Colombian President Alvaro Uribe congratulated Chile’s new president-elect, Sebastian Piñera, but warned that the terms “left-wing” and “right-wing” are outdated, and only serve to polarize South America.
Piñera, a conservative-leaning billionaire businessman, ended the 20-year dominance of Chile’s politics by a center-left coalition with his win on Sunday.
Despite their shared position as conservative leaders in a region dominated by leftists, Uribe did not welcome the new leader as a kindred spirit, saying that Piñera should not be described as a “right-winger.”
“I do not agree with the division of Latin America between left- and right-wing governments,” the president stated. “It was valid in the past when ideas from the European left were brought over to fight Latin American dictatorships, but today it is a description that polarizes.”
Piñera, described by some as “Chile’s Berlusconi,” is a personal friend of Uribe, and an outspoken critic of Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez.