The shadow of Pinochet enters the Chilean campaign at the hands of Kast

The statements of the ultra-conservative Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast, who affirmed that during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship democratic and "political opponents were not locked up", aroused this Saturday the reaction of the rest of the applicants, who accused him of "denialism".

The candidate of the Republican Party, who several polls place among the favorites to be the new president, made those statements last Friday in a meeting with the international press in which he answered why he does not qualify the military regime of Pinochet (1973-1990 ) as a dictatorship, but it does put this qualifier to the Governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

"There is a situation that clearly makes a difference with what happens in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. I believe that what happened in Nicaragua fully reflects what did not happen in Chile, that in the face of democratic elections, democratic elections were held and political opponents were not locked up, and that makes a fundamental difference", said Kast, statements that had a wide echo in the media through the cable broadcast by Efe.

The candidate, a 55-year-old lawyer, explained that the Constitution that was promulgated in 1980 during the Pinochet regime, and that is currently in force after several reforms, "contained the entire transition to democracy, which was accomplished" So what, "therefore there is no point of comparison" with what happens in the "dictatorships" of Cuba and Nicaragua or in the "Venezuelan drug dictatorship".

The matter was installed this Saturday in the electoral campaign, just seven days before the polls open next Sunday for one of the most uncertain elections in the history of the country, and aroused the reaction of several of the other six candidates to occupy the first magistracy.

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The top favorite in the polls, leftist Gabriel Boric, indicated that what Kast said "it’s very serious" and added that "it shows not only your vision of history, but also of the future".

"He not only denies the crimes committed by the dictatorship in Chile that he supported, but also in his program proposes to close the National Institute of Human Rights"Boric said.

The center-left letter, Yasna Provoste, noted that what Kast said "it is not effective" and what do you think "of maximum gravity" because "in Chile opponents were imprisoned, tortured and made to disappear".

The candidate of the ruling right, Sebastián Sichel, wrote on Twitter that you cannot "legitimize or relativize violence, the restriction of freedom and the persecution of those who think differently" and noted that "as Vargas Llosa says: all dictatorships are bad, dangerous and unacceptable".

Finally, the progressive Marco Enríquez-Ominami recorded in the same social network that "denialism is a form of violence" and warned that with Kast "the life together is in danger" and what is going to "steal democracy".

In his conversation with journalists, Kast also said that he does not feel right-wing and asked that he not be classified as such but rather as "a common sense candidate".

"I’m not (far right)" (…) A concept was coined by the press that I am extreme, extreme in what? (…) It is an old political division and we are going to break with traditional political schemes, why do you think that someone who is described as the extreme right is leading the polls?", he expressed.

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