26 June 2021 ~ 0 Comentarios

Destiny and limitations of Pedro Castillo

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

On Wednesday July 28, the day of independence, Pedro Castillo could begin to rule in Peru. Logically, he will feel “the revolutionary temptation.” Let’s hope he doesn’t succumb to it. It was a heart-stopping election. This is what the majority of the “National Electoral Board” says, including a representative of private universities. Castillo apparently beat Keiko Fujimori by a few thousand votes. In total, more or less, there were 16 million votes. Eight for Castillo and eight for Keiko, minus the votes Castillo supposedly won. Neither Keiko nor Castillo committed fraud. There were, yes, a few tricks, as in all the elections, but nothing that supposes a change in the general results. The National Organization of Electoral Processes (ONPE), the OAS, Rosa María Palacios and Gustavo Gorriti said it. The sursum corda has said it.

But it’s not only an ideological division. It is also geographical. Almost all against Lima. Not the north. The south of the country is against Lima, including Arequipa, Peru’s second city. The capital looks to Spain, France, the rest of Europe, the US, modernity. It is cosmopolitan. A third of the nation lives in the capital. Sixty five percent voted against Castillo. It’s the same people who today are taking their money out of the country, buying gold, internationally valuable paintings, diamonds. I have seen fortunes taken out in fighting cock spurs, in luxury brand watches, and in printed books. Imagination is limitless when your pocket is in danger. For now, the agencies that issue passports and the consular departments of the First World embassies have collapsed. “There is no animal more coward than a million dollars,” reads the old dictum.

There is also a much less precise ethnic division. The cholos and the Indians, in general, are with Castillo perhaps because the poor support him and these tend to be cholos and Indians. On the other side, it is difficult to find a pituco who is not with Keiko, despite she is a non-white candidate. Although sometimes individual features and melanin deceive us. The cholos and the Indians who have managed to prosper and study, play in the first division – to use a soccer metaphor – and are also very worried and take their money out of the country. In general, the split is between those who were fighting to save their future and those who were hell-bent on battling past grievances. The latter won.

Obviously, it is impossible to rule that way. Ollanta Humala had been co-opted to make the same “revolution” that Castillo has before him, but he realized the situation and changed course before plunging into the abyss. Naturally, Humala did not listen to the bad advice of Vladimir Cerrón, who is a perverse “Jiminy Cricket”, sympathizer of “Shining Path,” but to the incomprehensible gibberish of “ethnocacerism” proposed by his father, also an ultranationalist with certain Marxist conceptions. It was easy to dismiss the nonsense he said and take the advice of Nadine Heredia, his intelligent wife.

It is very important to understand that there is no silver bullet to kill poverty. There are no shortcuts to wealth. As Ian Vásquez, a scholar at the Cato Institute, said, Peru in recent years has lived the longest era towards prosperity that the country’s history has known. The only possible revolution right now in Peru is administrative honesty and the decision to make the State more effective. If the cronyism that prevails in contracts is eliminated, if wise investments in education and health are made, after a few years positive results will be seen.

It is very important that at the head of the State there are decent people who are not tempted by easy money. It is a shame that Peru is the country where Covid-19 has left the most deaths in relation to the population. “What cannot be, cannot be and, furthermore, it is impossible,” said the realistic and wise bullfighter. Hopefully Pedro Castillo realizes that indisputable truth. Otherwise, he will last six months in power. Congress will depose him, as it has done a couple of times. It has experience. But I’m afraid it will plunge the country into civil war.

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