The Vindictive Empire Strikes Back, in Peru

There are hints that reliable imperial pawn Llosa is being cultivated as the new Latin American “elder statesman” who will be entrusted with whipping errant colleagues into line, Stephen Karganovic writes.

Not content with conning the gullible natives in Ecuador to elect its favoured candidate to the Presidency (assuming the vote was honest and Dominion had nothing to do with counting it) the empire is now focusing its resources to undermine, and if possible politically destroy, the recently elected government of Pedro Castillo in Peru.

The insistence of native peoples on acquiring a semblance of political influence in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia – countries carved out by criollos after the collapse of the Spanish colonial empire, where descendants of the conquered Incas still constitute the decisive majority of the population – is anathema not just to the local white ruling class but also to its North American protectors.

The balance of power between the politically unsophisticated native peasantry and their experienced criollos overlords, who wield effective mechanisms of social control developed over centuries of successful minority rule, is shifting constantly. If social democracy is defined as a system where interests of the majority are acknowledged and respected, after the seeming electoral defeat of the popular alliance rooted in the policies of Rafael Correa in Ecuador earlier this year that country has definitely regressed to oligarchic rule. Bolivia, which for more than a decade was led by populist President Evo Morales, was briefly reconquered by the oligarchy in 2019. The operation was a crude and blatantly illegal coup in which the rapacious North American robber baron Elon Musk played a leading part. But to the surprise of many, in Bolivia the coup regime eventually was defeated electorally and a government respectful of the traditions and interests of the governed, to the chagrin of Washington, is now again in place.

Until the recent election of Pedro Castillo, Peru was traditionally ruled either by military dictatorships reflecting at various times both extremes of the political spectrum, or by conservative civilian coalitions representing the interests of the entrenched criollo oligarchy. The mostly poor and disenfranchised native population had no significant say in the governance of their country. With the election of Castillo, a school teacher of humble background but intense dedication to redressing the historical grievances of the poor, darker skinned majority the political balance in Peru has shifted drastically.

President Pedro Castillo has the unpleasant distinction of being the current target of the imperial Andes rollback campaign. The heavy artillery barrage is being led by the nearly forgotten writer Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 recipient of the mostly devalued Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 1990 neoliberal presidential candidate who lost in the run-off to crook Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori’s daughter Keiko was the candidate Castillo defeated in the presidential election in June of this year.

The reason for the globalist empire’s predilection for Llosa as its standard-bearer in this smear campaign is easily discerned if we recall his self-description, as quoted in an Atlantic magazine puff piece a few decades ago: “…Vargas Llosa presented himself as a champion of enlightenment in a sad, benighted land. He explains in his memoir: ‘Although I was born in Peru (“through an accident of geography,” as the head of the Peruvian Army, General Nicolás de Bari Hermoza, put it, thinking that he was insulting me), my vocation is that of a cosmopolitan and an expatriate who has always detested nationalism, which strikes me as one of the human aberrations that has made the most blood flow.’”

That having been said, Llosa’s obnoxious put-down of the Peruvian native Castillo as a “profesor de segundo de primaria,” a nasty play on words meaning “a second rate primary school teacher” who “has no ideas and does not even realize where he’s ended up,” clearly was delivered in the context of racial tensions inherent in the Peruvian society. Regrettably Llosa, with a rather modest literary opus to his credit, lacks the self-critical objectivity of Somerset Maugham who, in a moment of candour, honestly described himself as “a writer in the very first row of the second-raters.”

Whatever one may think of Maugham’s talents, the English writer’s humble self-appraisal in fact fits Llosa perfectly.

Predictably, the principal issue that has emerged in Llosa’s ideologically neoliberal critique of the Castillo government is the future of Peru’s mining industry, which accounts for about 15% to the country’s GNP and constitutes about 60% of its exports. Obviously, it is an attractive booty for the transnationals and they are loath to tolerate interference with their profit taking by peasant “deplorables” and their elected President Pedro Castillo. Similar points of contention had emerged in Ecuador with oil exploration conducted on land inhabited by the native population and in Bolivia, with regard to the mining and marketing of lithium. By resolving these disputes in favor of the indigenous people, presidents Correa and Morales respectively had largely sealed their political fate.

It is apparent that Castillo is taking a similar approach toward Peru’s mining industry by indicating that he would veto mining megaprojects favoured by foreign transnationals unless they obtained the support of the native populations whose habitat could be disrupted by their implementation. Ominously, Castillo has invoked also the concept of “social utility” as a criterion for approving future industrial mining projects, a retrograde philosophy that endears him neither to his neoliberal critic Llosa nor to the rapacious transnationals who are eager to extract Peru’s natural resources and run away with the profit.

Concomitantly with Llosa’s neoliberal tirades, the new and clearly uncooperative Castillo government is being subjected to a series of political ambushes designed to hobble it. Insinuations are being spread that the real power behind Castillo’s throne is political operative Vladimir Cerrón and that “inept” Castillo serves as no more than his front man. A senator aligned with the oligarchic bloc is publicly disparaging prime minister Guido Bellido Ugarte, alleging that he is incompetent and the laughing stock of members of his own cabinet. The “approved” Ipsos polling agency, the imperial deep state’s favourite propagator of public opinion survey disinformation, has announced that 61% of Peru’s population believe that Castillo lacks leadership capacity and is incapable of solving the country’s problems. It makes one wonder whether anyone actually voted for Castillo only a couple of months ago.

There are also hints that reliable imperial pawn Llosa is being cultivated as the new Latin American “elder statesman” who will be entrusted with whipping errant colleagues into line. The dubiously elected Ecuadorean government just last week decorated its Peruvian kindred spirit with the Order of Merit of the Grand Cross. Armed with such shiny awards, Vargas Llosa launched into another tirade, well beyond the territorial limits of his Andean turf, against Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of plotting re-election to a second term. It is a not so veiled allegation against López Obrador, who has been in the imperial crosshairs for some time. Students of Mexican history are well aware that an attempt to engineer another term in office is what led to the political downfall of President Porfirio Díaz early in the twentieth century.

It remains to be seen how much longer Llosa will continue to clown around, obeying his master’s voice and casting stones at others. His name has been noted on the long list of corrupt “investors” who were outed after the Pandora Papers scandal broke out. It is hardly surprising to see neoliberal adept Llosa in such distinguished company.

It is all a question of “values,” of course.

By Stephen Karganovic
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

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