Chile: the dubious origins of a presidential candidate

José Antonio Kast is one of the two leading candidates running for the Chilean presidential election. He has long presented himself as the heir to General Augusto Pinochet, but lately he has tried to detach himself from that image.

His family was steadfastly committed to General Augusto Pinochet. His brother, Miguel, was the director of the Central Bank. He himself appeared in the general’s campaign video-clip for the 1988 referendum.

On economic issues, his mentor is Milton Friedman. He advocates for an unbridled free market economy and spurns the idea of making the fight against inequalities a social priority. He presents the fight against crime and immigration as the main highlights of his electoral program. He supports the right for civilians to bear arms and the right to shoot down burglars. He is in favor of granting amnesty to those soldiers who were convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

On December 1, journalist Mauricio Weibel Barahona (La Red, ex-Canal 4) released a document exposing José Antonio Kast’s father as a member of the Nazi party, the NSDAP, in 1942. Michael Kast emigrated to Chile in 1950 where he made a fortune. The presidential candidate claimed that his father was forced to join the Nazi Party, but all historians agree that no one was ever forced to join.

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