The left must embrace respect for human rights

(CNN Spanish) – “The left must embrace without knots absolute respect for human rights, separation of powers, respect for freedom of the press,” Chile’s president, Gabriel Borek, said in an interview with CNN en Español during the Summit of the Americas. held in Los Angeles.

During the conversation with Alejandra Ora, the 36-year-old president, who took office three months ago, referred to the situation in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, whose exclusion from the summit was the focus of discussion. .

“In this we must always act with an unrestrained defense of human rights, but also understand that the isolation that has been pushed towards these countries does not contribute to anything, but only ends up strengthening their internal position,” he said.

The need for a voice from Latin America

The summit is “opportunities to build trust that allow us to understand that beyond our ideological differences, when Latin America does not have unity, when we do not have a single voice in international discussions, we stop importing and others speak for us,” Borek said.

Borek said the region has practically spent a decade and a half debating Venezuela, Nicaragua, and even more than Cuba, and “has lost sight” of the importance of the issues that unite the two countries. He cited as an example the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19, which instead of being done cooperatively, was a competition for “who gets it first.”

“This is nonsense (…) I am in favor of respecting our differences, returning to speaking one language and leaving the adjective aside. There is a poet in my country, Vicente Huidobro, who used to say ‘Adjective when it does not give life, it kills.'” “It seems to me that Latin American politics have been full of adjectives lately,” he said.

The president referred to the situation of Venezuelan immigrants, explaining that they are working on a strategy and that he has spoken with other leaders in the region about addressing the crisis. He said of the situation that by May 2022 affected more than five million Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean and 6,13 million worldwide, according to figures from R4V, the inter-agency coordination platform for refugees and migrants from Venezuela.

“It is possible to prove a new kind of left”

Borek said when asked about comments made by some Venezuelans, for example about on social media, about leaving his country and ending up in another country where the government is in the hands of the left.

“I am from the left, I have been politically trained in social movements and mobilization, and I believe that the left should embrace without knots absolute respect for human rights, separation of powers, and respect for freedom of the press,” he added.

For Borek, who defines himself as an “egalitarian socialist”, the “very deep” differences with the right in Chile and Latin America are related to the role the state should play, the integration of the peoples of the region and the vision of history

When asked what would have changed in Hugo Chávez’s socialist model, Borek stated that it would be “arrogant” on his part to “make a firm historical judgment on such complex processes”. “But what I do know is that I must listen to and respect those who think differently from me, and also try to learn from them, not simply seek to invalidate or isolate them,” he said.

For Borek, youth gives ‘daring’ but not ‘virtue’ In itself

Borek became the youngest president in Latin America. What gives young people? He replied, “I’m throwing.” I believe, he said, that “the youth allows us to maintain a dose of unease with authority, and allows us to continue the rebellion.” But with one caveat: “I also claim that there is no virtue In itself In youth and that what interests me is intergenerational dialogue, learning from the experience of those who have gone before us and saying that this is not a battle of old against young, young against old, but rather of shared learning.

Borek believes that at the end of his government they will assess whether they can improve the quality of life and mention the tax reform they are working on, which, he says, aims to improve income distribution and access to rights such as health, education, housing and pensions.

In his first public account since taking office, Borek announced last week that tax reform would be introduced in June and that he would raise taxes on high income and mining taxes. Pension reform, an issue that has also sparked controversy, will be brought up in August.

Chilean President presented the roadmap for the coming months 1:29

In an interview with CNN, Borek also highlighted the process of the Constituent Assembly working on a new Magna Carta that would be put to a referendum. “Chile went through a very big social crisis in 2019, we had protests that attacked the very essence of our country and in the most difficult moment of the social crisis we chose more democracy and this is the foundational process and this is something I am very proud of,” he says.

It also stresses the need to “embrace” diversity in the country and look towards the region. “For too long we have been looking away from our own. I want to claim that it is our diversity and Latino blood that will move us forward. And unfettered respect for human rights. I think it is very important to emphasize that time and time again, no matter what color of government you are violating, we have to We raise our voices.”

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