Biden says Chile ‘powerful example’ for world in first call with president-elect

Associated Press/Andres Poblete

President Biden called Chile’s 35-year-old President-elect Gabriel Boric on Thursday to congratulate him on his electoral victory, lauding the country’s election as a “powerful example” for the rest of the world. 

Last Sunday, Boric became the youngest-ever person to be elected as Chile’s president. The leftist millennial rose to prominence as the leader of anti-government students protests. Boric beat his opponent, José Antonio Kast, by more than 10 points.

According to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Biden and Boric “discussed their shared commitment to social justice, democracy, human rights, and inclusive growth.”

“President Biden underscored the importance of U.S.-Chile cooperation to promote a green and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the existential threat posed by climate change,” Psaki said.

Biden also offered his “deep condolences” to Chile for the death of Chilean teenager Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who was fatally shot by an LAPD officer’s stray bullet while she was trying on quinceañera dresses in a department store with her mother.

Following his victory, Boric vowed to “bury” the South American country’s neoliberal economic model as well as increase taxes on the “super rich.” 

Kast, a far-right candidate who had drawn comparisons to former President Trump, initially beat Boric by two points in the first round of the presidential election, but neither candidate won a majority so they entered a runoff. 

In his victory address, Boric vowed that he would be a “president of all Chileans.”

Tags Chile Donald Trump Gabriel Boric Jen Psaki Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Biden José Antonio Kast

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