Chile's Foreign Ministry has summoned Argentine Ambassador Rafael Bielsa to convey to him that the Government of President Gabriel Boric Font finds some of his comments highly inappropriate for his role.
When analyzing the outcome of the Sept. 4 plebiscite where the proposed new Constitution failed to be endorsed by the majority of voters, Bielsa argued that the Chilean rightwing politicians had had things their way after lying to the people, which caused unease among local lawmakers who demanded the Executive to take action.
It is not appropriate for an ambassador to give an opinion on the internal politics of the country where he is, Chile's Foreign Ministry stressed after acquiescing to a request from Chile Vamos MPs.
Bielsa said in a radio interview that in Chile the rightwing says things that are not true, but, despite not being true they are easily understood, and progressivism says things that are true, but in order to explain them it needsattention. Bielsa added he hoped the new Constitution would be approved, which was also President Boric's desire.
UDI Senator Iván Moreira said he had formally requested Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola that the Argentine ambassador in Chile be summoned for his gratuitous insults to a relevant sector of the population.
It seems to us that the government [of President Gabriel Boric] did the right thing by calling Ambassador Bielsa, who feels he has the authority to give an opinion on our internal politics, over to the Foreign Ministry. The government considered that the ambassador's statements caused discomfort and that he had gone too far in his political comments. In the same way that we condemn Jair Bolsonaro's accusations against Boric, as opposition we demand reciprocity from the government, Moreira said.
This ambassador has already committed several diplomatic incidents. We expect Ambassador Bielsa to behave as a diplomat and not as a representative of leftist guerrillas, he added.
In Chile, we understand foreign policy as state policy. And Parliament has not been involved in criticizing the Argentine government on domestic policy, the Senator also underlined.
Chile's Foreign Ministry summoned Brazilian Ambassador Paulo Soares Pacheco on Aug. 29 last after President Jair Bolsonaro pointed out in a presidential debate that [Luiz Inacio] Lula da Silva supported the candidate who in Chile set fire to the subway, and in Colombia the candidate who is in favor of freeing drugs and prisoners.
Bielsa, a former Argentine Foreign Minister himself, has also been criticized for personally defending Argentine-born Mapuche leader Facundo Jones-Huala, who had been extradited from Bariloche to serve a nine-year sentence for a 2013 arson attack. Bielsa spoke on behalf of the detainee as he filed a parole request before the Temuco Court of Appeals. Jones-Huala is currently at large.
Bielsa also described the right-wing losing candidate José Antonio Kast as part of a Pinochettist and rupturist rightwing seeking to dismantle the State while expressing his concern over remarks from Kast advising against Argentina.
Chile's diplomatic front is also under flak over Boric's refusal to accept the credentials of Israel's new ambassador.