Back to the future in Peru

Via Americas Forum:

The return of the ‘Eternal Return’ in Peru

In his farewell speech in 2010, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias summed up the current situation in Latin America, “…the reality is that our región has advanced little in the last decades. In certain areas, it has marched resolutely backwards. Many wish to board a rusted wagon to the past, to the ideological trenches that divided the world during the cold war. Latin America runs the risk of adding to its astonishing collection of lost generations. It runs the risk of wasting, yet again, its opportunity upon the earth.”

After two decades of steady growth, in which different political parties maintained the policies that made the country the fastest growing in Latin America, Peru may have proved Arias’s assertion correct. Over the last decade the Peruvian economy has doubled by growing 7% per year, reduced poverty   from 50% to 30% since 2006, and brought unemployment to 8.9% – an amazing accomplishment in Latin America.  Peru’s current debt is a scant 15% of GDP, while the government retains $45 billion in foreign currency reserves.

Despite these numbers, the Peruvians elected a former coup-plotting Colonel whose plan of government calls for nationalizations, constitutional change and even a renegotiation of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.  Peruvians today showed once again why Latin America has remained stuck for two centuries in its “eternal return”- perpetually doomed to relive its troubled adolescence.

On the same day that voters in Portugal threw out the spendthrift socialist party and gave the center-right Social Democrats a resounding mandate, Peruvians elected the far-left Ollanta Humala by a decisive margin over the center-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former president Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25 year jail sentence for corruption during his 1990 -2000 government.

Continue reading the article HERE.

2 thoughts on “Back to the future in Peru”

  1. Does Humala look impressive and reassuring or what? Love the faded denim, no-coat-or-tie bit. And the face is priceless. Looks like someone with barely normal IQ, if that (though I’m sure he’s no fool). And then there’s the real fool next to him, the son of Mario Vargas Llosa, who joined his father in giving Humala a very useful coating of respectability (“Sure you can trust him! I do, and I won a Nobel Prize!”). Now the senior Vargas Llosa says his “job is done,” which sounds like washing of hands to me. But he’s an intellectual, you see, which means he necessarily knows best, and certainly better than ordinary folk. I just hope he has his excuses all lined up for when Humala, uh, “betrays his trust.”

  2. Peru deserves what it ‘votes’ or allows to take place. Likewise, Cuba is so far down the bottom of the barrel, that you can’t even see it. Nothing short of the fate that befell Sodom & Gomorrah will cleanse and bring back anything resembling the Cuba that many used to know.

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