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Part I

Catherine and the Baroness

The only character who actually dies in Disney’s Cruella is the sweet, good servant, Catherine, who consents to raise Cruella – condemned to death by her birth mother, the grotesquely unfeeling Baroness De Vil – as her own daughter. Cruella and the Baroness shall dance a burlesque that plays out to the morbid rhythm of an eternal melody. Similarly in Peru since even the time of Spanish dominion a macabre masquerade has been enacted between conservatives and liberals, parties born of the same mother, Empire, whose local nemesis, Pachamama, struggles vainly with these uninvited adoptees in the face of their mutual despoliation of the natural order. Pachamama and her birth children, the Indigenous, do not fare well in this movie.

Vargas Llosa Musings

Peru’s – and perhaps the world’s – greatest living and truly genius novelist, 2010 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, and unequalled expert on the psychology of Latin American caudillos, is himself the progeny of Peru’s deepest contradictions. In any other context it would be difficult to conceive how the celebrator of anarchy in Le Guerra del Fin del Mundo could possibly condemn Pedro Castillo, whom progressives must continue to hope will be inaugurated as president of Peru on July 28, as a presage of dictatorship and backwardness. To deepen his wound, Vargas Llosa, who campaigned for the presidency in 1990 against Alberto Fujimori, has expressed his preference for Cruella (or, perhaps, the Baroness) herself, Keiko Fujimori, Alberto’s eldest daughter. Her father dissolved the Peruvian Congress in 1992, setting himself up as dictator for the next eight years, and whose enforcer was intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, with the help of $10 million from the CIA with whom Montesinos had a long-standing relationship. The CIA financed an anti-narcotics unit organized by Montesinos in the National Intelligence Service (SIN), despite reports of the involvement by Fujimori’s eminence grise in corruption, drug trafficking and human rights violations. A powerful Peruvian drug lord of the 1990s, Demetrio Chávez, testified in court that he paid US$50,000 monthly in bribes to Montesinos and several army officers.

Aged 19 in 1994, Keiko, who appears to have specialized more than anything else in the fine art of losing three presidential elections, accepted the title of First Lady from her father. Alberto had booted out (and was eventually to divorce) his much-abused wife, Susana, after Susana had accused him both publicly and in court, of kidnapping, torture, and corruption, and sought to run against him in the 1995 elections (Alberto changed the law so that Susana could not qualify).

Comparable perhaps to the bestowal on Keiko of the title of First Lady, Vargas Llosa, who replaced his own wife of 50 years in 2016 in favor of the 64-year-old mother of Enrique Iglesias – dubbed the ‘Pearl of Manila’ by the Daily Mail – was willing recipient of the hereditary title of 1st Marquis in the peerage of Spain, granted him in 2011 by the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, the monarch who was soon to abdicate in disgrace for financial and other improprieties.

Meditations on Andean Peasantry

In his novel Lituma en los Andes (1993) Vargas Llosa turned his attention to the Andean Indigenous at the peak of the Maoist-inspired, rural, terrorist movement Sendero Luminoso. He peered deep into a primeval blackness belied by the peasantry’s colorful alpaca hats, facemasks, and ponchos. His niece, the film director Claudia Llosa, achieves much the same effect in her anthropological dissection of Andean village culture in Madeinusa (2006) and La Teta Asustada (2009). In his more recent Tiempos Recios (2019) Vargas Llosa constructs an allegory of the Fujimori and Montesinos years – a sort of lament, perhaps, for his own failure to out beat Fujimori electorally in 1990, and in which politically naïve, fearful members of Lima’s wealthy technocracy are represented as vain and foolish. Nor should we forget that in his novel El Sueño del Celta (2010) Vargas Llosa had already painted as horrific a picture of the abuse and slaughter of Amazonian Indigenous by European rubber interests around the turn of the twentieth century as has ever been accomplished.

Which leads us, then, to wonder at Vargas Llosa’s monumental failure of political judgment when confronted with a choice between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo. For it is not the Indigenous to whom we should first look for evidence of primeval blackness, but to the Conquistadores, their armies, priests, and traders whose swirling, mendacious blackness of racism, violence, and greed, conjoined with equally toxic liquids from the north, saturates beyond repair the entire continent of Latin America to this day. Vargas Llosa projects his attention outwards when he should be looking inwards: he has reversed cause and effect, abuser and victim. It is not the Indigenous who are dark and mysterious. More likely they are tired, and they are angry. They are tired of providing pretty pictures for frivolous tourists whose travel to Peru from countries far wealthier than theirs contributes to planetary destruction, and whose corporations seize 70% of the profits earned by exploitation of the country’s mineral resources on Indigenous land. Peru has the world’s biggest reserves of silver, as well as Latin America’s largest reserves of gold, lead and zinc. The Peruvian coast is renowned for its marine resources. The Amazon basin possesses large reserves of oil and natural gas, as well as abundant forestry resources.

Winner of the 2021 presidential election Pedro Castillo, explained:

“Peru is such a wealthy country but so much of the wealth, such as copper, gold, and silver, goes to foreigners. At the ports, you see an endless stream of trucks taking away the resources of the country and just two hundred meters away, you see a barefoot child, a child with tuberculosis, a child full of parasites. That is why we must renegotiate the contracts with big companies so that more of the profits remain in Peru and benefit the people. We must reexamine the free trade agreements we have signed with other countries so that we can promote local businesses”.

But what are the prospects for real change? In what follows I shall look at how Peru’s natural wealth and indigenous people interact with Cruella’s Hispanic Dance of the Macabre, starting with its latest episode (Pedro vs. Keiko) then retreating to the Spanish conquest, before moving to mid-19th century reinterpretations of Cruella’s dance that sought to integrate the Indigenous, on more harmonious grounds, and finally pausing at Peru’s nearest shot at authentic revolution, the Velasco regime, and its morbid neoliberal Fujimori aftermath.

The Policies and Politics of Pedro Castillo

Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo won the 2021 presidential election by a margin of 44,000 votes on the second round, with 50.14% of the votes counted as against Keiko Fujimori who garnered 49,86%. If the election is validated, then President Castillo will command 42 out of the 130 seats in Congress, whilst Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular and the other right wing electoral coalitions will have a combined parliamentary strength of at least 80 seats. If the election is not validated and no president is inaugurated on July 28, then under the constitution there must be new elections.

The 2021 presidential election in Peru should have ended several weeks ago, at the time of this writing, but validation of Castillo as president has been delayed by Fujimori´s denunciations sin evidencia, and in the style of Trump – yet afforded legitimacy by representations of some military and conservative figures through their own media (more than 70% of Peru’s news is owned and controlled by El Comercio Group which among other things propagates Fujimori’s ridiculous assertion that Castillo is a Sendero Luminoso communist). This might seem less outrageous in the capital, Lima, where Fujimori support is concentrated and where major corporations have threatened their employees with the loss of their jobs if they failed to vote for Fujimori. A highly suspicious massacre of 16 people in San Miguel del Ene on May 23rd, attributed by police to an unlikely, mysteriously reborn Sendero movement, was more likely to have been a ghastly pro-Fujimori terror campaign.

Those who supported Keiko Fujimori’s claim that the election had been stolen and that 200,000 votes should be thrown out were concentrated in the upper classes of the capital, Lima, and included former military leaders and members of influential families. Some openly called for a new election, or even a military coup if Mr. Castillo was sworn in. Hundreds of retired military officers sent a letter to top military chiefs urging them to not recognize “an illegitimate president.” A former Supreme Court justice filed a lawsuit requesting that the entire election be annulled. The Defense Ministry has confirmed that Alberto Fujimori’s henchman, Vladimiro Montesinos, in jail on a naval facility, was somehow able to use a landline number to make 17 phone calls to Pedro Rejas, a retired military officer and formerly loyal Fujimori cohort who later revealed the recordings. In one conversation Montesinos appeared to suggest that bribes be paid through an intermediary to three of the four members of an electoral tribunal to favor Fujimori in a recount.

On July 3, Peru’s government rejected Fujimori’s request to seek an international audit of its June 6 election. Even the U.S. State Department had described the election as a model of democracy. International observers, including the Organization of American States (OAS), found no evidence of major irregularities. Both the USA and EU praised the electoral process. Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, urged Peruvians to accept the election results. The National Elections Jury charged with reviewing contested ballots should have completed its task by mid-July so that a new president can be sworn in on July 28th. Its work was held up by a week after one of the judges resigned (he has been replaced).

A writer for the Financial Times has described Pedro Castillo, 51 years old, as a rural primary school teacher, a son of peasant farmers, and trade union activist. Castillo recently elaborated:

“This year we are celebrating the bicentennial of Peru as a republic, yet after two hundred years, we still have a high level of illiteracy, and the homes of my parents and neighbors don’t have electricity, lights, or running water. There’s a totally abandoned health center where once in a while a nurse comes by and maybe you can find a bandage or a few pills for all the families. As I traveled in rural areas across the country, I found conditions similar to my hometown. Further into the Amazon, conditions are even worse. People there have nothing; they are totally abandoned by the state”.

From 2005 to 2017 Castillo was affiliated with Perú Posible, a centrist party led by former president Alejandro Toledo. In 2017, the year he attained prominence as a leading figure in the 2017 teacher strike in Peru, Castillo joined his current party, Partido Nacional PERÚ LIBRE (PNPL) or Perú Libre, which claims a Marxist-Leninist heritage and proposes a left-wing program centered around increased spending on education and health services, nationalization of key extractive sectors, anti-corruption, and salary limits for congressional members.

Castillo was born to two illiterate peasants in one of the poorest regions in Peru. He is the third child of nine in his parents’ family. 60% of Peruvians do not have access to internet, and Castillo did not have a Twitter account. His campaign relied on community radios, personal visits to small towns, and cultural events. He built his presidential election campaign around resource nationalism and Indigenous rights. A central tenet of his PERÚ LIBRE party is to restructure Peru as a plurinational state along the basic lines of Ecuador and Bolivia. Peru has 4 major indigenous languages in the Andes (Quechua, Aymara, Cauqui and Jaqaru) and 43 more in the Amazon region.

Castillo has plans to rewrite the Constitution to give the state a greater role in the economy and keep a larger share of profits from mineral resources. Amid uncertainty over the final electoral outcome, he appointed more moderate economic advisers and sought to retain central bank head Julio Velarde – seen by many as a symbol of stability . The PERÚ LIBRE program addresses land reform, nationalization of natural resources to ensure that most of this wealth remains in Peru and available for the eradication of poverty, increases in state expenditure on social services (health and education), income redistribution, decriminalization of abortion. Other targets include human trafficking, especially of women; elimination of patriarchy and machismo in state and society; respect and promotion of women’s reproductive rights; and promotion of the self-organization of women at every level. Castillo himself, it should be noted, has reportedly opposed the legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage, and policies promoting gender equality. Additionally, PERÚ LIBRE aims to abandon the OAS (unofficial US regime-change machine) and return to UNASUR. The party strongly supports Cuba and Venezuela.

Although Castillo won only 18% of the vote for PERÚ LIBRE in the first round this was still something of a surprise, since the main contender for the left was thought to have been Veronika Mendoza, candidate of the Juntos por el Peru coalition, who obtained slightly less than 8%. Castillo was one of the least known among eighteen contenders in the first round. 70% of voters did not choose either Pedro Castillo or Keiko Fujimori. Many voters had been convinced by opposition propaganda that Vladimir Cerrón, the Marxist leader of Castillo’s party, Perú Libre, was the real power behind Castillo. It did not help that PERÚ LIBRE, although constituted in part by school union organizers like Castillo, also maintains loose ties to MOVADEF, a political movement that seeks amnesty for convicted terrorists, and advocates political participation and reconciliation between fully rehabilitated former terrorists and the citizenry at large. Castillo is anything but a terrorist. On the contrary, he was a rondero who helped lead peasant civilian militias that were officially recognized by the Peruvian government to defend small towns in the Andes against Sendero Luminoso terrorist cells during the 1980s and early ’90s. But no matter how progressive Castillo’s policies may seem they are also worryingly flexible in the face of potential setbacks and different audiences, and in Peru there is a bad history of the better promises of progressives or of progressive elements of neoliberals heading south (think Alan Garcia or Ollanta Humala) as quickly as champagne bottles at campaign victory fiestas. The show of humble, even Indigenous, origins, offers insufficient protect against such a turn of events.

The Politics and Policies of Keiko Fujimori

Fujimori is clearly a member of the Peruvian elite, albeit one whose father is still doing jail time – as is his former intelligence chief (the two are estimated to have stolen a combined $600 million during their decade in power). In a pre-Trumpian and therefore more rational world she would have stood nowhere near a position of power since prudence dictates even to social elites that they should keep the progeny of corrupt and murderous dictators hidden in the nursery or cellar, figuratively speaking of course. In opinion polls, Fujimori has been among the least popular politicians in Peru. She has candidly supported her father’s dictatorial legacy and defended his record of state-sponsored extra-judicial killings. She has been hailed by the New York Times as a “towering symbol of the Peruvian elite and the heir to a right-wing populist movement started three decades ago by her father, the former President Alberto Fujimori.”

She became First Lady at the age of 19. She attended Stony Brook University in New York and earned a business degree from Boston University in 1997. She obtained her MBA from Columbia University in 2008. Her party, Fuerza Popular, promotes “fujimorism,” advocating for free trade and strong security. In 2016, Keiko Fujimori campaigned for tax breaks, incentives for small businesses to encourage registration of informal companies and allowing (Indigenous) communities to become shareholders in mining projects. She vowed to expand electricity and internet coverage into rural areas. In 2021 she has vowed to protect the interests of small and medium-sized businesses over large multinationals. She has advocated for state participation in strategic industries such as energy. She has also insisted that large mining projects must have the support of local communities to proceed. In short, she has cleverly hybridized the neoliberal policies of social elites with reassuring noises of concern for the middle classes and Indigenous.

Part II

Remembering Atahualpa

What is there more macabre than the vision of Hernando de Soto, future explorer of the Mississippi and a founding father, of sorts, of the USA, teaching Spanish to the last Inca emperor, Atahualpa – following one of history’s most notorious, bloodiest, and deceitful massacre of thousands – in Cajamarca – by Francisco Pizarro’s small band of plunderers? As De Soto and Atahualpa conversed day by day in the early 1530s, the Incas amassed a roomful of gold as ransom for Atahualpa’s freedom, a day that never came because Pizarro ordered Atahualpa’s execution.

Unfinished Revolutions

Peru has not been short of revolutions to redress this inaugural evil of modern imperialism. Each has fallen considerably short of real independence from imperialism and shorter still of freedom from racism and poverty. Advances in mass prosperity across the past century and a half have typically involved short-term excesses of generosity resulting from the State’s sale of the land, mining rights and enterprise of others, usually the Indigenous, to European traders and multinational companies. Neoliberalism is not so much about the generation of wealth that would not otherwise be created, as about the forcible transfer of that wealth from the State – and/or the people whom the State supposedly represents – to the accounts of business, finance and trade.

The liberation of Peru from Spain was undertaken in 1821, following nearly three hundred years of Spanish conquest and occupation, by José de San MartinEl Libertador de Argentina, Chile and Peru – with the assistance of Simón Bolívar. San Martin occupied Lima and declared Peruvian independence on 28 July. Upper Peru – Bolivia – remained as a Spanish stronghold until the army of Simón Bolívar liberated it three years later. Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation floundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral.

Thus was initiated the long reign of governance by a largely white Hispanic ruling class of traders, farmers, soldiers, priests, and educators. One of the liberators, Ramón Castilla y Marquesado, was later president of Peru for the period 1844-1863 and inaugurated a period of great national prosperity on account of trade in guano (bird excrement from conveniently uninhabited offshore islands, and used for fertilizer and gunpowder), which was initially monopolized by the State but whose profits were later enjoyed principally by foreign (mainly British) enterprises and eventually declined by the final quarter of the century. As the century wore on, politics became more formalized around an elected President and Congress, a party system that principally represented the interests of different sections of the ruling class (especially the military), based on a system of enfranchisement that favored propertied, educated, white men but did not necessarily exclude the indigenous. Women did not get the vote until 1956 and gender inequality has persisted as one of the outstanding features of Peru. Slavery was abolished in 1854, and the ranks of slaves in mines and plantations were increasingly occupied by impoverished Chinese and some Japanese immigrants as well as by the more favored but more demanding Europeans.

Velasco, or Fiasco?

If we set to one side the inevitable incremental changes achieved by liberal regimes (occasionally presided over by leaders from poor or even Indigenous background), often reversed by conservative successors or simply abandoned in periods of economic malaise, Peru’s second major revolution was the curious Conservative-Liberal-Military hybrid of the military regime and dictatorship of Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975).

We can say of this period that a military junta, seemingly coming out of nowhere in response to a period of considerable political instability because Velasco’s predecessor (also to be his successor, 1980-85), Belaúnde, had no majority in Congress, handed Peru a revolution-on-a-plate. This might otherwise have taken centuries to achieve and had it happened anywhere else or at any other time, would have been instantly (and was eventually) squashed by the regime-change shenanigans of Washington and its Latin American allies. Yet it was scorned by Peruvians of both upper and lower caste (or at least so we are told, although following his death in 1977 , Velasco’s casket was carried on the shoulders of farmers for six hours around Lima) and casually tossed into the trash can in favor of a return to the more familiar pace of Peru’s macabre, Cruella dance. That it happened at all was because it was a revolution previously unannounced, coming from the top, imposed top-down. Plus, it was a revolution in the deceptive spirit of Kennedy’s Alianza Para El Progreso, launched in 1961 through the Agency for International Development and the Alliance for Progress and designed as an answer to the regional threat posed by Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution of 1959.

It is the Velasco revolution, not Fujimori’s torture-drenched dictatorship that most occasions dread for Vargas Llosa. The Velasco story is recounted in Peru’s 2019 greatest-ever movie hit, La Revolución y La Tierra by director Gonzalo Benavente which, predictably, is all but invisible and unattainable anywhere in the vast universe of US movie (anti-) abundance.

Agrarian Reform

In 1968, Velasco (whose early life he described as one of “dignified poverty” working as shoeshine boy) launched a coup against the right-wing government of Fernando Belaúnde Terry. In suppressing Cuban-inspired revolutionary movements in impoverished regions of Peru, some of the regime’s army leaders became radicalized. The new regime introduced significant land reform which dissolved the horrendously cruel Spanish-era hacendado system that had concentrated land ownership (and, in effect, ownership of Indigenous) among 40 families whose lineage traced back to the days of imperial Spain. Within a decade, the regime expropriated 15,000 properties (totaling nine million hectares) and benefited some 300,000 families. Most properties were converted into cooperatives owned by prior workers on the estates. The purpose was to override existing property interests in favor of cooperative ownership, as opposed either to individual private farming or to state farms. But the government also created a system of price controls and monopoly food buying by state firms that was designed to hold down prices to urban consumers, no matter what the cost to rural producers. Following Velasco, most of these cooperatives were later converted into individual private holdings during the 1980s, after majority votes of the cooperative members in each case. The conversions left Peru with a far less unequal pattern of landownership than it had prior to the reform and with a much greater role for family farming than ever before in its history. But by creating many smallholdings it reduced the economic efficiency and competitiveness of Peruvian agriculture. Agricultural reform may have contributed to centralization and urbanization as people moved into Lima and other coastal cities, tendencies that would almost certainly have occurred regardless.

The former landlords predictably claimed that they did not receive adequate compensation. They had been paid in agrarian reform bonds, a sovereign debt obligation of which the government defaulted payment due to the hyperinflationary period that affected Peru’s economy in the late 1980s. As the government ran deeper into debt, it was forced to devalue the currency and pursue inflationary policies. This was in part due to the 1970s Energy Crisis which made it impossible for the administration to fund some of its most ambitious reforms. Economic growth under the administration was steady if unremarkable – real per capita GDP (constant 2000 US$) increased 3.2% per year from 1968 to 1975, compared to 3.9% per year over the same period for Latin America & the Caribbean as a whole.

Nationalizations

Other measures included expropriations of foreign businesses, few as significant as the International Petroleum Company, owned by (US) Standard Oil. There had previously been a dispute with the International Petroleum Company over licenses to the La Brea y Pariñas oil fields. On October 8, 1968, these were taken over by the Army. From this point on the USA set itself to overthrow Velasco. US–Peru disagreements extended over a broad range of issues including Peru’s claim to a 200-mile fishing limit, that resulted in the seizure of several US commercial fishing boats, and the expropriation of the American copper mining company Cerro de Pasco Corporation. Velasco’s government also instituted tax reforms, rewrote the constitution, and established diplomatic relations with the major communist countries. Under Velasco Peru advocated the removal of OAS sanctions against Cuba and advocated for Latin American unity against US power and influence.

Peruanismo

Velasco’s regime advocated nationalization through a program it described as Peruanismo, a philosophy that inspired future Venezuelan revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez on his visit to Peru in 1974. The idea was to find a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, with a corporatist society much more inclusionary than that possible under capitalism but without rejecting private ownership or adopting any of the compulsory methods identified with communism. Peruanismo aimed to serve policies of inclusive social justice, development, and national independence. The regime expropriated companies across all major sectors, including fisheries, mining, telecommunications, and power generation, and consolidated these into single, monopolistic, industry-centric government-run enterprises and disincentivized private activity in those sectors. The new State companies proved expensive to the public treasury in part because of government attempts to hold down their prices with a view to easing inflation or to subsidize consumers. Their deficits were aggravated by spending tendencies of military officers appointed to management positions, and inadequate attention to costs of production. State enterprises were not able to finance more than a quarter of their investment spending and, when allowed to borrow abroad for imported equipment and supplies, external debt rose dramatically. By 1975 external creditors had lost confidence in Peru’s ability to repay its debts.

Curbing Foreign Influence

Foreign influences were reduced through tight restrictions on foreign investment and nationalization of some of the largest foreign firms. Peru’s action in this respect contributed to the formation of the regional Andean Pact, that featured some of the most extensive controls on foreign investment ever attempted in the developing world. The Industrial Community Law of 1970 gave any industrialist on the register of manufacturers the right to demand prohibition of any imports competing with his products with little regard for concerns about high costs of production, poor product quality, or monopolistic positions fostered by excluding import competition. Velasco promoted industrial investment by granting major tax exemptions, as well as tariff exemptions on imports used by manufacturers in production. The fiscal benefits equaled 92 percent of total internal financing of industrial investment in the years 1971 through 1975. Investment rose strongly but tax exemptions contributed to a rising public-sector deficit and inflationary pressure. Exemptions from tariffs on imports of equipment and supplies led to a strong rise in the ratio of imports to production for the industrial sector.

Industrial and Education Reform

Promoting worker participation in ownership and management was intended to reshape labor relations. A system of “industrial communities” required firms to distribute part of their profits to workers in the form of dividends constituting ownership shares. But firms typically avoided reporting profits in an effort to postpone sharing ownership, instead channeling profits to companies outside the system or adjusting the books. A few workers gained shares, but most were focused on immediate working conditions and earnings. Unions were distrustful of the seeming abrogation of their power. A reform of labor relations included severe restrictions on rights to discharge workers once they had passed a brief trial period of employment. Businesses responded by hiring more workers on a temporary basis.

The education reform of 1972 provided for bilingual education for the Indigenous people of the Andes and the Amazon, which comprised nearly half of the population. But there was little tolerance for dissent and media were frequently harassed and censored. Velasco pursued a partnership with the Soviet bloc, tightening relations with Cuba and Fidel Castro and undertaking major purchases of Soviet military hardware.

A Final Assessment

If ultimately the Velasco regime was undermined by inflation, unemployment, food shortages, increased political and military opposition, one may argue that it is fitting, if disappointing that a revolution that starts with the military should end at the hands of the military, as when military commanders declared that Velasco had not achieved most of what the “Peruvian Revolution” had stood for and was unable to continue in his functions. Which regimes, then, picked up that challenge of what the revolution “stood for,” and which, if any, made any further progress towards that goal?

Velasco’s successor, his prime minister, Francisco Morales Bermúdez, began a second phase of the Peruvian armed revolution, promising to transition to civilian government even as he paralyzed implementation of Velasco’s reforms, illustrating how an ideology of parliamentary democracy can be weaponized for counter-revolutionary purposes. To hammer the point home, Bermúdez turned into an extreme right-wing military dictator, pursuing a policy of leftist cleansing. But he did return Peru to democratic elections in 1980, when Fernando Belaúnde Terry (whom Velasco had deposed in 1968) was re-elected.

This period inaugurated or coincided with the rise of gruesome US-backed military dictatorships across Latin America: General Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina (1976-1981); General Augusto Pinochet in Chile (1973 to 1981); Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay (1954–1989); General Juan María Bordaberry of Uruguay (1973–1985); the Brazilian military dictatorship of various successive military leaders (1964–1985) and successive military dictatorships in Bolivia (1964–1982). It was this tendency more than any other that most inspired and sustained Sendero Luminoso in the 1970s and 1980s, in turn creating the terror pretext that secured Fujimori’s victory against Vargas Llosa in the 1990 elections. The ensuing neoliberal dictatorship and militarization of the 1990s enabled Fujimori, like Chile’s Pinochet, to exploit principles of neoliberalism for illegal self-enrichment. But also, it has to be said that neither Velasco nor Sendero Luminoso enjoyed sufficient popular consent or support – least of all by those whose interests they most claimed to serve, those of the Indigenous peasantry.

Return to the Cruella Dance

It is remarkable that since Velasco all but one former president (Belaúnde) has been tried and convicted of corruption charges. At least four (Martin Vizcarra, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo) have been caught up in the long-running Odebrecht scandal in which the Brazilian engineering and contracting giant has been implicated in charges of bribery. Using a complex network of shell companies, off-book transactions and offshore bank accounts, and a dedicated bribery division, Odebrecht paid more than $780 million in bribes to government officials, their representatives, and political parties in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. This conduct helped it win contracts and other benefits totaling $3.34 billion.

Governance over the ten to fifteen year period separating the dictatorships of Velasco and Fujimori was shared principally between the second presidency of Belaúnde (1980-1985), for Acción Popular – the party he had founded in 1956 as a reformist alternative to conservative forces and to the populist APRA party, appealing primarily to the middle class, professionals and white-collar workers – and the first presidency of Alan Garcia (1985-1990) for Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA), the political party founded by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre in 1924, and supported by workers and middle-class liberals. APRA dominated Peruvian politics for decades and stood for Latin American unity, nationalization of foreign-owned enterprises, and an end to the exploitation of the Indigenous.

Liberal pretensions notwithstanding this period constituted one of economic and political disaster on account of unmanageable debt and hyper-inflation, such that inflation stood at 7,649% in 1990, and 2,200,200% over the period 1985-1990 alone. Belaunde’s lifting of tariffs shortly after coming to power threw Peru into a highly competitive international economy for which it was ill-prepared, a challenge exacerbated by the economic impact of a severe earthquake in 1983. Garcia’s reluctant embrace of the IMF in 1988 (though he tried to limit payments to 10% of GNP) had severe consequences for expenditure on social welfare and further contributed to the rural popularity of Sendero Luminoso, which had been established in the Andean highlands in 1969 by philosophy professor Abimael Guzmán, and provided Garcia’s successor with pretexts of national emergency for ruthless army suppression that barely distinguished between guerrillas and peasants.

Fujimori’s dictatorial regime lasted a full decade (1990-2000), beginning shortly after the country had taken on the IMF loan in 1988 in a bid to evade national bankruptcy and amidst a period of extraordinarily rampant inflation. He is best known for his neoliberalism and ruthless suppression of terrorism and of the Left more generally. He is currently serving a prison sentence for his role in killings and kidnappings by death squads. In April 1992, he dissolved Congress, dismantled the judiciary, and assumed full executive and legislative powers. He decreed stringent and repressive labor laws to create a ‘paradise’ of labor flexibility, giving management the right to fire, casualize labor contracts, and to oppose unions and collective bargaining. He increased the number of provinces subjected to a military state of emergency from 52 to 66 so that nearly half of the population was encased in these emergency areas where all sectors of the left were ruthlessly suppressed at a total final cost of 69,000 lives, according to Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2001-2003). The Left was barely present in the elections of 1995, 2000, 2006, and 2011 and began to recover only in 2016.

Following the same Chicago School neoliberal script as others before him including Margaret Thatcher in the UK, Ronald Reagan in the USA, and Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Fujimori eliminated price controls, totally deregulated markets, privatized state-owned companies and introduced a tight monetary policy. This attracted foreign (in particular, US) investment in natural resources, finances, and consumer markets, and expanded the power of foreign capital in Peru. Fujimori’s eugenic plan led to the forcible sterilization of about 350,000 mainly peasant and indigenous women as a “solution” to the nation’s ‘Indian problem’ (i.e. higher birth rates among Indigenous people than Peruvians of European descent).

Fujimori’s successor, president Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006) who founded his own party, Pais Posible, and led the anti-Fujimori opposition, did not resort to the underhand and brutal methods of his predecessor. His administration marked the beginning of the country’s macroeconomic boom, and promoted foreign investment, free trade, and investment in infrastructure and human development. But it also suffered from a governance crisis, scandals in Toledo’s personal life, and allegations of corruption against his inner circle. In July 2019, Toledo was arrested in the USA for an extradition order to Peru. He requested release on bail, but the request was ruled inadmissible. He was later released on bail, but placed under house arrest in San Francisco, awaiting extradition on charges of receiving multimillionaire bribes.

Toledo was succeeded by the return to the presidency of Alan Garcia, leader of APRA, for the period 2006-2011. Garcia committed suicide in 2020 as the police came to arrest him for personal graft and corruption during his administration. For most of the 20th century, APRA had dominated Peruvian politics, appealing to the masses with its anti-imperialist rhetoric. Yet Garcia’s government embraced an agenda oriented towards attracting foreign investors and fighting drug trafficking. Within his first month in power, Garcia repudiated his election promise of seeking changes to the Free Trade Agreement with Washington, and made its signing his first priority. His enthusiastic adoption of neoliberal measures and welcome of foreign transnationals to exploit communal lands for oil exploration, logging, mining, and large-scale farming involved a massacre by heavily armed Peruvian security forces against protesting Amazon Indigenous. This occurred in the Peruvian city of Bagua, located 1,400 kilometers north of Lima, when some 600 militarized police attacked 1,000 demonstrators who were blocking the main road. European, American, and Brazilian companies had bid tens of billions of dollars for rights to drill oil, construct a hydroelectric plant and exploit the vast mineral and timber resources of the Amazon jungle. Garcia mocked the Indigenous whom he claimed hated investment and did not like capitalists, on the grounds that it was not just about US corporations who were looking to plunder their lands, but also Korean, Arab, and Japanese.

Ollanta Humala, once described as a left-leaning former army officer, assumed office for the Gana Peru party (2011-2016) largely on the strength of support from poor voters. He was briefly depicted as a sort of hero for defeating Keiko Fujimori. He is brother of the “ethnocacerist,” Antauro Humala. Ethnocacerism is an ethnic nationalist movement seeking the establishment of a proletarian dictatorship led by the country’s Indigenous communities and their descendants. It draws on the history of Indigenous and anticolonial movements. It was developed by Ollanta and Antauro Humala in 1987, beginning as a military doctrine in the war against Sendero Luminoso, and as an organizing strategy in opposition to the military doctrine and strategic errors of the Peruvian armed forces, which viewed the Indigenous countryside as a foreign territory and colony. Antauro Humala was later handed a 25-year prison sentence for kidnapping 17 police officers for 3 days and killing 4 of them.

In the week following his victory Humala made it his priority to reassure capitalist investors, foreign and national, that they had nothing to fear from his campaign rhetoric about changing the country’s economic model and effecting a more just distribution of wealth. He issued a conciliatory message to the USA that he considered it a ‘strategic partner’ and that he was looking to establish a close cooperation with Washington in the fight against drugs. He handed the armed forces in Peru, already active in fighting drug trafficking, greater responsibility for maintaining public order. The armed forces would now also be expected to crack down on illegal mining, and to intervene in social protests. Under Humala’s watch it was revealed that the government was creating a gas concession, bordering on or including the Manú national park, that would favor Pluspetrol, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, which already operated an existing gas concession in the region known as the Camisea project.

Digging in his heels later against opponents of the huge US$4.8 billion Conga gold and copper mining project in the region of Cajamarca in northern Peru, Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency and called on residents to maintain serenity and calm. The project was operated by (US) Newmont Mining, the world’s largest gold mining company, which already operated the giant Yanachocha open-pit gold mine in the vicinity. Humala’s administration expected Peru to earn an estimated $800 million in royalties and taxes. Many residents feared that the project, approved the year before by Alan Garcia, would ruin their water supply. Humala mobilized army troops in a region where constitutional rights had already been suspended under emergency decree, claiming that the authorities had exhausted the possibility of dialog with protesters and blaming the intransigence of local leaders.

In 2017 Humala and his wife were arrested on charges of corruption and money laundering. Both were banned from leaving Peru and were awaiting trial in 2018. The 2017 election was won by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (of Peruans por el Kambio), one of the wealthiest and oldest of Peruvian presidential candidates. His presidency should have run to 2021, but he was forced to resign in 2018 to avoid impeachment procedures initiated in 2017 for lying to Congress and receiving bribes in exchange for government contracts. While Peru’s Congress was debating whether to oust him over these charges of corruption, he made a Faustian bargain to win over supporters of Alberto Fujimori who wanted him to pardon Fujimori. The pact does not seem to have worked very well for Kuczynski and obtained only a very short reprieve for Fujimori.

Kuczynski had to be replaced by his vice-president, Martin Vizcarra (Independent), who launched an offensive against corruption but was impeached by Congress in November 2020 for taking bribes on several occasions in 2014 in exchange for awarding public work contracts. It is widely believed his impeachment was prompted by his decision to dissolve Congress for obstructing the investigations against corruption.

Without admitting guilt, Vizcarra accepted the Congress decision and was replaced by the Congress’s President, Manuel Merino, as caretaker leader with a cabinet dominated by the business elite. The country exploded in huge mass demonstrations that were met by brutal police repression with two dead, dozens injured and many more arrested. Merino was forced to resign on 15 November 2020 and Congress then appointed Francisco Sagasti (who had voted against Vizcarra’s impeachment) as interim president. Sagasti was entrusted with the task of organizing the presidential elections in April 2021.

Rising Inequality

Peru had a total population of 32m in 2019, with a per capita GDP of approx. $7,000 and an overall GDP of over $230 billion. Peru is the seventh largest economy in Latin America. Its services sector accounts for 60% of GDP, within which telecommunications and financial services alone account for nearly 40% of GDP. Industry represents 35% of GDP. Peru’s ores and minerals exports make up over 50% of total exports, food accounts for 21% and mineral fuels account for 12%, a trade that is very vulnerable to shifts in terms of trade. In a financially dollarized economy, consumers and firms might borrow in USD but buy and sell products in local currency, so any fluctuation of the foreign exchange can lead to distortions in both production and consumption decisions.

For two decades in the twenty-first century, Peru’s economy appeared robust, among the best-performing Latin American economies, with annual real GDP growth averaging 5.4 percent 2005-2020. But economic inequality had been intensifying since 2014, when a 12-year run of sustained growth in the national GDP, driven by a mining boom, came to an end.

Poverty had been the fate of 50% of the population in 1970, even increasingly slightly to 54.1% in 2000. It then declined a little, to 49.1%, in 2006, but went down a whole lot further, to 20%, in 2019. But the 2020 pandemic pushed it back up to 30%. In 2019 the top 1% and 10% of income earners got 29.6% and 56.6% of GDP, respectively; 40% of middle-income earners got 35.8% of GDP, whilst 50% of low-income earners only received 9.4% of GDP. About 45% of Peru’s total population is indigenous and 52% of those who live below the extreme poverty line are indigenous.

According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Informatica (INEI), people who earn less than 338 soles, or US$150 dollars, per month are in poverty and those who earn less than 183 soles or US$80 a month are in extreme poverty. The minimum living wage has been established at 930 soles, or 415 dollars, per month. In 2017, poverty in urban areas impacted 15% of the population, but poverty in rural areas was 44%. 70% of the rural poor did not have titles to their property, 42% lived in adobe houses, and 58% lived on dirt floors. 73% of the rural poor had no access to a public water source, and 50% had only reached a primary school level of education. More than 80% did not have health insurance, and 53% worked in agriculture. Decades of neoliberal meanness in the matter of social and welfare benefits have cast millions into precariousness and hardship, enhancing their vulnerability to pandemics such as Covid-19. Peru has experienced one of the highest Covid-related mortality rates.

By 2021 a total of US$ 17 billion had been transferred abroad in fear of Pedro Castillo’s presidency. Consumer prices jumped 3.2 percent 2020-2021, a rise concentrated in products of the “basic food basket” impacting mainly the poor. Peru produces only 9.5 percent of the wheat it consumes—the rest is imported from Canada, the US, Argentina, and Russia. By 2020 the number of families declared poor (earning US$2,520 or less annually) in Peru had risen from 20 percent to 30 percent of the population, wiping out the poverty reduction achieved over the past decade. More than 10,000 families have been evicted from informal settlements. Yet foreign investment in Peru’s mining sector was expected to total US$34 billion over the next decade. Although the international price of copper rose by 94 percent from May 2020 to May 2021, mining employed fewer personnel due to increasing automation.

Conclusion

In many ways Peru continues to suffer from a 500-year-old Latin American malaise of Hispanic dominance, exercised through military, religious and economic institutions, coupled with the problems of proximity to the global hegemon, the USA, and the attraction of Peru’s mineral wealth to a global capitalist class. Its politics evince a perpetual struggle – Cruella’s macabre dance – between a stubborn conservative self-interest, and a more liberal, less privileged middle class that claims to speak for the Indigenous but has achieved too little to advance their status. The world views of both parties are shaped predominantly through a westernized lens. Their campaign wars of words provide a very insecure basis on which to predict their actual behavior in power, which is governed as much by fear and venality than a concept of the public good. Problems that cannot be resolved within this narrow compass frequently invite military intervention and/or dictatorship that is given to brutality.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett is Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University, Ohio and of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He currently teaches at California State University, Channel Islands. He has also taught at the Chinese University in Hong Kong and at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. His most recent books include RussiaGate and Propaganda (Routledge); Media Imperialism: Continuity and Change (edited with Tanner Mirrlees)(Rowman and Littlefield); Media Imperialism (Sage) and Western Mainstream Media and the Ukraine Crisis (Routledge).

 
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  1. zimriel says:

    Actually a good article. Velasco’s Left government is treated fairly, with its successes and ultimate failure laid out, without hero-worship or damnation.
    With BlackRock and foreign entities gobbling up American housing-stock, “land reform” may be needed here as well – but it needs to be handled better than how Velasco handled it. Government takeover ends up with the cronies of the governors looting the wealth. Who here would rather be a tenant of an unaccountable corporation or of an unaccountable tyrant?

  2. Mr. Grey says:

    This article is written like it was translated by google from another language.

  3. Her father dissolved the Peruvian Congress in 1992, setting himself up as dictator for the next eight years…

    Well, you can’t say he didn’t assimilate to the Latin way of life.

    Decades of neoliberal meanness in the matter of social and welfare benefits have cast millions into precariousness and hardship…

    Paleosocialist Cuba offers all of these benefits. How are they doing in comparison?

    • Agree: Pepe the Frog
    • Replies: @shylockcracy
    , @Dale
  4. Gringo says:

    But economic inequality had been intensifying since 2014…
    A professor should know better than to take journalists at their word- especially those with an ax to grind, such as those at the World Socialist website-and look for information at primary sources, such as the World Bank.

    To the author’s credit, he does point out the good performance of Peru’s economy since 2000.

    Gini index (World Bank estimate)
    1998 55.1
    2013 43.9
    2014 43.1
    2015 43.4
    2016 43.6
    2017 43.3
    2018 42.4
    2019 41.5

    https://data.worldbank.org/country/peru?view=chart

  5. E_Perez says:

    Peru’s – and perhaps the world’s – greatest living and truly genius novelist, 2010 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, and unequalled expert on the psychology ….

    This statement alone shows where the bread of the hagiographer BOYD-BARRETT is buttered.

    The Jew-grovelling Vargas-Llosa is indeed an unequaled expert on the psychology of the tribe and its “Holocaust” narrative.

    Vargas-Llosa never wrote anything of literary value, but knew very well whom to please to get a Nobel Prize.

    • Agree: Irish Savant
  6. Dumbo says:

    The problem of Latin America is that it seems perpetually divided either by neoliberal wannabe tyrants or communist wannabe tyrants. Neither offer a solution. The former improve the economy at some social cost and sometimes torture and murder, the latter create more social conflict, more criminality and indebt the country.

    Of course, the population itself is not that great either. Perhaps a smart government could offer free immigration to white people from South Africa to increase the number of white people.

    I do sympathize with Fujimori’s daughter. There is a relatively large Japanese community in Peru.

    Some say that the whole Sendero Luminoso thing was a hoax or a CIA false flag (similar to Gladio in Europe). Maybe. The story of that Abigael Guzman guy was weird.

    • Replies: @Malla
  7. For it is not the Indigenous to whom we should first look for evidence of primeval blackness, but to the Conquistadores, their armies, priests, and traders whose swirling, mendacious blackness of racism, violence, and greed, conjoined with equally toxic liquids from the north, saturates beyond repair the entire continent of Latin America to this day.

    This article is the kind of anti-White garbage you would expect to find in the stupider sort of leftist site. The Injuns were mind-blowingly cruel to one another. Human sacrifice, cannibalism, and torture for sport were all real and widespread. European colonization was an improvement in every conceivable way over what was here before.

    • Agree: Old Prude, Bernie
    • Replies: @Old Prude
  8. Peruvians are Indians right?

    I mean, what difference does it make what the political system is.

    Peru is basically a giant Indian reservation, isn’t it?

    Maybe a few Mestizos spawned from old Spanish families who own a few things.

    Somebody here tell me I’m wrong.

    Of course they have oil, I know this. But they have not been able to maximize the profits of this.

    • Replies: @Maddaugh
    , @Montefrío
    , @padre
  9. Old Prude says:
    @Ray Caruso

    Not according to Neil Young:

    …And the women all were beautiful
    And the men stood straight and strong
    They offered life in sacrifice
    So that others could go on
    Hate was just a legend
    And war was never known
    The people worked together
    And they lifted many stones…

    But, hey, its just a tad of poetic license.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  10. Maddaugh says:

    7600 words to detail corruption in Peru. The author cant be serious. These days corrupt politicians and corrupt non-politicians are as numerous as the Covid masks fluttering around in public spaces. Those are the ones we know but they represent just a fraction of the crowd.

    They are like roaches in a decrepit building. They seem like just a few but turn on the light and its more like a plague. Even fumigation does nothing other than making these insects adapt, resist the chemicals and grow bigger. As with roaches so with the thieves in political office.

    Forget Peru though. What happens there is amateurish in amount, scope and loot compared to the West.

    The thumbnail to this article shows a thumbnail of a pretty girls holding a sign that says “No to fraud”. Good luck Chocolate Baby.

    In just about every country in the world, Ali Baba may be deposed but not without his plunder. The 40 thieves however remain to continue looting.

  11. Maddaugh says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Most Peruvians are Indian, Quechua, with a sprinkling of other tribal groups and of course there is a large Mestizo population.

    There are some families who can trace their genes to the original conquistadors and Inca royal family but these days vestiges of royal blood dont mean much if you are not affluent.

    However, whites are firmly in control. While most will identify as Peruvian some trace their roots to Germany and Italy.

    How Fujimori, a Jap got into power is a mystery but in my opinion, whatever the historians assert there is much more to the story that we will perhaps never know. You can be sure though that he could not take a piss without asking permission.

    You will note though that there is none of this CRT, slavery and BLM 24/7 yapping in South America. The ruling white elite who make up 1% of the population (there is that 1% number again) dont put up with the shit we do in the US.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
  12. “This conduct (780 million bribery) helped it (Obrecht) win contracts and other benefits totaling $3.34 billion.”

    That is nothing. In the US, if you had paid off 800 million dollars to our congress, they would have given at least 80 billion dollars in benefits. Just ask Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, who bought the American government for mere pittance for their beloved homeland.

    Brazilians (Christians) can learn a lesson or two from the Israelis (Jews)!

  13. @Gringo

    Funny that,and yet we have how many Peruvians in America that are given jobs ,even when a pretty sizable chunk are still here illegally from over 20, 30 yrs ago.. that vote for the degenerate DEM party and it’s losers like Obozo, Clintons,Biden…whoever. Then they take what is NOT their money,and send it back to Peru. Quite a few have gone back after being here for over 20 yrs after building up a nice bankrole in Peru. And most of the men have wives and families back in Peru but lie to whomever dumb White or Spanish women that shack up with here.Just so they can get a freeride while saving their money and sending back to Peru and their wives/families.And it’s funny how the women here all think that most of the all these illegals , and so-called permanent residents ,who don’t need to become citizens , they just steal jobs because White business owners give them jobs that should go to Americans first, they think that all these foreigners are single . LOL…that’s the biggest lie going. These scumbags have wives and plenty of kids back wherever they are from. What a joke.

  14. Decades of neoliberal meanness in the matter of social and welfare benefits have cast millions into precariousness and hardship, enhancing their vulnerability to pandemics such as Covid-19. Peru has experienced one of the highest Covid-related mortality rates.

    Actually, Peru had what were some of the highest Covid19 mortality rates in the world only up to May 8, 2020. At that point almost all the states except for Lima began distributing Ivermectin and quickly brought the epidemic under control. Within a month deaths were down by 75% except that is in Lima, where the cops actually raided pharmacies to prevent its distribution.

    Would be instructive to know who was dragging their feet in what was one of the nicest natural experiments in the pandemic, showing the efficacy of Ivermectin.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088823/
    https://peckford42.wordpress.com/2021/02/09/in-peru-ivermectin-cut-covid-deaths-by-75-in-6-weeks-cheap-safe-and-quite-ignored/

    • Agree: Montefrío
    • Thanks: Mustapha Mond
  15. bayviking says:

    Peru is a comparatively wealthy nation with exports of copper, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal; Alberto Fujimori served as President from 28 July 1990 until his downfall on 22 November 2000. Fujimori ended price controls, protectionism, restrictions on foreign direct investment, and most state ownership of companies. 60% of the population is mixed indigenous living in comparative poverty. Fujimori’s measures failed to reduce poverty and dependence on developed nations or improve education. Fujimori is currently in prison convicted of corruption.

    Pedro Castillo of the Perú Libre party was receiving congratulations from around the world, after the Peruvian Electoral Authority, ONPE, announced the final results: Castillo won 50.137% of the vote (8.83 million votes), while his opponent in the second round Keiko Fujimori of Fuerza Popular won 49.893% (8.78 million votes). Following the tactics of Donald Trump, Keiko Fujimori has filed 134 lawsuits challenging the outcome of the 2021 election with 811 more pending. Marinated in the bile of racism, the famous authorVargas Llosa joined other intellectuals of the extreme right to belittle the Peruvian working-class and peasantry, hoping that such remarks would give sufficient cover to the coup process underway inside the ONPE.

    In 2005, the former left-leaning military officer Ollanta Humala was set to enter the presidential race in April 2006. Every indication suggested that Humala, who had attempted a coup against Keiko Fujimori’s father President Alberto Fujimori in 2000, had mass support. Humula objected to the US military presence in Peru and was suspected of ties to Hugo Chávez. This concerned the US, a primary recipient of Peru’s exports. Using radio and TV, the US embassy launched its considerable resources to undermine Humala. Humala lost the election in 2006. He then won in 2011, beating Keiko Fujimori. But by 2011, Humala had established himself as a candidate of the neoliberals, someone that the US saw as harmless and useful.

    The US appointed a new ambassador to Peru this year, Lisa Kenna, a former advisor to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a nine-year veteran at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and a US Secretary of State official in Iraq. Just before the election, Ambassador Kenna released a video, in which she spoke of the close ties between the US and Peru and of the need for a peaceful transition from one president to another. But, Keena also assisted Trump in his efforts to dig up dirt on Biden, through the Ukraine.

    In his prison cell former President Fujimori has supported the election challenge with his cell phone and help from his conservative party and the CIA. The Fujimori team had assembled assembled hundreds of lawyers before the vote, anticipating the possibility of a Castillo victory and the need to tie him up in the courts. The white collar legal army put in place is a racist lawfare strategy; their entire game has been to invalidate the votes of Peru’s indigenous communities.

    Pedro Castillo continues to hold the streets. The crowds do not want their election to be stolen. But the US Embassy is directing darker forces in another classic US interference in the election of a sovereign country.

    • Thanks: Mustapha Mond
  16. @Jeff Stryker

    No, Perú is not “a giant Indian reservation”. To be sure, it has a good-sized and varied indigenenous population, but many are not nearly as bad off as the anti-European author describes. I travelled to Perú with some frequency until the “pandemic” exercise made that problematic, lived there for a while with a lady friend in Miraflores, an upscale part of greater Lima, who also has a house in the Andean region of Áncash, where I’ve also spent time both alone and accompanied. Her grandfather was the mayor of one of the towns and she still has quite a few relatives there, so I was able to see local life from the inside, so to speak. Quechua is the majority language there. My friend is an elegant mestiza, an upper-middle-class professional, but not a Quechua-speaker. Her family suffered significant harm at the hands of Sendero, which was very real indeed.

    I found the Andean folks largely satisfied with their lot in life, but at this stage of Western history, even if they weren’t, I would reflexively side with my own White Euro-descended tribe save in some highly extraordinary situation. That’s just how it’s become these days. My friend, no fan of the Fujimoris, nevertheless voted for Keiko. Castillo may be a fine fellow with high ideals, but it’s simply too great a risk to have him lead the government.

  17. @Reg Cæsar

    You shouldn’t let your ignorance do your typing for you; Cuba is more developed than most other Hispanic countries, and certainly safer to live in that US-managed narcoterrorist banana republic regimes, including Mexico, whose president can barely handle some the areas not ruled by the CIA’s dug cartels.

    There you have Puerto Rico, which went from 5 million people to 3 million, given the fantabulous results of US policies towards San Juan: Depopulating it to turn it into a huge launching pad for Pentagon ops. in the region.

    Not even Cubans abandoned their island in such proportions, and certainly not to migrate to paradises like the druglord haciendas in Colombia or Peru.

    But when you’re a victim of the terrorist Ziocorporate globalists’ “education” system, idiotic opinions like yours are hardly a surprise.

    Japan is a Ziocorporate occupation zone and has emperors to this day by the way. Fujimori learnt nothing from Peru.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    , @Gringo
  18. ‘…For it is not the Indigenous to whom we should first look for evidence of primeval blackness, but to the Conquistadores, their armies, priests, and traders whose swirling, mendacious blackness of racism, violence, and greed, conjoined with equally toxic liquids from the north, saturates beyond repair the entire continent of Latin America to this day…’

    Maybe it’s not quite that bad.

    • Replies: @dindunuffins
  19. @Gringo

    They just lower the threshold to define “poverty and extreme poverty” and pay taxpayer-funded subsidies to the poor. You’re only poor if you make less than $150/month or so, $151 makes you lower middle class. Also, many poorer Peruvians migrate to Argentina, Brazil and Chile and send remittances

    The greatest achievement of those terrorist Ziocorporate powers behind enitities like the US and the World Bank is selling the perception of development as the real thing.

    Look at the US, soon with Facebook-BLM-LGBT joint venture city-states. The pinnacle or mankind’s progress.

  20. Old Prude says:
    @bayviking

    Fujimori saved Peru from the crap that was Sendaro Liminoso. His commandos freeing hostages while killing the scummy hippies of the Shining Path was just great. What did he get for bringing a country back from the precipe? The scorn of lefty-globo homo. A great man, unappreciated and persecuted by the scum of the earth.

    • Replies: @Bayviking
  21. padre says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Because they are not as smart as you are, right? You would make a profit, they never dreamed of! Oh, but someone in your part of the world is already making it! And it’s not how many people, but how much they own, and it’s not just a few things that they own!

  22. “He who starts with trendy Disney reference loses battle before it even begins.” — Sun Tzu

    • Replies: @Dale
  23. Dumbo says:

    Why is it always young women, some actually very pretty, in those protests for dumb leftist causes?

    (And always with those stupid masks)

    Shouldn’t they be getting married, impregnated, and having babies?

    Or maybe this is their courtship dance?

    • Replies: @Malla
  24. Hibernian says:
    @bayviking

    Every indication suggested that Humala, who had attempted a coup against Keiko Fujimori’s father President Alberto Fujimori in 2000, had mass support. Humula objected to the US military presence in Peru and was suspected of ties to Hugo Chávez.

    A candidate who had previously attempted to overthrow the Government by force and a buddy of Chavez who’d done the same in Venezuela? Whatta guy! He had to modify his views to get elected on a second go around? I’d say the people of Peru dodged a bullet. A lot of bullets, like those of the illustrious Ernesto Guevara de la Cerna y Lynch.

  25. Hibernian says:
    @bayviking

    So they have a liberal prison system that allows inmates to have and use cell phones? So much for prison reform!

  26. Hibernian says:
    @shylockcracy

    Cuba is more developed than most other Hispanic countries,

    That was true up until New Year’s Day 1959.

    …and certainly safer to live in that US-managed narcoterrorist banana republic regimes…

    Mob neighborhoods in Chicago also have low crime rates.

    There you have Puerto Rico, which went from 5 million people to 3 million, given the fantabulous results of US policies towards San Juan…

    A big hurricane had something to do with it.

    • LOL: shylockcracy
  27. Malla says:
    @Dumbo

    communist wannabe tyrants.

    From a White racial perspective, it would be great if most of Latin America as well as the Caribbean went Communist. Nothing does a better job of keeping the people poor as well as reduce the fertility rate as Communism. However Communism can modernise a society very fast in a haphazard crappy fashion, rapidly improve education+healthcare and reduce extreme poverty very fast. But it ends up preserving poverty none the less. The only thing the white countries of USA and Canada (and Argentina, Uruguay and maybe Chile) had to do is to strictly close the borders and prevented immigration from these places. Have a deal with these Latin American Commie countries, live and let live. With reduced fertility rates much earlier in the century, the Commies would have actually helped White parts of the Americas. Hell maybe should have forcefully transported the blacks of the USA asd well as leftards of North America to the Latin American Soviet “workers’ paradise” so that they can live away from the “evul Capitalist racists”. all could have lived happily.
    If this was the policy followed in the earlier part of the last century, the situation of the Americas would have been very different.

    • Agree: Bernie
    • Replies: @Dumbo
  28. Malla says:


    Cuban Goes to American Supermarket for the 1st time- Communism to Capitalism


    Cuban Reacts to Costco for the First Time – Communism to Capitalism


    Cuban Goes to Home Depot for FIRST TIME – DREAM CAME TRUE!
    Check at 5:42 minutes when the Cuban guy starts crying. The girl says In Cuba you may have the money but the goods are just not there, just not there.

    Freinds, Zio-Corporate Capitalism is crap, bullshit and sucks but Zio-Marxist Communism is no solution either. They are both bad options. There has to be third way. Of course this is for White countries and Japan etc..
    For most Latin American and Caribbean countries, Communism is the sensible way to go. Indeed this should be the foreign policy of a racially conscious government. The US State Dept did support Castro into power. But more should have been done.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  29. Dumbo says:
    @Malla

    Hmm, not so sure about that… With more poverty, more people migrate to other neighbour countries (well, if they are allowed to…)

    Argentina has changed a lot in the last decades, thanks to the too many poor indigenous migrants from Peru and Bolivia to what was before (Argentina) a country with a majority Spanish/Italian/Light mestizo population. Now they have even Haitians.

    • Replies: @Malla
  30. Malla says:
    @Dumbo

    Build a freaking first class wall. Instead of having troops in Germany and Japan, have them at the wall. If the American/Canadian./Argentine etc… governments had the will, keeping infiltrator alien people out was easy. Many of these foreign infiltrators had been purposefully allowed in by traitorous governments. I meant, if there was a true nationalist Government. And had Communism taken hold much earlier in the last century, their populations would have been much smaller.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  31. Malla says:
    @Dumbo

    Normally left winged women are much more uglier than right winged women but more sluttier. Act like a SJW in college days, bonk a bunch of lefty sluts and then later marry a nice trad woman and have a family. I guess many of those lefty women will end up having mutant mulatto kids or die childless with cats. Nature is getting them out of the genepool. How is that bad?

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  32. Uh-oh. More pro-socialist nonsense from the good professor. Yeah, this guy Castillo will probably get in and Peru will go into the usual nose dive. The professor’s absurd animus against the “Hispanic” element of Latin America is ludicrous. Look, for better or worse Hispanic (or, with Brazil, Iberian) culture IS the culture of Latin America. The Conquest was permanent. There is no real “indigenous culture” that is of any relevance in the modern world. Denounce that fact if you will. It is reality. There is no going back. Daydreams about the Incas or rooting out the “Spanish” accomplish precisely nothing. Get over it . Yes, the “indigenous” must be brought into the national economy and culture, but it will be Hispanic, not indigenous.
    As for the comment that Cuba’s dictatorship provides any sort of “welfare” for the Cuban people, live there a while and get back to me. The Cuban health system ceased to function years ago and the “education system” is a cruel joke. Ever talk to a Cuban “economist”?
    Sadly, Latin America seems to be sliding back into crackpot leftism and a rejection of the realities of the modern world.

  33. @Colin Wright

    RIIIIIIIIGHT! The only reason Conquistadores kicked their a$$ is because they were all kicking each others a$$es for power . Just like Native Americans were doing. Before Euros ever set foot on either continent. It amazes me how White liberal morons think that all these “indigenous’ peoples were just sitting around enjoying rainbows and unicorns. here , this will explain everything quite clearly.

    • Agree: Bernie
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  34. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Old Prude

    The Neil Young song is about Mexico which it should be mentioned is in North America, so no, epic fail on your part.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
  35. @dindunuffins

    ‘…The only reason Conquistadores kicked their a$$ is because they were all kicking each others a$$es for power …’

    I agree with the sentiment, but I was really responding to the overwrought negativity of the post. Latin America’s hardly perfect — but it’s not all that bad.

    …maybe Peru is. I haven’t been there.

  36. @Malla

    ‘…And had Communism taken hold much earlier in the last century, their populations would have been much smaller.’

    My thought is that it would have solved a whole lot of problems if we’d just annexed Mexico in its entirety back in 1848. It’s population was very small back then — by now, it’d hardly be more distinct from the rest of the United States than Oklahoma is from Ohio.

    …and where exactly would the injustice be? The white Criollos would have lost their monopoly on abusing the Indian peasantry? Mexico had only been an independent state for nineteen years at that point. So it gets swallowed up in the great American experiment. This would have been a bad thing?

    Now, looking north…Canada. Practically already in the US as it is.

    • Thanks: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Malla
  37. Old Prude says:
    @Anonymous

    Ah, the folly of youth.

    Of course Cortez (the Killer) was involved in Mexico. Pizzaro in Peru. Lake Tittti Caca, next to Mount Pishi Pee-pee and all that. The original commenter’s reference was to indigenous Americans, not Aztecs or Inca’s specifically, Hence, Old Prude’s reference was to the generality

    I really like that Neil Young song, but I chuckle at the construct of the natives living in peaceful repose (rather than blood-soaked violence, torture and slavery).

  38. Dale says:

    TL,DR- A primary school socialist is FINALLY going to make socialism work this time!

    Peru will be the next Venezuela.

  39. Old Prude says:

    I like the two-tone face masks those girls are wearing. I’ve never seen those up north.

  40. Dale says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    As the author states, Castillo a supporter of the Cuban and Venezuelan “democracies”, so it isn’t difficult to infer his economic policies will lead to massive destruction of quality of life in Peru.

  41. Dale says:
    @Sollipsist

    I missed that part of “Art of Walt”.

  42. Bayviking says:
    @Old Prude

    Back from a ridiculous World Bank or IMF loan, payable only in dollars? Designed to strip assets from Peru.

    Back for who, the USA, or the majority of the poor indigenous people?

    We can thank all the hippies for reminding everyone there is more to life than bankrolling an elite ruling class that kills for money.

  43. Bayviking says:

    As long as the USA controls the international “Swift” dollar exchange system, sanctions will continue to kill the innocent poor throughout the world. Albright insists “it’s worth it’s. It being totalitarian global economic domination. But it’s going to end soon because with offshoring of manufacturing, wealth creation has moved from the USA to China. Our leadership did this on purpose.

  44. Malla says:
    @Colin Wright

    This would have been a bad thing?

    Bad thing for Anglo-Whitey but good for Mestizo in the long term. Always remember that since the Industrial revolution at least, in general with few exceptions, in the long run, whenever Whites and Yellows interact with browns and blacks, blacks and browns (reds included as browns) always benefit in the long term while Whites and Yellows, find brown blacks as detriments in the long term. Some Whites and Yellows more so. Anglo-Germanians and Japanese. Descendants of Thor and Amaterasu-Ōmikami worshipers.
    The best policy for the White race would be sensible and rational isolationism from the non-White World except maybe Japan with Japan given leeway to be Japanese trad nationalist. A sensible and practical Hermit Kingdom, with its eyes and ears open to what is going on around the world. To the outside World White wold may be made to seem as a poor North Korea/DPRK via propaganda but inside it should be a liberal prosperous society outside the gaze of outsider jealous darkies and Jews.
    V.S Naipaul, in one of his visit to a traditional Iranian home, found the house from outside dirty and rundown but in the inner chambers he found opulence and pleasure. To keep the outsiders from jealousy. Since Whitey by their very being incite extreme jealousy in darkies, Jews and some East Asians too, this is the sensible policy to follow. Darkies and Jews are a very jealous lot. Better they be away.

  45. @Malla

    MALLA

    That’s one of the reasons for arranged marriages in India. It is not all about caste-though I would not want my daughter married to an Andaman Islander/tribal myself either.

    It’s about keeping your daughters away from the thugs & no-hopers & soon-to-be-deadbeat alcoholics who seem so romantic in the springtime of their rebellious youth on their motorbike with their arrogant sneer & fearlessness that a young girl is aroused.

    She isn’t 10 years later when he is drunk on Black Label whiskey & stealing what money she makes to visit a whorehouse. But then she has 3 kids with him & it is too late.

    Many Indian Muslims are thugs or criminal types of the lower petty sort-pimps, pushers, small-time gangsters. Low-caste Indian Hindus often convert to Islam prior to embarking on a criminal career in India, simply in order to have sex slaves & criminal contacts.

    The system of arranged marriage is intended to buffer young females from poor decisions that will destroy their lives.

    • Replies: @Malla
  46. @Malla

    So what? Does that stupid Cuban ask himself what good is all that abundance of consumer products to those homeless Americans living in sleeping bags and tents on the side of the road? Or does he check if all that good looking fruit and vegetables may be GMO? Or what were the animals fed and under what conditions to produce the meats on display? Obviously those vids are just propaganda probably employing actors, professional or amateur. And if Cuba went capitalist it would just be the small fraction at the tops of society, today’s communists, who would benefit and just buy cheaper all the luxuries they already buy through other channels, and the vast majority of Cubans would still have little and continue to emigrate in search of higher pay. Total bollocks!

    • Replies: @Malla
  47. Malla says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    The system of arranged marriage is intended to buffer young females from poor decisions that will destroy their lives.

    Exactly. There are advantages to arranged marriages though it is not for me personally.
    I was seeing this sermon by a Sikh preacher, you know sitting down with harmonium and all that. He was saying that in ancient times, there was something in India called Swayamvar (‘Swayam’ in Hindi means ‘self’ and ‘var’ is one of the many terms for husband) where women chose their mown husbands. But women ended up choosing thugs and goons and civilization collapsed spectacularly. So when civilization was rebuilt all this Swyamvar was scrapped and trict control on young females and arranged marriages.
    Kind of like Muslims.

  48. Malla says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Good points. Both American style Corporate Capitalism as well as Marxist Communism are crap.
    Paid actors? very doubtful.

    it would just be the small fraction at the tops of society

    That is the case in Cuba even now, the Communist party elites are the top. LOL.

  49. Gringo says:
    @shylockcracy

    shylockcracy
    Cuba is more developed than most other Hispanic countries,

    Cuba’s Life Expectancy is currently 3.5 years greater than Latin America’s Life Expectancy. In the 1950s, Cuba’s Life Expectancy was 8 years greater than Latin America’s Life Expectancy. In the 1950s, Cuba had about 1,000 residents per Physician, comparable to Europe and the United States. In Latin America and the Third World, only Hong Kong, Argentina, and Uruguay had more Physicians per capita than Cuba.

    That is, someone claiming Cuba is more developed than most other Hispanic countries is stating something that has been true for a LONG time. In the last 60 years, the rest of Latin America has greatly closed the gap with Cuba.

    When it comes to agriculture, Cuba has been a disaster.
    If one gives Cuban production the best possible interpretation and average 2016-2019 production, 2016-19 production is 54% above 1961 production. Latin America has quintupled milk production from 1961 to 2019, from roughly 18 million MT to ~ 93 million metric tons.
    A lot- most? – of the land once used for sugar production is now fallow. After the end of the 3 decades of Soviet “help” it would have made sense to transfer the unused land once used for sugar into producing corn for cattle, or to pasture for cattle. (Cuba imported corn from the Soviet Union for cattle feed). Instead, a lot of the land formerly used for producing sugar laid fallow, and got invaded by the Marabu(accent on u_ bush. Ironically, Sociologist C Wright Mills in Listen Yankee (1960) wrote how the Cubans had the Marabu bush under control, and knew how to deal with it. Marabu invades fallow land. Should have put former sugar cane land to producing something else ASAP. But what do Marxists know about agriculture? Chile, Nicaragua, Venezuela….
    Year (Metric Tons), Cow milk production: Cuba
    1961 350,000
    2016 612,800
    2017 536,400
    2018 576,900
    2019 438,442
    http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QL

    • Thanks: Hibernian
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