Chile’s president complains about U.S. absence from green event as John Kerry 2 seats

Left-leaning President Gabriel Boric of Chile appeared not to recognize President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy, John Kerry, during an event at the Summit of the Americas on Thursday, railing against America for not attending then that Kerry was only two seats behind Boric.

Boric became president after a bad election in December in which violent leftists assaulted several of his conservative opponent’s campaign events, the culmination of three years of left-wing riots that began as an alleged protest against rising public transport fares in Santiago. Boric, 36, came to prominence as a Marxist Protestant student and has described himself in the past as “on the left of the PC”. [Communist Party].”

This week’s Summit of the Americas is his first diplomatic tour outside the country since he became president, and holds particular political significance given his plummeting approval ratings at home despite his tenure as president. less than a year. The gaffe, which Boric seemed visibly embarrassed about, is unlikely to do much to reassure worried Chilean skeptics.

Boric was speaking at the “CEO Summit of the Americas”, an event bringing together several Latin American presidents and envoys from other represented nations on Thursday, and notably addressing the signing of an “International Coalition to Connect Marine Protected Areas”. Western South America has seen a major escalation in illegal fishing and maritime ecological destruction over the past decade, almost entirely linked to Chinese vessels illegally plundering the sovereign waters of American countries. Chile, Ecuador and Argentina were the hardest hit.

In his remarks, Boric stressed that countries like China must be held accountable for playing a role in preserving the environment, in addition to several other non-Hispanic nations.

“If we are able to use our leadership to protect what is all of humanity – because it’s not just about our countries, it’s about all of humanity,” Boric asserted, ” we are going to contribute decisively and we will be able to say more authoritatively to the developed countries – like the United States, which is not present here, like the European Union, like China and like India, that they have a duty to do more to protect our environment.

Minutes later, after receiving a note on a piece of paper from an assistant, Boric corrects himself.

“I’m sorry, a little correction from me. When I was talking about the developed countries to put pressure here, I was thinking of Europe, China, India, I was talking about the United States… the United States is present here, with John Kerry” , said the president. “And that is also extremely important for us. Canada and the United States are part of the G7 and I have no doubt that with this leadership, we can also encourage other developed countries to join.

Kerry, receiving the moderator’s last word, replied, “I just have one question: where’s the beer?”

Boric has otherwise had a relatively fluid engagement with the Biden administration, including the president himself, this week. The Chilean leader was one of several leftists initially suspected of boycotting the Summit of the Americas to protest the failure of the dictatorships in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to receive an invitation. The summit is an event bringing together the leaders of the Organization of American States (OAS), a coalition that requires its members to promote democracy, so dictatorships are technically not allowed. Despite this, Boric, Argentine President Alberto Fernández, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and Bolivian President Luis Arce all reportedly considered skipping the event in protest. In the end, however, only López Obrador and Arce didn’t show up.

Boric criticized the absence of dictatorships from the hemisphere.

“We should all be here and we’re not all here,” Boric said in remarks Friday. “I don’t like the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, because it would be different to discuss, in a forum like this with all the countries present, the urgency of releasing political prisoners in Nicaragua or of the moral and practical necessity of ending the unjust and unacceptable blockade imposed by the United States against the Cuban people”.

In reality, the “blockade” only affects businesses – which in communism all belong to the regime – and contains exceptions for medical and humanitarian aid.

However, Boric’s remarks differed significantly from López Obrador’s complaints, as the latter dismissed human rights concerns in Cuba during his remarks confirming his boycott on Monday, clearly stating “so what?”

Boric condemned the Castro regime in an interview with Telemundo this week, saying: “There are prisoners in Cuba [detained] to think differently and that for us is unacceptable.

During his meeting with Biden, Boric said in a statement on Twitter that the two “discussed continental strategies to deal with the high cost of living for our peoples.”

“As long as the United States understands that Latin American countries are its equals and are never subordinate, we can work together,” Boric wrote. “It is a necessary condition for a new continental agreement to promote democracy, human rights and the fight against climate change.”

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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