[Marxism] Ollanta Humala interview

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 5 07:51:31 MDT 2006


SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 4, 2006, 04:05 PM
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,409547,00.html

Postcard from the Peruvian Election

"We Are the New Face of Latin America"

Latin America's swing to the left shows no sign of abating. This Sunday, 
Peruvians go to the polls and are expected to elect the left-wing 
nationalist Ollanta Humala as their next president. SPIEGEL spoke to Humala 
about his politics and his election campaign.

After making its way through Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Venezuela, 
the  victory train of the left-wing populist politicians in Latin America 
has now reached Peru. The candidate considered to have the best chance in 
the forthcoming election this Sunday, April 9, is left-wing nationalist 
Ollanta Humala. The charismatic former army officer -- who led a military 
coup against former President Alberto Fujimori in 2000 -- has focused his 
election campaign in the poor Andean highlands and the deprived areas of 
the big cities.

SPIEGEL: Peru's ruling class is dreading your election victory. Do you want 
to introduce socialism?

Humala: This fear is unfounded. The confrontation between the classic left 
and the traditional right no longer plays a role today, that belongs to the 
Cold War. We are the victims of an unbridled capitalism, a global economic 
imperialism. The competition from multinational companies is destroying our 
industries, exploiting our resources and forcing us into an export-oriented 
economy. I am running against this.

SPIEGEL: You are also like a red rag to the Americans, they see in you a 
Peruvian Hugo Chavez.

Humala: The representatives of the new movements in Latin America have many 
names. They are socialists, Indian activists, here in Peru we call 
ourselves nationalists. But we all have one common denominator: the fight 
against the neo-liberal economic model. We are the new face of Latin 
America. For decades our countries followed neoliberal prescriptions, that 
had little to the reality. That is why there was social unrest everywhere, 
the political systems broke apart.

SPIEGEL: Peru is not doing too badly, comparatively. Inflation is under 
control, the economy is growing.

Humala: There is growth here, but no development. It is like a person who 
seems healthy but is eaten up with cancer inside. In the country's interior 
there is extreme poverty, people survive on less than a dollar a day. 
Agriculture is in ruins, the peasants flee from the highlands to the coasts 
or plant coca. The national industry doesn't produce anything -- everything 
is bought from from China.

SPIEGEL: As a solider you fought against the Shining Path Maoist guerillas. 
Critics accuse you of having taken part in torture.

Humala: I am innocent. We were 22-year-old youngsters who defended their 
country in an extraordinary situation because the state had failed to. The 
politicians at the time reneged on their responsibility and left the 
political fight to the army.

--

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