Castillo Declares Victory in Peru: US & UK Considering Coup, Probably

School teacher and union leader Pedro Castillo of the Free Peru party has declared victory in the Peruvian general election. Castillo led the 2017 teacher strikes to improve pay and conditions and he is viewed as a heroic figure by millions of working class Peruvians. Castillo was born dirt poor to a peasant family, and if the election result is officially certified, he will become Peru's first ever native leader.

Although Castillo is economically left wing, he has insisted there will be "no communism" under his leadership, and he actually leans disappointingly right on some social issues. So, not the perfect socialist candidate many on the left would like to see, but still hugely preferable to the fascist alternative.

A former student said of Castillo, he "was always trying to help people... If we had to build a road, he was there, if we had to do some task or errand, he was there, and if we had to help a sick person who didn’t have money, he was there."

Clearly, the man is one of the good guys and his platform is not a million miles away from that of Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders. Castillo has expressed his desire to build a mixed economy, not dissimilar to the economies of the much-vilified Venezuela and Bolivia, but also not dissimilar to nations across Northern Europe.

The next time a conservative points to Venezuela as proof socialism doesn't work, remember their economic balance of public sector (30%) and private sector (70%) is roughly the same as Norway's. Also remember how they were more than willing to allow foreign investment from private companies, but the US kept scaring off investors to isolate the Venezuelan government.

The point is Castillo is not intending to introduce an extremely radical agenda, but actually something quite balanced and moderate, and one which will be hugely misrepresented by the western media.

The US has spent the last one hundred years or so overthrowing every democratically-elected leader in South America which they disapproved of, so they could loot their countries and ensure ordinary Americans saw socialists as failures.

It is highly disturbing but not unsurprising to see western conservatives desperate for Castillo's rival, the fascist Keiko Fujimori, to win, and predictably, she is already making accusations of election fraud. These accusations will no doubt be amplified by the US and UK in the coming weeks and months. 

Let's not forget the US and UK employed the same strategy with Bolivia, only for the MAS party to win again when re-elections were held last year. The truth is socialism is popular in Latin America because the people know conservatism means surrendering to US corporations and leaving the working class behind.

A cynical person might suggest the CIA is currently checking whether Peru has fossil fuels or other valuable resources before they declare the election result invalid and mount a coup. I would be that cynical person and this is why I fully expect the UK government to join in with:
  • cries of "Socialism doesn't work!" as the US imposes crippling sanctions.
  • crocodile tears over Peruvian poverty, like austerity never killed 130,000-plus Brits.
  • accusations of state-controlled media like the Tories aren't purging lefties from the BBC.
  • accusations of police brutality at protests, like British police didn't batter women at a candle-lit vigil.
  • concerns about the human rights situation as we repeatedly attempt to assassinate left-wing politicians.
  • demands for democracy, before declaring someone Peruvians have never heard of as the rightful leader of Peru.
We have seen this all before, we know the playbook, and imperialists are nothing if not predictable. Castillo is going to face a tough time throughout his leadership, but the good news is he will not be alone. His Latin American counterparts have done a good job of resisting western imperialism in recent years and he can surely count on their support. I congratulate him on his victory and wish him all the best.

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