Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Peruvian Pooh-Pooh

I'm nothing else if not regular:

"Left and right clash in Peru election, with an economic model at stake" by Mitra Taj and Julie Turkewitz New York Times, June 6, 2021

LIMA — On paper, the candidates on the presidential ballot in Peru on Sunday are a leftist former schoolteacher with no governing experience and the right-wing daughter of a jailed former president who ran the country with an iron fist, yet voters in Peru face an even more elemental choice: whether to stick with the neoliberal economic model that has dominated the country for the past three decades, delivering some earlier successes but ultimately failing, critics say, to provide meaningful support to millions of Peruvians during the pandemic.

“The model has failed a lot of people,” said Cesia Caballero, 24, a video producer. The virus, she said, “has been the last drop that tipped the glass.”

Peru has endured the worst economic contraction in the region during the pandemic, pushing nearly 10 percent of its population back into poverty. On May 31, the country announced that its virus death toll was nearly triple what had been previously reported, suddenly raising its per capita mortality rate to the highest in the world. Millions have been left jobless, and many others evicted.

The leftist candidate, Pedro Castillo, 51, a union activist, has promised to overhaul the political and economic system to address poverty and inequality, replacing the current constitution with one that will grant the state a larger role in the economy.

His opponent, Keiko Fujimori, 46, has vowed to uphold the free-market model built by her father, Alberto Fujimori, who was initially credited with beating back violent leftist insurgencies in the 1990s but who is now scorned by many as a corrupt autocrat.

Polls show the candidates in a near tie, but many voters are frustrated by their options.

Castillo, who has never held office before, partnered with a radical former governor convicted of corruption to launch his bid. Keiko Fujimori has been jailed three times in a money laundering investigation and faces 30 years in prison, accused of running a criminal organization that trafficked in illegal campaign donations during a previous presidential bid. She denies the charges.

“We’re between a precipice and the abyss,” said Augusto Chávez, 60, an artisanal jeweler in Lima who said he might cast a defaced ballot as a form of protest. Voting is mandatory in Peru. “I think extremes are bad for a country, and they represent two extremes.”

Castillo and Fujimori each won less than 20 percent of votes in a crowded first-round race in April that forced Sunday’s runoff election.

The election follows a rocky five-year period in which the country cycled through four presidents and two congresses, and it comes as the pandemic has pushed voter discontent to new levels, fueling anger over unequal access to public services and growing frustration with politicians ensnared in seemingly endless corruption scandals and political score settling.

[We are the same the world over as the $atanic globali$t cla$$ has utterly failed]

The hospital system has been so strained by the pandemic that many have died from lack of oxygen, while others have paid off doctors for spots in intensive care units, only to be turned away in agony.

[Sick of the lies yet?

Hospitals the world over were never overrun and neglected care in favor of the CVD fraud]

Whoever wins Sunday, said Peruvian sociologist Lucía Dammert, “the future of Peru is a very turbulent future.”

“The deep inequities and profound frustrations of the people have stirred, and there’s no organization or actor, whether private companies, the state, unions, to give voice to that.”

When Fujimori’s father swept to power in 1990 as a populist outsider, he quickly reneged on a campaign promise not to impose free-market “shock” policies pushed by his rival and Western economists.

The measures he used — deregulation, government spending cuts, privatization of industry — helped end years of hyperinflation and recession. The constitution he ushered through in 1993 limited the state’s ability to take part in business activities and break up monopolies, strengthened the autonomy of the central bank, and protected foreign investments.

[Some "populi$t" outsider, 'eh?]

Subsequent centrist and right-wing governments signed more than a dozen free trade agreements, and Peru’s pro-business policies were declared a success, credited with Peru’s record poverty reduction during the commodities boom of this century, but little was done to address Peru’s reliance on commodity exports and long-standing social inequalities, or to ensure health care, education, and public services for its people.

The pandemic exposed the weakness of Peru’s bureaucracy and the underfunding of its public health system. The country had just a small fraction of the intensive care unit beds its peers had, and the government was slow and inconsistent in providing even small cash assistance to the needy. Informal workers were left with no safety net, leading many to turn to high-interest loans from private banks.

“The pandemic showed that the underlying problem was the order of priorities,” said David Rivera, a Peruvian economist and political scientist. “Supposedly, we’d been saving money for so long to use in a crisis, and what we saw during the pandemic was that the priority continued to be macroeconomic stability, and not keeping people from dying and going hungry.”

[The web version kept campaigning]

Fujimori has blamed the country’s problems not on its economic model, but on the way past presidents and other leaders have used it. Even so, she said, some adjustments are needed, like raising the minimum wage and pension payments for the poor. She framed her campaign against Castillo as a battle between democracy and communism, sometimes using Venezuela’s socialist-inspired government, now mired in crisis, as a foil.

Castillo, who is from Peru’s northern highlands, gained national recognition by leading a teachers union strike in 2017. He campaigns wearing the wide-brimmed hat of Andean farmers and has appeared on horseback and dancing with supporters.

Castillo has revealed little about how to make good on vague promises to ensure the country’s copper, gold, and natural gas resources benefit Peruvians more broadly. He has promised not to seize companies’ assets but to renegotiate contracts instead.

He has said he wants to restrict imports of agricultural products to support local farmers, a policy that economists have warned would lead to higher food prices.

If he wins, it will be the clearest repudiation of the country’s political elite since Fujimori’s father took office in 1990.

[Then he is Peru's Trump?]

"With election fraud claims, Peru’s Keiko Fujimori takes a page from the Trump playbook" by Anthony Faiola, Claire Parker and Terrence McCoy Washington Post, June 16, 2021

LIMA, Peru — In the face of a deficit of tens of thousands of votes in a close count following Peru’s June 6 presidential election, Keiko Fujimori, the 46-year-old doyen of a right-wing political dynasty, declined to concede. Instead, she has appeared to a take page from former president Donald Trump’s playbook, levying unsubstantiated accusations of fraud.

She is not alone. While politicians the world over have long sought to contest election outcomes, with and without basis, some experts say Fujimori’s approach, following Trump’s effort to discredit the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election over false fraud claims, could signal the emergence of a trend.

[That's the new narrative regarding election thefts against conservatives worldwide, and if Republicans think they are winning control in 2022 they have a big surprise coming. We will now be told turnout is low because populi$ts are unpopular and the far right is faltering because of CVD.

There will be no voting your way out of tyranny, folks!]

In Peru, Pedro Castillo, Fujimori’s challenger, has claimed victory, but officials say the result could take days or weeks to certify. Citing little evidence, Fujimori has claimed large-scale election fraud, bringing in a small army of lawyers in an attempt to throw out more than 200,000 votes, mainly cast in impoverished, rural areas.

“The election will be flipped, dear friends,” she told thousands of her supporters at a protest in Lima on Saturday.

Peruvian pundits were quick to cite Trump parallels.

Fujimori’s team has claimed that ballot tally sheets were improperly or falsely signed, and questioned tallies where the three-time presidential candidate received no votes. International observers have not raised significant issues with the vote, and have congratulated Peruvian authorities for holding a transparent and peaceful expression of democracy.

[They just confirmed the theft]

One political cartoon — published by Peru’s La Republica newspaper and widely shared on social media — depicts Fujimori in the face paint and buffalo horns of Jacob Anthony Chansley, the shirtless “QAnon Shaman” who took part in the post-election storming of the US Capitol.

Fujimori isn’t the only one to have leaned on fraud claims after a recent vote.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s long-standing prime minister until Sunday, cast a deal among opposition lawmakers to remove him from power as “the fraud of the century,” and himself as the victim of plots by Israel’s “deep state.” His supporters blasted right-wing parties that joined the winning coalition as traitors and threatened leading politicians, and in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, who said before the 2018 presidential election that he would only lose if there was fraud, has repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of Brazilian elections, drawing widespread comparisons to Trump.

[This is in no way a defense of Netanyahu; however, what do those leaders have in common with others?

They are nationalists first, and thus must be attacked and removed

Btw, the new Israeli government is worse than the last one -- as incredible as it may seem to Palestinians -- as Israeli officials are working to revive talks to deliver vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority after a deal Friday was suddenly called off by authority officials, who said the doses were too close to their expiration date and did not meet their standards. Some 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are still without sufficient vaccine supplies as shipments from other sources continue to lag, while Israel is mostly returning to pre-pandemic life. The announcement and cancellation of the deal has given rise to conspiracy theories and further damaged the low standing of the Palestinian Authority among its people. On Friday, Israeli officials celebrated the finalization of the three-way deal between the two governments and Pfizer in which Israel would ship more than 1 million doses of its vaccine to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses to be delivered back to Israel later this year. Israeli officials said the move marked the beginning of a chapter of re-engagement between Israel and the Palestinians after a dozen years under right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why did smallpox-infected blankets provided by Lord Jeffrey Amherst just come to mind?]

In countries with weak democratic institutions, baseless claims have been used to justify a military takeover, as in Myanmar, or to jail opposition figures. Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank and watchdog, has warned that the world is undergoing “long-term democratic decline,” and analysts have previously cautioned that Trump’s behavior after the 2020 election will continue to embolden autocrats who manipulate electoral processes to hold onto power.

[Just like what Uncle Joe did!]

“This epidemic of claims of electoral fraud is just the next chapter in the autocrat’s handbook,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

“Now that game is being played where the elections are usually very clean,” said Kenneth Roberts, a Latin American politics professor at Cornell University. “When the credibility is called into question the way it has been by Trump and the Republicans in the US, it creates a bad example that other leaders and countries can follow, providing a template to change results they don’t like.”

[So eat the fraud and stolen election. 

That's TYRANNY!]

The playbook that appears to be taking shape involves the use of false claims of fraud by right-wing leaders with fiercely loyal bases to discredit the outcome of elections. Such claims resonate especially well in highly polarized societies, political scientists say, and social media has played a key role in amplifying them.

[As they censor any adverse reactions and deaths from the poisonous gene-therapy vaccines]

In Peru, the rash of post-election disinformation has spanned the political spectrum, including photoshopped images of people at Fujimori rallies holding classist and racist signs and a fake tweet from Venezuela’s socialist autocratic President Nicolás Maduro celebrating Castillo’s victory.

“I’ve never seen such fake news, that there is a fraud unfolding, and the racist subtext, that the indigenous are going to march on Lima,” Peruvian journalist Marco Sifuentes said in a popular YouTube show. “They are trying to frighten you, trying to delegitimize the results and force Castillo out no matter what it takes.”


A shared predicament among the leaders of these efforts: personal legal jeopardy. Trump and his organization face multiple criminal probes. Netanyahu is on trial for corruption. Fujimori, meanwhile, had been counting on the presidency to shield her from prosecution on charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice.

[And pop goes the Weisselberg!]

She has been imprisoned three times, granted release most recently in April 2020, in an alleged money-laundering scandal connected to her first failed presidential bid. Peruvian prosecutors seek to put her in prison for more than 30 years on separate charges, including embezzlement and election fraud.

On Thursday, prosecutors again requested her arrest, alleging she had “systematically” violated her bail conditions by contacting witnesses.

That's when the Globe flushed its coverage.


While in the neighborhood:

The world is indeed waking up and rising against the CVD scam.

"The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega arrested five opposition leaders during a major weekend round up, in what appears to be widespread detentions of anyone who might challenge his rule. The four arrests Sunday and one Saturday suggest Ortega has moved beyond arresting potential rival candidates in the Nov. 7 elections, and has begun arresting any prominent member of the opposition. The arrests bring to 12 the number of opponents detained since June 2. On Sunday, police also arrested prominent ex-Sandinista dissident Dora María Téllez, another opposition leader, Ana Margarita Vijil, and Suyen Barahona, leader of the political movement Unamos. Tellez’s arrest is a major step: she was a leading Sandinista militant who led an assault on the National Palace in 1978, taking hostage the congress of dictator Anastasio Somoza in exchange for the release of Sandinista prisoners. Following Somoza’s overthrow, Tellez served as health minister in the first Sandinista government which ruled from 1979 to 1990. Like many former guerrillas, she later split with Ortega. On Saturday, police arrested Tamara Dávila, who was active in Unamos, which was formed by former Sandinistas angered by Ortega’s autocratic ways, nepotism and perpetual re-elections. Julie Chung, the U.S. State Department’s acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, said via Twitter that the arrests “confirm without a doubt that Ortega is a dictator. The international community has no choice but to treat him as such.”

He must be a good man then.

When he is exiled to Haiti, the Globe will throw some candy in celebration.