SANTIAGO – Chile celebrated 200 years of independence in 2010. Only 20 of the 198 countries on Earth have reached that age. Therefore, it has been, for Chileans, a time of assessment and of asking ourselves a very simple, yet profound, question: have we done things right or wrong?
If we compare ourselves to the rest of Latin America, the truth is that we have done things very well, especially in the last 25 years, during which we went from being one of the poorest countries on the continent to having the highest per capita income in the region. Yet if we compare ourselves to the more exclusive group of developed countries, the truth is that we still have much to learn from them.
The great goal, the grand mission, the overarching challenge of our generation, the Bicentennial Generation, is just one: for Chile to be the first country in Latin America to be able to say, before the end of this decade, with pride and humility, that it has overcome poverty and become a developed country with real opportunities for material and spiritual advancement for all its children.
Of course, this is a dream that has been extraordinarily elusive in our first 200 years of independence. So why should now be different?