[Marxism] Ollanta Humala interview

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 6 08:59:22 MDT 2006

>Capitalism hasn't been abolished in the seven years since Hugo Chavez came 
>into office, and isn't likely to
>be abolished in the near term. Therefore, one shouldn't expect that to 
>happen in in the immediate future in Peru, either. Frankly, to
>even posing the question is somewhat disingenuous in Latin America's 
>present climate. The task ahead for Latin America is continental

But our task is socialism. We can certainly support leftist governments and 
movements against the USA, just as we might have supported Lazaro Cardenas 
in the 1930s or even the KMT in the early 1920s before it turned on the 

>Selecting a few words Humala uttered about not wanting socialism 
>exaggerates the importance of such verbal expressions. It's kind
>of a "gotcha" for some. That was the mistake the U.S. SWP made in Cuba, 
>and it seems the same as is being advocated for Peru today.

But we know from recent scholarship that the top ranks of the July 26th 
movement were very sympathetic to the Marxism of Mariategui, especially Che 
Guevara who learned about his writings from his wife Hilda Gadea. Just 
because the July 26th movement did not fetishize the hammer-and-sickle or 
issue proclamations calling for socialism in 1957 or 1958, this does not 
mean that their trajectory was indeterminate--even though it might have 
looked this way at the time. But the main thing is that there was a 
*movement* in Cuba that included the left wing of the trade unions and the 
student movement, which included hundreds of thousands of people. The 
evidence in Peru is that Humala's movement, such as it is, consists of 
reform-minded officers who all seem to be veterans of the dirty war against 
not just the Shining Path, but the smaller, pro-Cuban Túpac Amaru 
Revolutionary Movement.

>I'll be the first to admit, I already have, that I know as little as 
>anyone else who doesn't speak fluent Spanish, hasn't been to
>Peru, and hasn't read much beyond a sampling of what's published in the 
>capitalist media, the Cuban media and Hugo Blanco's views.
>So far, it doesn't appear that most of what Marxmail subscribers have 
>written reflects much profound understanding of the Peruvian
>present-day reality. So far, the most knowledgeable comments we've had on 
>Peru come from the Peruvian Hugo Blanco, someone who
>is Peruvian, alive and active in that country, and speaks Spanish and the 
>indigenous languages. This gives him certain advantages
>and, to my way of thinking, a distinct political authority.

Hugo Blanco certainly is knowledgeable. Here's a snippet from an article 
(http://www.servindi.org/archivo/2006/352) he wrote a little over a month ago:

Eso atrajo a la gente pobre que está harta del sistema. Por lo tanto la 
corriente “humalista” tiene mucho de positivo. Una cosa es la corriente 
“humalista” formada por Antauro y otra los Humala. Los Humala se llaman 
apropiadamente “etnocaceristas”. ¿Qué es eso? Es la reivindicación de 
Andrés Avelino Cáceres que dirigió las guerrillas indígenas de resistencia 
contra las tropas invasoras chilenas y los abusos que ellas cometían. 
Naturalmente que aplaudimos esa actitud.

Pero ahí no termina la historia, cuando los guerrilleros indígenas 
continuaron su lucha contra sus enemigos peruanos, los hacendados, Cáceres 
los traicionó.

Basically, Blanco is stating that the "Humalista" movement has a lot of 
positive things about it, but the historical figure that it is based 
on--Andrés Avelino Cáceres Dorregaray--betrayed his peasant followers.

With respect to Humala's other inspiration--General Juan Velasco 
Alvarado--Blanco has this to say:

Sus emblemas son Cáceres y Velasco, dos militares que dirigieron a los 
indígenas y cuando ellos querían aplicar su democracia indígena, 
contestaban abaleándolos. El comandante dirige a los indios, y cuando estos 
se pasan de la raya, los fusila.

Roughly translated, this says that when the peasants of Peru tried to apply 
indigenous democracy, they were shot.

Of course, this might not lower Humala that much in Walter's estimation, 
since he is on record as endorsing the Chinese government's right to close 
down socialist websites.

>As a matter of fact, this thread was begun by Louis Proyect, who indicated 
>he was in favor of
>Ollanta Humala two days ago. Is that no longer the case?

I said that if Mario Vargas Llosa was against him, that might be all I need 
to support him. This was more of an expression of my hatred for Vargas 
Llosa than anything else as well as an attempt at irony that might have 
been lost on some.



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