Lawmaker Luis Pardo Sáinz told Breitbart News in an interview Thursday that authorities in his native Chile have “well-founded suspicions” that communists tied to the Castro regime in Cuba and allies of the rogue socialist regime in Venezuela are playing a role in ongoing violent protests.
Chileans began taking to the streets of Santiago in October, nominally in response to a proposed hike in subway prices in the nation’s capital. As Sáinz explains, demands for social change amid growing economic concerns have led to a significant reform process – which has sent many of the peaceful protesters home satisfied, leaving violent rioters in the streets.
While peaceful protesters marched and chanted, violent rioters have engaged in mass acts of arson, including burning down subway stations, major office buildings, and churches.
The protests erupted almost simultaneously with major political upheaval throughout the country. Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil have seen similar riots. The governments of Ecuador and Bolivia have revealed the arrests of dozens of Cuban and Venezuelan citizens participating in violent street activities such as looting, bombing, and blockading major streets.
Last week, Chile announced it would deport 30 Cuban nationals, some caught participating in riots. The arrests indicate foreign influence in some sectors of what many in the international left insist is an organic social change movement.
Sáinz, a member of the center-right National Rejuvenation Party working on legislation to ensure justice in cases of street violence, told Breitbart News that there are legitimate protesters among those demonstrating and they have conveyed real concerns about the state of the country.
“There have been very massive peaceful protests that have to do with social unrest,” he explained. “Our country in the past 30 years has had very important economic development [that] has translated into a very, very significant reduction in poverty rates, from 50 percent rates to less than 10 percent and has created the emergence of a new middle class that has access to education, to consumer goods in a very important way.
That middle class, he noted, “today also suffers the effects of debt, effects of insecurity in facing life contingencies like diseases and such, so there is there civil unrest, that has to do with social conditions, that has expressed itself these days.”
“But parallel to that, and taking advantage of that circumstance, there has been very well organized, systematic, very violent activity,” he continued, “including significant acts like the burning of Santiago metro stations, the burning of important buildings, and also very active street actions, building barricades to block traffic, organizing looting to supermarkets, many of which were later burned.”
Sáinz noted that the government has begun responding to legitimate concerns. Among the projects in the works is a complete overhaul of the Chilean constitution, put into place in 1989.
“As a result … those that are remaining in the streets are the violent sector,” he said. “We suspect that, behind that organizing and planning there is a foreign hand. For now, we have detained many Cuban and Venezuelan citizens, but we also know that the true heads of this, the ones leading and organizing this, are not committing the acts themselves, so we are waiting to untangle what is behind this wave of violence.”
“We have the well-founded suspicion that behind [the violence] there is organization, there is planning, that could be tied to the Castro regime and the Venezuela regime, which are effectively the same thing,” he noted. “Foreign citizens have been arrested at the protests and the will or disposition of the government is to repatriate them.”
He reiterated that “the ones arrested at the protests are the ones committing the violent acts, and not necessarily the organizers who have also been observed and identified – people who move around in motorcycles, in bicycles, and maintain themselves at the margins of the violence but clearly direct it and probably, behind them, there is also maybe some foreign agitator.”
Sáinz has been a vocal critic of the communist Castro regime in Cuba, introducing a bill in the Chilean Congress this summer for the nation to host a trial for crimes against humanity against the regime. Under both the late Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl, extensive evidence collected over the past century shows Cuba has killed, imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise abused thousands of its people in a manner fitting the international legal definition of “crimes against humanity.” That crime, as a peremptory norm of international law, can be tried in any court on earth – the commission organizing such a trial, Justice Cuba, merely needs a willing venue.
In June, Sáinz told Breitbart News that containing the threat of Cuban communism should be a shared concern of all Latin American nations.
“Unfortunately, the Cuban experiment has had an expansion in the last few years in countries like Venezuela and Nicaragua, which has generated greater attention from the rest of the continent and the world, and it seems like the Cuban dictatorship has [become normalized] and we have stopped denouncing what is going on in Cuba,” he lamented.
In the ensuing months, evidence has surfaced in multiple Latin American nations, Chile included, of Cuban and Venezuelan government interference. The Maduro regime boasts an army of nearly 100,000 Cuban agents, according to some estimates, governing Venezuela, so they function in tandem.
“Maduro the satrap has activated, along with [socialist ex-President Rafael] Correa, a destabilization plan,” Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said in October, when riots similar to Chile’s erupted after he announced an end to a longtime gas subsidy. “They are the corrupt ones who have felt the steps of justice getting nearer so that they have to be held accountable. They are the ones behind this attempted coup d’etat.”
The Ecuadorian government, which was forced to renew the gasoline subsidy, found evidence of foreigners being paid $50 each to destroy property and commit acts of violence.
Bolivia has similarly arrested dozens of Cubans, Venezuelans, Colombians, and others amid riots following the resignation of socialist ex-President Evo Morales. Bolivian police arrested four Cubans accused of paying locals to riot in La Paz, the executive capital. The new conservative government is sending hundreds of Cuban citizens back their homeland for security reasons.
Venezuelan officials have boasted of their influence in these destabilizing activities.
“What is happening in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Honduras is just a little breeze, and what is coming is a Bolivarian hurricane,” Diosdado Cabello, the head of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) said last month, warning more riots would erupt and saying he was “happy” to see them.