The Intercept has shared an interesting story about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) taking a meeting with a far-right political candidate who has ties to a military dictatorship in Chile and speaks fondly of the years his home country lived under the terrorist regime of Augusto Pinochet.
José Antonio Kast is currently engaged in a deadlocked runoff election against a left-wing challenger and is often referred to as “Chile’s Jair Bolsonaro” (the would-be dictator in Brazil who regularly speaks warmly of his own nation’s time under a military dictatorship), according to The Intercept. “If Pinochet were alive, he would have voted for me,” Kast has said.
Kast’s family has deep ties to the Chilean dictatorship. His father, Michael Kast, was a lieutenant in the Nazi army before fleeing to Chile and raising sons who shared his far-right politics. One son, Miguel Kast, was appointed by Pinochet to be the Minister of Labor and then President of the Central Bank. Miguel was one of the so-called Chicago Boys, a collection of young economists trained by Milton Friedman “set loose on Chile to launch a neoliberal experiment” that saw social spending slashed and wealth funneled upward to the very rich.
Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast is running on a pledge to prohibit abortion, eliminate the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity, withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, and expand prison construction. https://t.co/QCzs6amdnf
— The Intercept (@theintercept) December 2, 2021
Another son, Christian Kast, was linked to peasant massacres under Pinochet, and José Antonio Kast campaigned against the members of the electorate who rewrote the Chilean Constitution and began the process for Pinochet’s removal. “I’m not a ‘Pinochetista’, but I value everything he did,” Kast has said, adding that the dictatorship “laid the foundations of modernity,” according to The Intercept.
Senator Marco Rubio with José Antonio Kast, the right-wing candidate running for President of Chile 👀 https://t.co/tnpizMIg2e
— Hunter Avilio Thomas (@hunterthom_) December 1, 2021
It’s unclear what was discussed between Rubio and José Antonio Kast. The Intercept, quoting the Chilean news outlets El Mostrador and La Nación, says Kast and Rubio were joined at the lunch meeting by Issa Kort, Chile’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, along with at least 20 executives from U.S. companies with interests in Chile, including PepsiCo Marketing Manager María Paulina Uribe and UnitedHealth Group Vice President for International Relations Joel Velasco.
On Rising @ryangrim talks about Marco Rubio who met with José Antonio Kast, a right-wing Chilean presidential candidate who often speaks fondly of dictator Augusto Pinochet:"If Pinochet were alive, he would have voted for me." Watch Ryan's full Radar here: https://t.co/4ykmS3BoJJ pic.twitter.com/8vVEHh2ufS
— Halalflow (@halalflow) December 1, 2021
Read the extensive report at The Intercept.