Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Chilean President Piñera Goes To Washington

I had a chance to see Pres. Sebastian Piñera speak at CSIS yesterday before his meeting with Pres. Obama. He gave a good talk about Chilean economic development...and received deserved applause for the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners. When I googled him, he turned out to be the richest man in Chile, a cross between Bloomberg, Berlusconi & Richard Branson (he owned a big chunk of LAN Chile airlines as well as a TV network). He's also a descendant of two former presidents and an Incan emperor. But the most remarkable thing about him was this quote, which resonated in the context of Senate hearings on alleged sexual harassment in the US military, per Wikipedia: 

"In December 2011 during a state visit to Mexico a joke made by Piñera where he compared women with politicians caused uproar in Chile sparking even criticism from his own minister Carolina Schmidt who said of the joke that it was "hurting to many women".

"In the joke Piñera said that"when a lady says "no" it means maybe, when she says maybe it means yes and when she says yes she is not a lady."

"The Chilean Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence called the joke "misogynic" and "a shame for the whole country..."