Chile’s Boric: I’m only asked about human rights situation in Cuba, Venezuela

Buenos Aires, Apr 4 (EFE).- Chilean President Gabriel Boric said here Monday during his first visit abroad as head of state that his administration will draw attention to human rights violations that occur in any country worldwide, regardless of whether the government in power is left-wing or conservative.

But he questioned why every time the topic of human rights is broached he is only asked about countries with leftist leaders like Venezuela or Cuba.

“The problem in some sectors of the left, as far as a double standard in the area of human rights, also exists on the right. They only talk about the Venezuela-Cuba-Nicaragua triad and journalists always report (what they say),” Boric said in a joint press conference in Buenos Aires with Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernandez.

“How come the media only ask me about Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua and don’t ask me about human rights violations, for example, in our country, in Chile, or murders of social leaders in Colombia?” he asked rhetorically.

“Human rights must be respected fully, and our country must promote them fully in all parts of the world, regardless of the political leanings of the government that infringes upon them,” Boric said.

The 36-year-old head of state, who took office on March 11, said his government will pursue a consistent policy of not using “people’s suffering, whether in Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or wherever, for political gain.”

Earlier Monday, Boric participated in a ceremony in which he laid a wreath at the monument in Buenos Aires to 19th-century South American independence hero Jose de San Martin, a traditional stop for world leaders visiting the Argentine capital.

“I was born and raised in Patagonia, closer to Argentine territory than central Chile, so it’s a very dear relationship,” the Chilean president said, stressing his administration’s ideological affinity with Fernandez’s government.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, those two center-left leaders signed a series of bilateral agreements in the areas of gender equality, consular affairs and human rights protections.

“We had some very good conversations. I think we have visions of the world that have a lot of aspects in common, where the importance of transforming our societies to bring about social equality is something that moves us,” Boric, a former student leader, said.

For his part, Fernandez stressed the multiple “points of contact” that he and his Chilean counterpart share and which are reflected in their common views on protecting human rights, promoting gender policies and caring for the environment.

“Chile and Argentina don’t have a mountain range that divides them. They have a mountain range that unites them,” the Argentine president said. “Chile and Argentina inextricably have a common destiny that we must protect, just as we have a common destiny as the Latin American countries we are.” EFE


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