The new president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, reaffirmed on Monday his intention to promote regional integration and said that “it is necessary for Latin America to once again have a voice in the world.”
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In a press conference with foreign correspondents at the La Moneda presidential palace, the progressive leader assured that regional organizations “such as Prosur, Unasur or the Lima Group”, made up exclusively of governments of the same political party, “have shown that they are not useful for unite nor to advance integration”.
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“We must stop creating organizations based on the ideological affinities of the leaders in office,” said Boric, who at 36 years old became the youngest president in Chilean history on Friday.
The former student leader, who confirmed that he will make his first official trip abroad to Argentina on a date yet to be confirmed, assured that regional integration is “essential” to solve common problems, such as the Venezuelan crisis and the exodus of more than 6 million citizens of that country to neighboring nations such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador or Chile.
The solution to the crisis, he pointed out, “cannot fall on one or a group of countries, but we have to express Latin American solidarity in this. All the countries of the region have a role to play.”
The solution to the crisis cannot fall on one or a group of countries, but rather we have to express Latin American solidarity in this
Chile has been experiencing an unparalleled migration crisis for a year, with hundreds of Venezuelans entering daily through unauthorized border crossings on the border with Bolivia and camping in border towns, where there have also been episodes of xenophobia.
Boric, who has been critical of the regimes in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua since the beginning of the presidential race, announced that the possibility of implementing a “quota system” in the region, similar to the one launched by the European Union with the massive exodus of refugees after the war in Syria.
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“I think it is something where we could all win, both the countries deepening our cooperation, as well as many migrants who do so in a situation of great desperation (…) Being overloaded in a single country generates very difficult situations and difficult insertion,” he added.
The president, close to progressive leaders such as the Brazilian Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva or the Uruguayan José Mujica, confirmed that his Interior Minister, Izkia Siches, will travel to the border with Bolivia in the coming days to meet with all the parties affected by the migration crisis and evaluate the possibility of extending or not the State of Exception in the area.
Boric also supported the negotiations that the Venezuelan government and the opposition are holding in Mexico and expressed his wish that “the Venezuelan people be the one to resolve their conflicts and that the next elections comply with all international standards.”
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