Matters of Concern Around the World

No to Canada's Interference in Peru! Support the Peruvian People's Just Demands!

– Margaret Villamizar –

Protest in Lima, Peru, February 9, 2023.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the support given by the Government of Canada to the coup regime in Peru which removed elected president Pedro Castillo and imposed Dina Boluarte as the new president and, by extension, its support for the crimes that regime and its so-called security forces have been committing against the people.

CPC(M-L) salutes the Peruvian people who have risen in protest against the coup, waging heroic protests that have continued non-stop and grown despite brutal repression which, in less than two months, has caused over 60 deaths and many injuries. The people categorically reject Castillo's dismissal, and are calling to shut down Congress, for fresh legislative elections to be held without delay, and that steps be taken towards the drafting of a new constitution to replace the current neo-liberal one, written and imposed in 1993 during the criminal Fujimori dictatorship.

At least 14 countries in Latin American and the Caribbean including members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) have publicly expressed support for President Castillo and for the popular will of the Peruvian people. They have condemned the Peruvian police and military's killings and repression of protesters and expressed support for the Peruvian people's defence of a democratically-elected government.

In all of this, Canada was quick to recognize Dina Boluarte as the new president of Peru, and sent its ambassador in Lima to convey in person a message of support to the new government. It is an unacceptable use of its prerogative powers in foreign policy to accept, in the name of the people of Canada, what is taking place in Peru.

The government of Canada clearly has no interest in learning the lessons of its dastardly participation in the 2004 U.S.-French coup against Haiti and its aftermath and its support for the coup against Evo Morales and for regime change in Honduras. Canada's formation of the disruptive Lima Group to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and support onerous, illegal sanctions which have caused untold harm to millions of men, women and children in that country are another case of its reactionary foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. The so-called Lima Group, formed at the behest of the U.S. and comprised of a handful of countries under the jackboot of the U.S., utterly failed time and time again to mobilize the Latin American and the Caribbean region against itself in spite of using all kinds of self-serving methods covered with talk about defending democracy, human rights and a rules-based international order.

Despite the backing of the U.S. state power and reactionary media in the U.S. and other countries in its orbit, including Canada, all the attempts of these forces of the Old to foment counter-revolutionary changes through the Organization of American States (OAS), their attempt to arouse support for outright reaction amongst immigrant populations abroad, such as in favour of the Bolsonaro regime in Brazil or the Bukele dictatorship in El Salvador, have failed time and time again to turn the tide of history in their favour.

Canada is currently expressing support for President Lula and the decisive action he took against the recent assault on the Brazilian parliament and other state institutions. At the same time, it is supporting the criminal who has usurped the presidency in Peru and the crimes of the reactionary forces currently backing her. This shows that Canada is up to no good internationally and that it is on the wrong side of history, which belongs to the peoples, not those who usurp power by force and use it against the peoples. Canada is showing over and over that it will do anything under the command of the United States and its NATO military alliance.

Hands Off Peru!

For Your Information

The deposed president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, is a former elementary school teacher, farmer and union leader. He was deposed on December 7, 2022, after being elected in a runoff election on June 6, 2021, defeating the daughter and continuer of the legacy of corrupt, foreign-backed former dictator Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori senior is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity, including murder and kidnapping, as well as the many corrupt acts he committed when he was president from 1990 to 2000. His daughter has herself been in and out of detention since 2018 also on charges of corruption. Pedro Castillo's confirmation as president was delayed some six weeks after he was elected thanks to a succession of legal challenges she filed to try and get the results invalidated based on bogus allegations that her opponent had won based on "fraud." Unable to pull off the electoral coup they were aiming for, the Fujimorists shifted to using their majority in Peru's unicameral Congress to remove Castillo through a parliamentary coup instead once he was installed.

From his first day in office the reactionary forces engaged in repeated acts of sabotage and destabilization against Castillo and his government using the tactics dubbed lawfare – a form of warfare that uses the courts and state institutions to misuse the law to achieve anti-social, anti-national and outright criminal aims. The same tactics were used by foreign-backed reactionary forces in Brazil to illegitimately remove former President Dilma Rousseff from office and to criminalize President Lula to prevent him from running for election in 2018. Other leaders such as the former presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Vice President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina are among those who have been subjected to similar kinds of legal persecution.

In the case of Pedro Castillo no less than six criminal investigations have been opened against him on the basis of an ongoing smear campaign waged by the oligarchic media in Peru and abroad. In the legislature reactionary and racist opposition forces attempted twice, first four months into his term, then again four months later, to impeach him, based on a provision in Peru's Constitution for the Congress to declare a "vacancy" in the presidency on the grounds of the "permanent moral incapacity" of the president. After failing both times to get the required number of votes to depose him, a third attempt was scheduled for December 7. This time President Castillo pre-empted it by invoking Article 134 of the Constitution which establishes that following the legislature's denial of two confidence votes called for by the Executive, the president is empowered to dissolve Congress and call a new election. He declared in a video address to the nation that in order to re-establish the rule of law and democracy and put an end to the "Congressional dictatorship" that had deliberately and maliciously blocked his ability to get any laws passed, he was temporarily dissolving the legislature in order to hold an election for a new Congress, which he said would have constituent powers to draft a new Constitution within nine months.

In response, a majority of legislators pounced and voted to immediately depose him, bypassing a number of steps, including Castillo's right to defence, and without obtaining the number of votes required by the Constitution for what they did. They then appointed Castillo's vice president, Dina Boluarte, as the new president, a role she happily assumed, showing she was also part of the coup forces. The heads of the Peruvian Armed Forces and National Police also intervened in the political process, issuing a statement against Castillo's actions and arresting him. Federal prosecutors followed up by indicting him on trumped up charges of "rebellion" for allegedly "breaching the constitutional order." A judge then ordered Castillo to serve 18 months of preventive pre-trial detention, which the Supreme Court has upheld, in spite of all the irregularities involved.

Supporters of President Castillo immediately responded by denouncing the coup d'état the reactionary forces were finally able to consummate against him and are demanding his release and the resignation of the usurper Dina Boluarte. The response of the coup regime has been to ignore their concerns and to brutally repress them. There were reports in December of police raiding the offices of social movements, political parties, labour unions and organizations such as the Campesino Confederation of Peru and of the coup regime planting weapons and other materials there in order to falsely accuse protesters and leaders of social organizations of "terrorism." The coup government has also brought back criminals who committed crimes against the Peruvian people under the Fujimori dictatorship.

(Photos: manoalzadilma, Red Muqui, Xinhua)

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 2 - February 2023

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