The legend has it that during the huge march from Paris to the Versailles Palace on October 5-6 1789, right in the middle of the French Revolution, the wife of Louis XV, Marie Anthoinette, asked what was the people demanding. She was told that the crowds were protesting over the scarcity of bread and its mounting prize and over spreading hunger and malnutrition.
The young, innocent French Queen, who shortly after would loose her head, literally she was beheaded, retorted that they should replace bread with pastries.
Many in France question the authenticity of this episode, but another story, very, very similar to this one, happened in Chile, just a few days ago, when the Labor and Social Security Minister, Nicolas Monkeberg, spared a magnificent opportunity to keep his mouth shut.
Instead, he loudly voiced his condemnation of the protests and told the workers that if they wanted to avoid the high fare prices they should wake up in the middle of the night and take advantage of reduced fares. Incredible statement!
The naked truth is that the current Chilean rulers, representatives of the strictest neoliberal policies, could not care less about the financial tribulations of the people, which include hunger and malnutrition for them and their children. These gentlemen do not give a hoot for the dramatic situation of millions of Chileans, who go hungry, lack medical protection. They behave like the French aristocrats of the 18th century.
Incredible but true. The Chilean rulers, who act as watch dogs of the most brutal neoliberalism, could not care less for the desperate situation of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Chileans. They behave just as the French aristocrats did in the pre-French Revolution era.
Only two weeks ago, President Piñera had told an international meeting that in the middle of social and economic conflicts rocking many parts of the world, Chile stood as a bastion of prosperity. He said that just a couple of weeks ago.
Just two weeks after that triumphant speech, the people of Chile gave its President a straight forward answer.
Now Piñera is claiming that his Government is fighting a powerful enemy, a term that covers young students, housewives, workers and just ordinary citizens, who are sick and tired of fighting poverty and destitution, even hunger, every single day of the year.
Recalling the dark days of the Pinochet tyranny, President Piñera's repressive forces have murdered at least eighteen civilians, including a four year old child, and have arrested up to four thousand street protesters.
The Chilean people is not only rejecting the thirty peso increase in public transport fares, but also expanding hunger, the incredible social and economic inequalities, the lack of opportunities that keeps hundreds of thousands of young people unemployed and living in abject poverty.
In his luxurious abode, President Piñera ignores and worse still, could not care less about the hunger, destitution, disease and other preventable social and economic ills that afflict the vast majority of the Chilean people.
If they have some time to spare, the Chilean President and his cohorts should read and document themselves about what was the end reserved by history to the rulers of France during the French Revolution.
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