Romantic outsiders see in the events in Puno an uprising by Aymara-speaking Indians against multinationals. But the truth looks much uglier. The towns around Lake Titicaca are at the centre of a huge contraband trade. The protesters are silent about large-scale informal gold mining, which pollutes rivers far more than formal mines. In Puno’s lowlands, cocaine production is rising. Some locals say that the protests are a rebellion inspired by the leaders of illegal businesses against the rule of law.
Boudou, appointed as economy minister in July 2009, has emerged as one of Fernandez’s most loyal cabinet ministers. In his previous job as head of the state pensions body, he won her trust when she nationalized private pension funds in 2008.
The President is sweating it out in this recession. There are two reasons for this trip:
a. A $10,000/plate dinner at the Caribe Hilton, which aims to raise $1 million for his campaign (one local radio station said that at least $500,000 was already pledged days ago)
b. courting the 5 million Puerto Ricans like myself who live in the USA, as an attempt to counterbalance the Cuban voters in FL who traditionally vote Republican.
Markets plummeted in Peru on Monday after leftist Ollanta Humala won Peru’s presidency with nearly 51% of the vote. Stocks on the Lima exchange fell 13% at last glance, their biggest one-day drop since records began in 1990. Bonds and the currency were down, too.
The stock market had to close earlier than scheduled.
Why the drop?
Early in his campaign, Humala vowed to expropriate businesses, confiscate private pensions and shut off free trade, tapping into a deep vein of resentment among Peru’s lower classes.
He backtracked from most of those threats as it turned off most voters, but kept his promise to redistribute wealth by targeting Peru’s big mining companies.
So even though he vowed not to expropriate businesses or pensions, the economy-killing taxes he wants on mining companies will amount to the same thing.
It’s a potential killer of Peru’s silver-and-copper goose, which has driven Peru’s economic growth and will have terrible effects now, across the board.
The irony is that as Humala claims he’s going to make Peru like Brazil, he forgets that Peru’s economy actually has outperformed Brazil’s. His promise, which sounds so attractive, amounts to replacing Peru’s star economy with Brazil’s inferior state-directed economy.
Leftist military man Ollanta Humala has tried hard to shed his radical image and disavow Hugo Chavez, promising not to follow the Venezuelan leader’s example of promoting constitutional rewrites that have helped extend his rule.
He’s sworn, hand on Bible, his commitment to democracy.
the strategy was to attempt to hoodwink the electorate by pushing Humala towards Brazil’s PT (Workers Party) and the larger than life Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva – Brazil’s former president.
The person that Chávez recommended was Valter Pomar, the national Vice-President of the Workers Party and an active member of the Sao Paulo Forum (FSP). The FSP is an organization of far-left extremists (including numerous members of the FARC and other Latin American terrorists) that was founded in 1990 in Sao Paulo, Brazil by Lula and Fidel Castro after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Castro realized that the day for armed insurrection was coming to a close, and that they would instead have to infiltrate civil society and political parties with radical communist ideology and use the vote to take over governments.
Currently 11 countries in the region are governed by FSP members – Peru would make the 12th. At this year’s meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, the Sao Paulo Forum officially endorsed Ollanta Humala for the presidency of Peru.
Valter Pomar is accompanied in Peru by Luis Favre (right-hand man to the famous João Santana who managed Lula’s election campaigns). Their job is to polish candidate Humala’s image, trying to make the case that he now supports the more moderate path of Lula’s Brazil – and to distance him from Hugo Chávez.
This has included dressing the candidate in suit and tie, rather than the revolutionary attire of angry red and army fatigues. Humala has also filled his campaign rhetoric with his “love of Peru,” and has sought the approval of the clergy.
Despite the political makeover, candidate Humala would naturally still need campaign cash from outside the country. It must also come without the fingerprints of Hugo Chávez. Thus, in 2008 and 2009, Chávez began sending letters of invitation to mayors and governors in the rural areas of Peru to visit Caracas – a network of Bolivarian Mayors.
Of those that accepted, Chávez and his advisers were able to evaluate which ones fit the bill to return to Peru with suitcases of campaign cash – naturally for the Humala campaign.
Salazar points out, “Many Peruvians are dubious.” They have good reasons for their doubts.
As I posted on last Monday’s Carnival, Peru’s El Comercio reports that WIkiLeaks revealed that Humala admitted to torturing people (link in Spanish) when he was a captain in the mountains of Peru, going by the alias Captain Carlos Gonzalez, when he was a military adjunct.
While Humala claims to have distanced himself from Hugo Chavez, El Nuevo Herald’s Casto Ocando tweets that intelligence sources confirmed that Humala’s parents traveled by private airplane to Cuba to collect funds, which presumably go for his campaign.
Alberto de la Cruz posts this video of Humala (in Spanish) speaking during a visit to Russia,
“The 2011 process will define Peru; if it aligns itself within the processes of change taking place in Latin America or it converts into another piece of what is taking place on the Pacific coast that is Chile, a right leaning government in Peru, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico, which is there to defend the old regime.”
“The emerging powers will make this world, which was once unipolar since the end of the cold war, convert itself into a multipolar world, with new leadership.”
“This will be important for Latin America because it will give us room to maneuver politically and not depend solely from one tyrant.”
“To transform the State requires many hands — one person is not enough. I am committed to this project, me and my family, and I will not step back from this project. If asses need to be kicked, then asses will be kicked, but alone we cannot do it.”
During his speech, Humala pointed out the importance of a group of countries on South America’s Pacific, such as Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Mexico – which he sees as “old regime”, if he doesn’t win.