Peru could become the next Venezuela, but there are some reasons to hope that it won’t

Photo: Yahoo News

 

Will Pedro Castillo, the radical leftist who is likely to be declared winner of Peru’s June 6 elections, turn his country into a new Venezuela? It would be naive to rule it out, but there are some reasons to hope that he would not be allowed to create a Venezuela-style dictatorship.

By Yahoo News – Andrés Oppenheimer

Jul 7, 2021

Castillo, until recently a little-known radical leftist teachers union leader, has tried to present a more moderate image in recent days. But, judging from his past activism and his Perú Libre party’s statements, he could be one of the most extreme leftist presidents elected in Latin America in recent decades.

In its document “Perú Libre: Ideas and Program,” which Castillo presented before the April 11 first-round election as his political platform, the party describes itself as “a leftist socialist organization.” It adds that “to be leftist, one has to embrace the Marxist theory” and Marxism-Leninism.

Castillo presented a lighter version of his platform for the June 6 second-round vote, and has recently said that “I’m not a [former Venezuelan President Hugo] Chávez supporter, nor a Communist.” But he has not broken with his party, and calls for a constitutional assembly to draft a new Constitution that his critics see as a copy-and-paste version of the Chavista playbook to grab absolute powers.

Castillo is leading in the official count by a mere 0.4 percent of the vote, and his rival, Keiko Fujimori, claims fraud. But electoral observation missions from the Organization of American States, the European Union and Peru’s Civil Transparency Association say they have found no evidence of fraud. The United States and the 27-member European Union have said the election was fair.

If Castillo is officially declared president-elect, the key factor to determine whether Peru will follow Venezuela’s steps will be the success – or failure – of his plan to convene a constitutional assembly to draft a new Constitution.

Read More: Yahoo News – Peru could become the next Venezuela, but there are some reasons to hope that it won’t

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