Chile has been ravaged by the ill effects of neoliberalism. Adding a deadly pandemic to the mix, healing seemed next to impossible as Piñera was at the helm of all affairs. But Gabriel Boric has proved the world wrong. He not just kicked Piñera to the curb but also was able to defeat José Antonio Kast, a Nazi who favors the free market while opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and illegal immigration. Kast had supported the infamous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Boric managed to electorally defeat fascism and stand up for the Chileans suffering since decades. Boric, the 35-year-old former student leader, will succeed billionaire right-wing president Sebastián piñera on March 11, becoming Chile's youngest president. "If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave." The quote very well sums up Gabriel Boric's politics and after his victory he has stuck to it (so far). Chile's millennial president-elect, Gabriel Boric, has appointed a progressive government, including a female-dominated ministerial team for the first time anywhere in the Americas. On his new cabinet, he said “We have put together this group of people who are well-prepared, who have knowledge and experience, who are committed to the programme of changes that the country needs, and have the capacity to combine viewpoints, different perspectives and new visions,”.
A brand new cabinet
Boric indeed has managed to introduce an inclusive cabinet. Women dominated the Cabinet, accounting for 14 of the 24 ministers, with seven of the Cabinet members under the age of 40 and the youngest at 32. The average age was 49 years old. Alexandra Benado, Boric's sports minister, used to be a national team footballer whose mother was assassinated by state agents because she was a member of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR). She is the country's first openly lesbian minister. Furthermore, he has included Maya Fernandez Allende, the new minister of defense of Chile, who will now be heading and transforming the institution that overthrew the first democratically elected Socialist president of Latin America and her grandfather, Salvador Allende, in the bloody US-backed Pinochet coup in 1973. A biologist, Fernandez was born in Chile. Later on her family had to emigrate to Cuba due to the military coup of 11 September 1973, staying on the island until she was 21 years old. She returned to Chile in 1990 and settled there permanently in 1992. His cabinet also includes the Communist Camila Vallejo who has been described as the symbolic successor to Gladys Marín and as the most influential communist figure in 21st-century Chile. Starting in March 11th 2022, she will assume the role of Minister General Secretariat of Government in Gabriel Boric's government. Dr. Izkia Siches( who has garnered praise for her role in the country's COVID-19 pandemic response.) 35, a popular former head of the national medical union, will be Chile's first female interior minister, adding to the list of many firsts.
This progressiveness would not have been possible without the widespread protests that forced Chile to adopt constitutional reforms. After all, it only marked the beginning of the end of Pinochet's legacy.
Is a young, diverse, female led cabinet the answer to all of Chile's problems? After all, Boric will have to deal with a split Congress where conservatives remain strong. While the election results were satisfactory, this cabinet certainly is better than the fascists taking over. We eagerly await the swearing in ceremony on the 11th of March.