Visibly annoyed President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric addressed and defended the sayings that the Chilean ambassador to Spain, Javier Velascodelivered, in the framework of the meeting New Economy Forumabout the role played by the governments of the ex-Concertación during the last 30 years in the country.
The diplomatic representative, who is also a friend of the Head of State, addressed various points at the aforementioned business meeting, such as the ratification of the treaty with the European Union, but also, following a question from one of the attendees, he analyzed the causes that led to the social outbreak of 2019. It was in this response that Velasco criticized the ex-coordination, a block that today forms a central part of the heart of the government of the Frente Amplio.
“But an outbreak of these dimensions is not a trivial matter. For us to get there, it took 30 years of policies that deepened inequality, 30 years of a country perceiving that on a daily basis”was one of the phrases he had on that day.
The words of the national ambassador did not go down well in the Chilean political world, being harshly criticized by some former foreign ministers, such as Heraldo Muñoz, who asked the Foreign Ministry to call him to order. He also had recriminations from the leaders of Congress, Álvaro Elizalde and Raúl Soto.
This is how Boric was asked about the subject during the second day of his tour in New York and before participating in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Salvador Allende’s speech before the UN, together with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance, Antonia Urrejola and Mario Marcel, respectively.
In the first instance, the President asked the journalist who asked him for his opinion on the ambassador’s statements, to tell him the exact phrase that caused the former foreign ministers’ annoyance, as well as to mention the specific question that had been put to Velasco. .
“I am asking because here it happens constantly that the worst possible version of a specific wedge is sought to try to put together a debate and everyone is asked for statements and I am sure that almost no one saw the forum in which the ambassador of Spain”, began by pointing out the President.
In this sense, he added that it was a member of the Telefónica company who asked the ambassador about whether he “believed it possible that there would be a new social outbreak of the characteristics of 2019 today in Chile. To which the ambassador, in a lengthy response, said that he believed that the conditions on which the social outbreak occurred had been an accumulation of policies of more than 30 years, where there was a weariness on the part of the people and that It was part of what we discussed as a country for a lot in recent years.”
Boric, in that sense, explained that “I have given a vision that things are not black and white here. Here neither the 30 years were policies that did harm to Chile nor were they the best thing that could have been done. I think we all share that. We had, and I said it yesterday in the speech, important growth figures; we managed to successfully overcome poverty in Chile, not completely, but in a very significant way, we improved the rates of education, thanks to what the governments of the Concertación and also of President Piñera did”.
“Therefore, having a critical view of part of that period does not seem to me to constitute a reason to generate a great controversy,” the President bluntly assured.
and stated that “I invite those who think about this to hopefully see the entire forum, let’s discuss this with high-mindedness and not try to find the worst version of the excerpt from a wedge to fight each other. Chile has the right to review its history, Chile has the right to have an opinion about its history”.
“I have had it, by the way other political actors also have it and I believe that this is totally legitimate and I believe that an ambassador can participate in instances of these characteristics without this being the cause of scandals”he concluded.
Hours before the government spokesperson, Camila Vallejo he had also referred to Velasco’s sayings. “Sometimes polemics of phrases are armed, sometimes taken out of context or that have not been sufficiently compared with the declarations of the President of the Republic”assured the head of the Segegob.
The minister also quoted verbatim part of what was Boric’s speech this Tuesday before the United Nations Assembly and where he addressed the Chilean development process. “Although we can recognize social policies at different levels, the fight against poverty, economic growth is undeniable and, for this reason, we are where we are, that inequality continues in our country as a result of a development model that has allowed and facilitated the concentration of wealth. One thing is economic growth and another thing is where that economic growth is going to end, where it is concentrated. And that is why one of the great challenges we have as a country is to level the playing field, level it up, better distributing wealth”, he pointed.
And he closed by stating that “beyond the ambassador’s statement, our policy has to do with this, how we face inequality, how we level it up, how we better distribute wealth and how we take care of the social rights of everyone ” .