Marco Rubio Overtly Supporting A Chilean Nazi Running For President

Rubio, who's packed on 30 pounds lately, with Chilean Nazi José Antonio Kast last week

Chile's presidential runoff is in 10 days, pitting a solid progressive, Gabriel Boric, against a slime-bag Nazi, José Antonio Kast. The first round, last month, with 7 candidates, had Kast leading 1,961,779 (27.9%) to 1,815,024 (25.8%). The most recent polls have all shown Boric pulling substantially ahead.

Kast has denied that he's a Nazi, painting himself as just a kind of Trump/Bolsanaro character in the mold of former dictator Augusto Pinochet, one of his heroes, whose death in December of 2006 triggered widespread, spontaneous celebrations throughout Chile. This week, Kast's campaign suffered a serious setback when a document was unearthed that shows his German-born father was a member of Hitler's Nazi Party, something Kast has consistently lied about for years.

Yesterday, The Guardian reported that German officials have confirmed that an ID card in the country’s federal archive shows that 18-year-old Michael Kast, who died in 2014, joined the Nazi party, in September 1942.

Kast has spent the entire campaign putting out disinformation, distortions and outright lies about Boric. Although Chile has had a major Nazi problem, some Chileans who don't hold Kast responsible for his Nazi father are more focussed on how this is another example of Kast's serial deceitfulness.

A fervent Roman Catholic and father of nine, Kast has deep family ties to the military dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet that came to power following a coup in 1973. His brother Miguel served as the dictator’s central bank president.
“If he were alive, he would have voted for me,” Kast said of Pinochet during the 2017 campaign, in which he won just 8% of the vote. “We would have had tea together” in the presidential palace.
On the campaign trail this year, he has emphasized conservative family values, attacked migrants from Haiti and Venezuela whom he blames for crime and blasted Boric as a puppet of Chile’s communists.
Kast has made inroads with middle-class voters concerned that Boric-- a millennial former student protest leader-- would disrupt three decades of economic and political stability that has made Chile the envy of many in Latin America. To underscore those concerns, Kast traveled last week to Washington and met with American investors as well as Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the subcommittee overseeing US relations with Latin America.
The latest opinion polls give a slight edge in the runoff to Boric, who has pivoted to the center to galvanize support from voters fearful of a return to the country’s tumultuous past.
“This backs up Boric’s framing of the race as a dichotomy between fascism and democracy,” Jennifer Pribble, a Chile expert at the University of Richmond, said of the older Kast’s wartime record. “To the extent Kast seems to be hiding some element of his family’s history, it plays into that narrative.”
...[I]n the past Kast has angrily rejected claims that his father was a supporter of the Nazi movement, describing him instead as a forced conscript in the German army... [W]hile military service was compulsory, membership in the Nazi party was voluntary.
Kast joined the party in 1942 within five months of turning 18-- the minimum age required for membership. He probably was a member of the Hitler Youth for at least four years before joining the party and would have been recommended by the district leader, said Armin Nolzen, a German historian.
“If you’re a party member, you’re a party member,” said Richard F Wetzell, a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington. “Being a party member does bind you to the party and its ideology even though many may have joined for purely opportunistic reasons.”

As for Rubio, I asked former Orlando congressman, Alan Grayson, now the progressive candidate challenging Rubio for his Senate seat, what he makes of the collaboration between Rubio and Kast. He told me he doesn't "blame Jose Antonio Kast for his father being a fascist. I do blame Kast for being a fascist, though. And I blame Marco Rubio for encouraging him. Does Rubio, like Kast, think of the Pinochet dictatorship and murders as the good old days?"

Today, the Associated Press reported that "As the war was ending, Kast, then serving in Italy, obtained a false ID indicating he was a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to [Chilean journalist Javier] Rebolledo. After twice escaping arrest at the hands of the Allied forces, he returned to Germany and was discovered during the postwar period of denazification. But when he confessed his deceit, a sympathetic prosecutor took pity and in recognition of his honesty burned his army record, according to Rebolledo’s book. Kast fled to Chile in 1950, where thousands of Nazis found refuge, and his family followed him a year later, settling in Paine, a small-town south of Santiago.

A 1995 law passed by Chile’s congress granting the older Kast citizenship highlights his deep Catholic roots and “grand spirit of social justice” that translated into his role helping build five chapels, hospitals and a youth center as well as providing employees of his company, Cecinas Bavaria, with the means to buy their own homes.
But there was a darker side to the clan’s success.
According to Rebolledo, leftist agitators and peasants had threatened to expropriate the family’s business during the socialist administration of Salvador Allende. The day after Pinochet’s coup against Allende, police in Paine mopped up, disappearing in broad daylight a young militant, Pedro Vargas, who had been organizing workers at Bavaria, as he waited in line to buy bread.
The candidate’s brother, Christian Kast, testified that as a 16-year-old in the immediate aftermath of the coup, he had delivered food to the town’s police and spent the night with them. He told investigators probing Vargas’ disappearance that the next day he attended a barbecue at the police station and saw a dozen detainees-- but not Vargas-- hauled away, their heads shaven, never to be seen again.
With Vargas missing, a member of his family went in anguish to appeal for aid from Michael Kast.
“I thought he was going to help,” the person told the AP on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation nearly five decades on. “But he told me to go home, that there was a war going on and it was a matter of life and death. I couldn’t believe it.”
Today, just a few miles from where the presidential hopeful lives, symbols of the passions that filled Vargas’ shortened life-- a book, a scale of justice, a photo of his dog-- decorate one of 70 mosaics paying tribute to each of the victims stolen from the bucolic town that has the distinction of having suffered the most disappearances per capita in all of Chile.

There is no documented proof that José Antonio Kast personally participated in Pinochet's "disappearances" (murders) of left-wing dissidents, but it is widely assumed that he did.