Salvador Allende’s Granddaughter and Other Surprises From Boric’s New Cabinet in Chile

Among Boric’s new cabinet is the presence of the socialist deputy Maya Fernández, granddaughter of Salvador Allende and who will be in charge of the Ministry of Defense.


Photo: TW-gabrielboric

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso

The outgoing president, Sebastián Piñera, will leave office on March 11, being succeeded by the elected president Gabriel Boric, who in the second presidential round on December 19 defeated the far-right candidate José Antonio Kast and became the new president of the South American country.

Also read: Political Pendulum in Latin America: A Trend to the Left

Recently Gabriel Boric has announced his work team. 28 ministers will accompany the 35-year-old deputy, and there are many stories that are well worth telling behind this announcement.

Salvador Allende’s granddaughter will be the new defense minister

History, according to experts, is cyclical, since some facts and historical events are repeated every certain period of time. With the appointment of the new team of ministers in Chile, something has happened that fits with what was said previously, and that is that Gabriel Boric has decided to appoint Maya Fernández as the new Minister of National Defense. In other words, the current deputy will be in charge of the control and management of the Armed Forces in the event of an eventual armed conflict.

That is particular and has enormous symbolism behind it because Maya Fernández is one of the granddaughters of the late Salvador Allende, the first socialist president in the world to come to power through democratic elections, and who did not finish his term since a coup of State organized by the Armed Forces and other institutions abruptly ended his government.

Fernández was born two years before the coup and went into exile in Cuba where she lived for almost 20 years. After the end of the military dictatorship, she returned to Chile and studied Biology and Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the Socialist Party, like her grandfather, she has chaired the Lower House in Congress and was one of the first people to withdraw from supporting the center-left candidacy to commit to the campaign of the then-presidential candidate, Gabriel Boric.

A young and diverse cabinet with a majority of women

The cabinet that will take office as of March 11 has many particularities, and it will be a ministry that averages 49 years of age, will be made up of people of sexual diversity, will have a presence of multiple political parties and, perhaps the most impressive thing is that it will be made up of a majority of women, with 14 female ministers and 10 male ministers.

Izkia Siches, the 35-year-old doctor, former president of the Medical Association and who played a fundamental role in Gabriel Boric’s presidential campaign during the second round, will become the first woman to preside over the Ministry of the Interior and will have to take charge complex issues such as immigration, the increase in crime, the emergence of drug trafficking and the conflict in the southern macrozone.

While another ministry of great relevance that will be occupied by a woman will be that of the General Secretariat of the Government, where the communist deputy, Camila Vallejo, will have the role of spokesperson for the Boric government. Vallejo was a partner of Gabriel Boric and a key player in the student demonstrations that took place in the country more than ten years ago when she was president of the Student Federation of the University of Chile.

Meanwhile, a ministry that will enter the political committee from this government will be that of Women and Gender Equity, which will be led by the 32-year-old journalist and Social Convergence activist, Antonia Orellana. With a gender perspective, a sign of empowerment, and with a view of profound transformations, the prominence that they plan to give to this ministry reaffirms in principle the importance that feminism will have in the future government.

It should be noted that the moderate and now-former president of the Central Bank of Chile, Mario Marcel, will be the Minister of Finance. In this way, it seeks to calm Boric’s detractors. While Boric’s “right hand” for a long time, deputy Giorgio Jackson, will be the Secretary-General of the Presidency and will have to build a bridge between the government and Congress to reach agreements.

In this line of consensus, the traditional center-left parties will have a leading role in the new government. Socialist Party, the Radical Party, the Liberal Party, and the Party for Democracy will have a presence in this new cabinet.

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