The Chinese leadership sent condolences, as did their counterparts in Russia, Cambodia and Iran. And so did Chile’s Communist Party, expressing its “condolences for the passing of comrade Kim Jong-Il.”
A letter posted on the party’s website (www.pcchile.cl) addressed to the North Korean people, the Workers’ Party and the late dictator’s family said
“In this moment of pain for workers and all the people of the Popular Democratic Republic of Korea, the PC [Communist Party] is convinced that the struggle for the construction of a prosperous socialist society, the reunification of the country, the defense of the Korean people’s interests against the maneuvers of American imperialism, will continue to be pushed firmly by the one who replaces him in the leadership of the Party and the State.”
The letter prompted immediate criticism on Twitter from Chile’s interior minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter and Ignacio Walker, president of the opposition Christian Democrats. “Does the PC [Communist Party] believe that human rights are respected in North Korea?” Hinzpeter demanded while Walker tweeted that the North Korean regime was a “mixture of military might and famine.”
Party president Guillermo Teillier said the condolences “were just that, and do not imply anything more.” But the party’s web site seems to have removed the condolence message, which suggests that perhaps not all Chilean Communists agreed with the gesture to North Korea.