Surprise? Chile’s new socialist president names critic of human rights abuses in Cuba as Foreign Minister

Socialist Antonia Urrejola

From our Bureau of Unexpected Cryptic Swerves

This might not be a surprise, but rather some sort of smokescreen. A very leftist president must have some trick up his sleeve when he appoints a fellow member of the Socialist Party to his cabinet who has earned a reputation as an opponent of the repressive measures of the socialist dictatorships of Cuba, Venenozuela, and Nicaragua.

How much pressure is any socialist going to put on socialist dictatorships? Let’s wait and see what Boric’s trick might be. This is no “unequivocal message” as the folks at Diario de Cuba have said. It’s very cryptic.

Loosely translated from Diario de Cuba

Gabriel Boric, the elected president of Chile, has given an unequivocal message with the appointment of Antonia Urrejola as the new minister at the head of the Foreign Ministry. According to analysts consulted by DIARIO DE CUBA, it is about drawing up a foreign policy based on human rights and democracy, which will collide with the existence in the region of the dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

When Boric was elected last December with a clear popular mandate in favor of change, giving Chile the most significant turn once democracy was recovered in that country, in DIARIO DE CUBA we anticipated that the new president had the opportunity to also demonstrate a new approach from the left in foreign policy.

The appointment of lawyer Antonia Urrejola, until a few weeks ago president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and member of this body for several years, is undoubtedly a signal, a message, which, on the other hand, will also generate friction for the Boric’s government in the national and regional dynamics of the left, according to the reactions that have been generated immediately.

Urrejola has been independent, but she is historically linked to the Socialist Party. She fulfilled the role of José Miguel Insulza’s chief of staff when he headed the Organization of American States (OAS), between 2005 and 2015.

Various organizations and activists in Venezuela recall Urrejola’s effort to place the issue of human rights on the political agenda of the OAS, when Hugo Chávez was still alive and enjoyed a wide international forum.

Later as a commissioner of the IACHR, the Chilean lawyer was a rapporteur for Cuba and maintained a critical attitude in the hemispheric organization regarding the lack of freedoms on the island.

In 2021, as president of the IACHR, in the first directive of this body made up entirely of women, Urrejola raised the tone to question the regime of Daniel Ortega. The political crisis and human rights in Nicaragua, was one of the central flags of the presidency exercised last year by whom she will now act as minister.

continue reading HERE in Spanish

1 thought on “Surprise? Chile’s new socialist president names critic of human rights abuses in Cuba as Foreign Minister”

  1. I expect this is a largely cosmetic or camouflage move. What is shown publicly is one thing, and what goes on behind the scenes is another. Think Bachelet at the UN, for instance.

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