By SEBASTIÁN SARAPURA (GIEPTALC / UNILA)
The result of the elections in Peru has aroused great sympathy among popular movements and progressive organizations on the continent. It is not for less. The candidate of the Peru Libre political party, Pedro Castillo Terrones, – a former union leader and active member of the peasant rounds – was facing Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of the former dictator and prisoner for crimes against humanity, Alberto Fujimori. The individual trajectories of both candidates could not be more different. This largely explains the favorable expectation among workers and their organizations.
However, it is necessary to affirm that the readings on the Peruvian process limit themselves to characterizing the triumph of Pedro Castillo as a conquest of the progressive sectors and the Peruvian people against the neoliberal ultra-right represented by Fujimorism are dangerous. The development of the class struggle in the Andean country, as well as in all of Our America, is much more complex.
When on June 15, the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) confirmed that the Peru Libre candidate obtained a difference of just 44 thousand votes compared to the daughter of the former dictator, the political representatives of Fujimori, as well as Keiko Fujimori herself. , began a campaign to denounce an alleged fraud committed by Peru Libre, in complicity with the directors of the National Elections Jury (JNE) and the ONPE itself.
This campaign has not stopped since (although it has worn out). With scandalous support from the bourgeois media and through legal tricks, Fujimorism presented requests to challenge thousands of votes from the poorest parts of the country. Places where, precisely, Castillo obtained an abysmal difference against Fujimori. The immediate result of this has been the delay in the proclamation of Pedro Castillo as president of the republic and an atmosphere of uncertainty unprecedented in the last three decades.
Faced with this scenario, the Peru Libre political party called for the permanent mobilization of social movements and union organizations, as well as all sectors that had contradictions against Fujimori. This includes a part of the liberal right that defends the neoliberal constitution of 1993 but is contrary to the candidacy of Keiko Fujimori.
The reaction of Fujimori, although with overwhelming media support, has been losing strength with the passing of days. The demonstrations that it has been carrying out have not managed to outnumber those of Peru Libre and are characterized by having among its participants, mainly, sectors of the middle and upper-middle class.
Fujimori seems to be becoming more and more isolated. A statement by the United States (USA) embassy, published on June 22, gives its support to the Peruvian electoral institutions, thereby ruling out the thesis of fraud. Likewise, an editorial in the newspaper El Comercio, dated June 27, affirms that behind the expansion of the electoral process is a “coup attempt” led by Fujimori. Something quite contradictory if you consider that until a few days ago for this same newspaper (and all the media under its control) a president could not be proclaimed until “the accusations of table fraud are clarified.”
The El Comercio editorial comes after Pedro Castillo asked Julio Velarde, president of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) since 2006, to remain in office when Peru Libre assumes control of the executive branch. At a rally organized by his supporters on Saturday, June 26, Castillo affirmed that he was committed to respecting the “autonomy and independence” of the BCRP. According to statements by the head of Peru Libre’s economic team, Julio Velarde met with Castillo on Monday 28 and is about to make public his participation in the future government of the former union leader.
These latest movements in political chess would seem to indicate that the victory of the popular sectors against neoliberalism is still distant. Although in its programmatic documents the political party Peru Libre defines itself as a “Marxist, Leninist and Mariateguist” organization, its leadership expresses the interests of the petty bourgeoisie. That is why it can allow itself to propose in that same anti-neoliberal and “socialist” program, to incorporate “democratic” sectors of the national bourgeoisie (what appears in its program as “nationalist businessmen”) and the small capitals linked to illegal mining.
Another expression of this is to take as examples the Citizen Revolution of Rafael Correa and the progressive process headed by Evo Morales in Bolivia. Both, even with important nationalist achievements, did not break with the neoliberal development strategy and adopted a neo-developmental program, that is, neoliberalism with social programs.
In practical terms, this means that Peru Libre’s political intervention does not consider the capital-labor contradiction as the guiding principle, and instead adopts a strategic stance against a fraction of the capitalists, thereby pretending to represent the interests of the big companies. majorities of the country
To these difficulties of a programmatic and ideological order are added the adversities of the current correlation of forces and the organizational limits of the revolutionary left. The isolation of Fujimorism is not only the result of the popular mobilization called by Peru Libre. Instead, it also expresses the political calculation of the main business groups in the country, the US embassy, and its political operators on the liberal right. These sectors are committed to the cooptation of Peru Libre and Pedro Castillo or their “domestication” to the molds of the current neoliberal institutionality. Something that seems quite probable if the ratification of Julio Velarde in the BCRP is taken into account.
The struggle within the state machinery has an objective limit in its class character. This historical truth implies that any reform in favor of the workers requires, for its conquest, defense, and consolidation, a process of mass mobilization that goes beyond the narrowness inherent in parliamentarism. It is from this perspective that the revolutionary left has to proceed with the conjuncture that is coming. Not only in Peru but throughout Latin America. After all, as old Lenin said, except for power, everything is an illusion.