Bernie is OK — but not ‘or Bust’

by Bill Weinberg, The Villager

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a protest by members of New York’s Peruvian immigrant community in Union Square, to oppose the candidacy of Keiko Fujimori in the South American country’s presidential race—the daughter of imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori, who intransigently defends her father’s blood-drenched legacy. Peru’s left mobilized for her defeat.

Keiko was opposed by a merely odious center-right technocrat and former cabinet minister, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, or “PPK.” Verónika Mendoza, the left-wing candidate who was bumped out of the race in the first round in April, urged her supporters to vote for pro-corporate conservative PPK, so as to keep openly fascistic Keiko out of office—and to be prepared to build a vigorous opposition from his first day on the job.

It was a very close vote, but it worked—PPK won by the proverbial hair in the June 5 run-off.

As if to drive home the point that PPK is merely a lesser enemy (but still very much an enemy), soon after his election he unveiled an economic program that calls for privatization of Peru’s communal indigenous and peasant lands—and their sale to mining, oil and agribusiness interests. Land-grabs by corporate interests have already been a source of much rural unrest in Peru in recent years.

I hope the analogy is clear.