José Antonio Kast, the far right-wing candidate who is in the second round of the Chilean presidential elections, is touring the United States this week. According to the Chilean press, the politician, who is a defender of dictator Augusto Pinochet, seeks to “dispel concerns” that he is an “extremist”.
Kast embarked for the United States on Monday November 29 and has already had a meeting with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a congressman allied with former President Donald Trump and a declared enemy of the governments of Venezuela and Cuba. Rubio is an advocate of gun ownership and advocates against legislation which permits abortion and same-sex marriage.
“We discussed several topics of international interest and it was very interesting when thinking about the future of Chile,” Kast said after the meeting with Rubio.
The candidate, who has already been called the “Chilean Bolsonaro,” also had activities planned at the conservative organizations the Inter-American Dialogue and the Council Of Americas.
In 2017, then federal deputy and presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro also toured the United States and had meetings with businessmen and one at the Council of the Americas.
Chilean digital newspaper El Mostrador revealed that Kast had lunch in Washington DC with several business leaders. The meeting was attended by María Paulina Uribe, marketing manager at PepsiCo, Joel Velasco, vice president of UnitedHealth Group, and Isa Kort, former Chilean representative to the Organization of American States (OAS).
UnitedHealth Group is a healthcare conglomerate with presence in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. The business group controls 13 hospitals and 143 medical centers.
Despite winning more votes in the first round, Kast, according to the first electoral polls, is behind leftist candidate Gabriel Boric. The second round of its presidential elections in Chile is on December 19.
Edited by: Arturo Hartmann