Gabriel Boric] and congratulated him for his great victory,” Kast wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. “From today on he is the president-elect of Chile and deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration. Chile is always first.”
Acabo de hablar con @gabrielboric y lo he felicitado por su gran triunfo. Desde hoy es el Presidente electo de Chile y merece todo nuestro respeto y colaboración constructiva. Chile siempre está primero 🇱✌️ pic.twitter.com/AvpBKs0GFT
— José Antonio Kast Rist 🇱 (@joseantoniokast) December 19, 2021
Kast’s quick concession was notable – as was his in-person meeting with Boric shortly after – on a continent where candidates have increasingly denounced fraud, most recently in the Peruvian presidential election, also won by a communist. Boric appeared prepared to cry fraud in the event that he lost, spending much of Sunday complaining that public transport was not sufficiently accessible to his voters.
Boric rose to prominence as a leftist student protest leader during the latest tenure of outgoing President Sebastián Piñera, a “center-right” candidate who largely yielded to major leftist demands such as scrapping the entire Constitution and prioritized giving China a stranglehold over the Chilean economy, Latin America’s strongest. While not formally a member of the Communist Party, Boric’s “Approve Dignity” leftist coalition includes the Communist Party of Chile.
Boric made few promises in his victory speech, warning Chileans, The times that are coming are not going to be easy.” His dark predictions appeared limited to discussion of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, however, which has hit Chile especially hard in large part due to Piñera’s trust in low-quality inoculation products from China. Elsewhere, Boric repeatedly discussed “unity” and “openness,” began his speech in the indigenous Mapuche language to highlight inclusion, and condemned the “patriarchy” generally. He took a moment, however, to promise cooperation with his vanquished opponent.
“The future of Chile needs everyone on the people’s side. I hope that we have the maturity to count on their ideas and proposals. With Kast,” Boric promised, “we will know how to build bridges so that our compatriots will be able to live better.”
To those concerned that Chile will soon face the same socialist woes that much of the continent – most dramatically, Venezuela – has endured by voting for candidates like him, Boric said, “my commitment is to take care of democracy every day of my government. A substantive democracy that will not be reduced to what happens today, but a democracy in which civil society takes the lead.”
Boric’s supporters have given the world much to worry about in the past month. Violent mobs have targeted Kast supporters: attacking conservative families in broad daylight by pelting them with rocks, smashing vehicles at Kast campaign events, organizing threatening mobs to surround Kast himself while conducting door-to-door campaigning, and, on one occasion, attempting to shove a pregnant Kast staffer to the ground. At a “Women for Boric” campaign event this weekend, singer Camila Moreno declared, “May Kast and Piñera die; we will burn this kingdom.”
Leftists had indeed burned much of Chile up to this weekend. Leftist riots erupted in late 2019 allegedly in response to a proposed hike in the Santiago metro fare that resulted in widespread burning down of government buildings, churches, and police stations. Local politicians claimed organized leftist groups were handing out drugs, alcohol, and staging outdoor parties enticing people to engage in property destruction and looting. The violence continued even after Piñera agreed to both stop the metro fare hike and to throw away the nation’s Constitution, another mob demand that appeared to have little to do with the initially stated cause of the riots. Rioters and their enabling politicians such as Boric also failed to explain the relationship between protesting the public transit system and the extensive damage to Chile’s historic Catholic churches, including vandalization with Satanic graffiti.
La Asuncion church burns during a protest on October 18, 2020, in Santiago, Chile. A series of protests and social unrest arose after a subway fare increase (Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images).
During the past month of campaigning, Boric did little to condemn the violence against Kast supporters, claiming tepidly, without evidence, that he had experienced similar situations.
The international left, particularly in Latin America, effusively celebrated Boric’s win.
“I congratulate the Approve Dignity coalition on their victory and the new president-elect of Chile, Gabriel Boric,” Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro wrote on Twitter. “I salute the people of [leftist leader] Salvador Allende and Víctor Jara for their resounding victory against fascism.”
Felicito al Pacto Apruebo Dignidad por su victoria, y al nuevo presidente electo de Chile, Gabriel Boric. Saludo al pueblo de Salvador Allende y de Víctor Jara por su contundente victoria sobre el fascismo. ¡Gran Jornada democrática! ¡Viva Chile! pic.twitter.com/cJZZ4wtqNO
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) December 20, 2021
In neighboring Argentina, socialist President Alberto Fernández personally called Boric to congratulate him and invited him to visit Argentina. “Whenever you’d like,” he said. Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (no relation), herself a two-time former president, appeared to bizarrely celebrate the Boric win on Twitter with a photo prominently displaying the Argentine flag.
The Chilean stock market collapsed in response to the news of a far-left president-elect. The IPSA stock market index in Santiago, the largest in the capital, is down over seven percent at press time on Monday morning. Chile’s La Tercera reports that, in response to Boric’s calls to nationalize the health industry, economists expect the healthcare sector to experience the most catastrophic economic damage, as well as any industry with ties to the state.