Celac and the Peruvian Rebellion

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera on January 25, 2023

Peruvians stay mobilized, photo: Aldair Mejia/EPA

Regarding the vigorous Peruvian rebellion, I believe it is essential to underline the decisive role of the peoples and their political and social struggles in the gestation and advancement of progressive governments. In the same way that this advance was indispensable in the generation of an architecture of regional or sub-regional organizations, among them CELAC, which sought the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. The emergence of Hugo Chavez, a first cycle of progressive governments and the aforementioned architecture in the transition from the 20th to the 21st century had much to do with the Caracazo and, in general, a cycle of strong Latin American and Caribbean popular resistance against neo-liberal policies.  These, through multiform popular mobilizations, now managed to impose their hegemony through suffrage. Something unthinkable, with few exceptions, a few years earlier. The role of the armed movements and patriotic military movements in making it possible for revolutionary and progressive organizations to reach the government by electoral means has not yet been discussed in depth.

But the revolutionary, democratic and progressive forces today face new and serious challenges. The most important of them is the rise of the extreme right and neo-fascism, ready to use all means to overthrow or disregard the victories of the progressive forces, as we have seen recently in Brazil or in Argentina with such ominous events as the attempted assassination of Vice-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the attacks against democracy by the judicial party allied to Macrism. Or, in the days prior to the VII CELAC Summit, the provocations and acts of violence against President Nicolás Maduro prepared by the political forces linked to former President Macri and his Miami cronies, always associated with the U.S. and Israeli embassies. It backfired on them as they were unable to achieve their goal of blowing up the meeting and although President Maduro rightly refrained from traveling, the Venezuelan and Bolivarian presence was very active.

Meanwhile, in Peru, the only popular movement on a national scale mobilized in its entire history behind political demands continued with the greatest strength, as Hector Béjar, one of the most lucid intellectuals and social fighters in the country, described it. And he added: “We are in a process of destitution of the old system and the constituent of a new one. And most probably… if this movement subsists and increases, the demand for a Constituent Assembly and a new Constitution will continue to grow until it becomes hegemonic.”

In other words, the extreme right-wing parliamentary-military-media dictatorship fully implanted in the Andean country after the coup d’état against the constitutional president Pedro Castillo has closed the political roads. But the fact of great political notoriety is that the creative Peruvian popular movement is demonstrating, with courage and intelligence, that, despite the ferocious police and military repression of Mrs. Boluarte, it can reopen those roads and eventually impose its agenda through mass mobilization.  After the defeat of the regional extreme right in its attempt to abort the CELAC summit in Buenos Aires, what could be another great defeat for it is brewing in Peru, if the popular movement, as has been pointed out before, were to succeed in making hegemonic its demands for the convocation of a Constituent Assembly and the drafting of a new Constitution to revoke the Fujimori Constitution currently in force, It must be considered that the Quechuas and Aymara, fundamental protagonists of the Peruvian rebellion, together with students, workers, small businessmen and more and more regions and layers of the population that join them, cannot have failed to take note of the resounding victory of their Bolivian brothers against the coup and the dictatorship that tried to cut short their emancipation process.

The VII CELAC Summit can be described as historic.   The Argentine presidency continued the path of revival of Latin-Caribbean unity and integration so brilliantly initiated by Mexico and relaunched, with the very important reincorporation of Lula’s Brazil, a very promising new stage of work. With the election of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the new president pro tempore, for the first time this responsibility falls on the English-speaking Caribbean. Its experienced prime minister, the capable Ralph Gonsalves, will surely give it a new impetus. The condemnations, reiterated in several documents, of the criminal blockade of Cuba and the demand that Washington exclude it from its spurious and harmful list of countries allegedly promoting terrorism, another terrible turn of the screw of the blockade, were very notable at the summit.

Source: La Pupilia Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US