Massive protests have rocked Chile in recent weeks. It was reported that one million people took to the streets on October 25th, which caused Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to announce a reshuffling of his cabinet. At least 18 people have been killed in the violence, and over 7,000 arrested.
Despite the massive number of demonstrators, the U.S. State Department blamed the unrest on Russian trolls. Reuters quoted an anonymous State Department official who said on Thursday, “we have seen indications of Russian activity supporting this negative course of the debate.”
The official did not blame the protests entirely on Russia, but said Russia had “sought to exacerbate divisions, foment conflict and all round act as spoiler to responsible democratic debate.”
President Trump called Chilean President Pinera on Wednesday over his decision to cancel a UN climate conference that was set to take place in Chile. The White House released a statement on the phone call that said, “President Trump denounced foreign efforts to undermine Chilean institutions, democracy, or society.”
President Pinera has backed the U.S. regime change effort in Venezuela, and was one of the first to recognize Juan Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela.
An increase in subway fares sparked the protests in Chile, but now many demonstrators are demanding a new constitution to address the economic inequality in the South American country.