President Gabriel Boric stands solemnly at the Palacio de La Moneda, paying tribute to the late President Sebastian Piñera. This image is a rare sight as leaders often bear the weight of democracy with a heavy heart, knowing that they are imperfect and worldly beings tasked with guiding their country’s destiny. The greatness of Chile’s democratic and republican culture is remarkable, despite facing signs of hardship and adversity like many nations.
Sebastian Piñera’s infamous statement about Chile being an oasis referred to the country’s economic progress and material well-being, but it failed to acknowledge that citizens were unable to fully enjoy these benefits due to increasing inequality. Despite its challenges, Chile stands out for its commitment to democracy and modernity, including its autocratic and populist tendencies.
Piñera’s oasis is now vindicated as a symbol of democratic and republican conviction in Chile. The country’s respectful demonstration during his state funeral shows that it values its democratic culture above all else, even in times of crisis or tragedy. Chile sets an example for other Latin American countries to adopt a similar republican and democratic culture.
President Boric’s actions at the funeral events underscore the importance of democratic convictions in Chile. His presence at the airport to welcome the deceased president’s remains and his solemn expression serve as a reminder that power lies with whoever holds it, but it must always be exercised responsibly in defense of democracy.
The responsibility for maintaining democracy falls on the shoulders of voters who put leaders in positions of power. The Chilean voter has earned their place in this oasis and plays a vital role in keeping up with its democratic traditions. Ultimately, democracy requires sacrifice from imperfect but well-intentioned leaders who understand that they are merely stewards of power rather than owners of it.