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02/12/2024

“I’m glad he rests in peace today.”

“I’m glad he rests in peace today.”

The phrase that titles this article is not mine. It is from Sebastián Piñera himself and was uttered in 2009 to “celebrate” the death of Mónica Madariaga, former head of Justice during the dictatorship, who in a television interview said that on instructions from the “military government ” and after the intervention of José Piñera, Sebastián’s brother and Pinochet’s labor minister, he had interceded to free him from his imprisonment for fraud and violations of the General Banking Law. Although Piñera denied the accusations, Madariaga reaffirmed his statements, calling him a “liar.” In such a way that the now champion of democracy was a liar.

According to Madariaga, she had to intervene “unduly” so that the judge investigating the case released Piñera, ensuring that he was imprisoned for the bankruptcy of the Bank of Talca, which was confirmed by the judge of the Court of Appeals, Luis Correa Bulo, who on August 28, 1982 had declared Piñera a prisoner, ordering his arrest for the aforementioned crimes.

Already a criminal, under threat of being tried and sentenced to prison, in September 1982 Piñera presented an appeal for protection before the Court of Appeals of Santiago, but this court rejected it. Note that the appeal was not for appeal but for protection, which leads one to think that he accepted his crime.

Madariaga was suffering from terminal cancer when she gave the aforementioned interview and died on October 8, 2009. Piñera commented on the event saying: “I am glad that today she rests in peace.” Thus it became clear that the new champion of Chilean democracy was also heartless.

It is known that in Judeo-Christian ideology, all the dead are good. It is also known that no one wishes death on anyone, which is false because from power, both Pinochet and Piñera not only wished death on many, but also gave the orders for such wish to be executed.

The shock caused in Chile by the death of the former president is already surpassing – through media work – the disaster of the loss of – until now – 123 humble Chileans. Unlike the former president, they were who were not traveling by helicopter visiting millionaire friends on large estates in the south of the country. They found death in their humble homes built in places where government apathy marginalized them, excluding them from the possibility of leading a normal life.

I couldn’t say that I haven’t wished death on anyone. I wish that upon Pinochet since September 11, 1973 and I regretted that he had not paid for all the crimes he committed. Justice should have acted, but it only exists for the rich and powerful. In today’s world, justice remains a chimera. Piñera mocked justice a thousand times. His wealth and power made him feel like he was above her… And truly, he was. It is unfortunate that, like Pinochet, he left without paying for his transgressions, which were many.

Today, when the president of Chile, evidently benefiting from his friendship with Piñera, says that he “was a democrat from the first hour,” he is making a relevant contribution to political science by establishing a new concept of democracy. Of course, Boric agreed with Piñera to paralyze social struggles in 2019 and catapult himself to the presidency of the Republic.

Some representatives of the Chilean government who suffer from an unfortunate Stockholm syndrome left on their faces, not because they regretted the death of the former president, which is acceptable from a political point of view. But it is shameful how they have transformed him into an example of the “great democrat”, forgetting that this putative son of the dictatorship, a confessed swindler and thief, used government power to increase his wealth.

In her expression of regret, the “communist” leader Camila Vallejos, Boric’s minister, said: “My thoughts are especially with Cecilia, his life partner, his daughters and sons, his family.” The familiarity with Piñera’s wife is striking. It seems that Vallejos forgot that she herself was a victim of Piñera’s repressive excesses in his first government. Of course, everything in terms of reconciliation… with the rich and with the right. In Chile, the honeys of power have sweetened even some communists.

Today, Boric remembers that Piñera was the architect of “the reconstruction of Chile after the powerful earthquake of 2010, the management of the covid-19 pandemic and the decision and audacity to rescue the 33 miners trapped in a mine in the region of Atacama.” But he conveniently forgets the almost 40 murdered, the around 460 mutilated faces who suffered eye trauma, the 11 thousand injured (3,500 caused by State agents) and the 25,000 detained by order of Piñera. The new champion of Chilean democracy was a murderer. All the aforementioned figures are official and show the victims were the result of his decisions and orders.

Another of Piñera’s political exploits was verified during the primary campaign to elect the right-wing candidate for the 1993 elections. Back then, a clandestine telephone recording was released in which he could be heard giving instructions to his collaborator, Pedro Pablo Díaz, to attack unfairly and discredit his opponent, the then representative Evelyn Matthei. The instructions to Díaz included certain questions of religious morality, such as divorce, which were supposed to make Matthei uncomfortable, who “is Catholic and does not go to mass.” The new champion of Chilean democracy was a vulgar cheater.

In his packed resume that could well be considered a police record, if Mr. Piñera had not been rich and powerful, it must be included that in July 2007 he was fined around 770 thousand dollars by the Superintendence of Securities and Insurance (SVS) for having committed financial fraud by purchasing shares on the stock market of the airline LAN Chile that he owned just on the eve of the publication of the company’s annual financial balance, which reported net profits 34% higher than in the previous year. Piñera made a profit of $700,000 due to the logical revaluation of the shares.

Piñera had no qualms about continuing to manage his companies while he was president of the republic, he did so through front men and his family, also creating a trust that kept his most substantial corporate interests intact. The champion of Chilean democracy was a tax evader and an outright fraudster.

Continuing his unhealthy need to accumulate money in any way, the new presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera deceived the treasury by reporting a personal asset of 600 million dollars. The American magazine Forbes, specialized in finance and business, meanwhile was reporting his true wealth as of 2.7 billion dollars.

Piñera’s neoliberal, fascist and pro-imperialist political thought was manifested when he expressed his opinion on the government of President Allende: “The UP Government repeatedly broke legality and the rule of law,” and in his view on education he said: “We do not believe that free education for all is neither convenient nor fair (…) We do not believe in nationalizing or monopolizing education by the State (…) because that, in the long run, is an attack, not only on quality, but to freedom, and is an attack on equity in education.” In this way, he justified in the first instance the fascist coup d’état of 1973 and at a later time, laid the foundations for the repression against the students who went out to protest, asking for quality education for all.

In September 2018, visiting President Trump at Casa Banca, he proudly, proudly and laughingly showed a United States flag in which he included the star of the Chilean national symbol as part of the North American banner, expressing his dog-like loyalty to Washington. The champion of Chilean democracy justified the coup d’état against President Allende and was a stubborn neoliberal, pro-imperialist and coup-monger.

I have nothing personal against Piñera, just a reciprocal feeling like the one I have towards everyone. On February 23, 2019, Piñera attempted to disturb the peace in Venezuela by going to Cúcuta supposedly to “force the entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela, because the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro denied access.” He wanted to violate my life, that of my family, that of my friends and that of all Venezuelans. I felt towards him what anyone can conceive when trying to introduce violence, destruction, death into your home, into your family, into your country.

Unfortunately for him, thanks to the Venezuelan people’s will to resist, such an attempt failed. Piñera met that day with the White House appointee Juan Guaidó and with two presidents who promote terrorism to observe how the “multitudes of Venezuelans who were going to receive their saviors” did not arrive, the popular rebellion against Maduro did not occur and the armed forces that would rise up against the government, remained loyal to the president.

That night, at the height of the paroxysm, Piñera exclaimed: “Until last night they told us that people were going to be there! Where are the people? Where are the people?”. He looked at the television screens that showed him a reality contrary to what he expected and said bitterly: “This image is showing a triumph for Maduro!” The new champion of Chilean democracy was a violent terrorist as well as a coward; He urged Venezuelans to rise up against his government in order to reap the fruit of his perfidy from afar.

The defeat dismantled him, he didn’t know what to do. So, trying to obtain some result from the failure, he invited the Venezuelans to take refuge in Chile. This decision was widely refuted in the country. The waves of Venezuelans who traveled to Chile were mistreated, harassed and some even expelled. Migration was unleashed through illegal channels and the Chilean State has been unable to control it. Piñera never assumed political responsibility for this crisis. The new champion of Chilean democracy was, in addition to being a braggart, totally irresponsible in unleashing an unnecessary crisis in his country.

While “General” Piñera led the troops in Cúcuta, the Chilean people were preparing to express their rejection of the prevailing system. Piñera’s obsession with overthrowing Maduro distanced him from his internal responsibilities. His ambition to be recognized as a continental leader culminated in total failure. In October 2019, the Chilean people finally demonstrated with all the strength of their conviction and courage and when Piñera was at his worst, Boric came to his aid to save him by offering him on November 15 the “Agreement for peace and new constitution in Chile”.

For this reason, Boric now says that Piñera “was a democrat from the first hour.” The evidence indicates the opposite. In what is becoming a norm, Chile continues to support this democracy of collusion and complicity. Thus, Eduardo Frei protected Pinochet in 1998 and Boric elevates Piñera to the category of champion of democracy. As the popular saying goes: “God grows them and the devil unites them.”

I’m not happy that Sebastián Piñera has died. Piñera! I would have preferred to see you imprisoned as a thief, swindler, murderer, terrorist, heartless, cheater and liar. A coward being … well, that’s typical of your kind, just like Pinochet when he covered himself with his grandson to protect himself on the day of the attack on his miserable life. Because you are neoliberal and pro-imperialist you could not go to prison, but your forces, who are of the same ilk as you, will be defeated sooner rather than later when the Chilean people open the great malls.

Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
A Venezuelan international relations expert, Gelfenstein was previously Director of the International Relations of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, his country’s ambassador to Nicaragua and an advisor for international politics for TELESUR. He has written numerous books, among them “China in the XXI Century – the awakening of a giant”, published in several Latin American countries. You can follow him on Twitter: @sergioro0701

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