Statement of Solidarity with the Chilean People

The Democratic Socialists of America stands in solidarity with the Chilean people in the face of massive human rights violations in the wake of the recent uprising that has moved to a general strike.

The Chilean government and its billionaire president Sebastian Piñera — who himself made a fortune off the so-called liberalization of the country — have reacted violently to mass protest resulting from decades of frustration with uneven distribution of wealth and empty promises since the end of the military dictatorship. Military rule ended Chile’s democratic road to socialism under President Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity coalition.

Under General Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in 1973 in a US-backed bloody coup, Chile became an experiment for neoliberalism such as the privation of their equivalent to Social Security. This economic policy continued under elected governments of the right and center-left since 1990.

While Chile is now a “developed” country, its vast wealth is matched with unprecedented inequality not seen in decades. The Chilean working class like its global siblings suffers from high debt, precarious jobs, and weak labor laws.

A recent increase to the capital city’s subway fare sparked a massive protest and resistance. The slogan “no es por los 30 pesos, es por los últimos 30 años” means “not for the 30 cents but for the last 30 years.” This references the three decades of neoliberalism and representative democracy.

DSA supports the demands of the Chilean left and progressive social movements:

  • End military presence in the streets, including the first curfew since the dictatorship and stop the human rights violations. Address those who have been wrongly killed, hurt, and detained.
  • Begin a dialogue between the government and civil society to address and find solutions to the problems that caused this social upheaval.

DSA and its predecessor groups have stood with the Chilean people during the junta and again today. ¡La Lucha Continua!