Friday, June 09, 2006

Early exit for Humala?

Though I am very busy these days with all sorts of problems to solve, I must find a few minutes to comment on the early signs of an early dismissal of the coalition that supported the electoral bid of Ollanta Humala in Peru. I have been forwarded a report from a stock firm (G.S.) that mentions clear details from the UPP, a partner of Humala, that is already posing its conditions to continue supporting him. The said UPP did get 19 seats out of 120 in the new parliament and if it decided to seat on its own it could find itself supporting Garcia APRA on some social programs, for example. The APRA got 36 seats and the sum of them would give 55 seats, very close to a 61 required majority.

This was also hinted at a couple of days ago in an EFE dispatch. (hat tip M.S.).

I must go back to remind the gentle reader that on June first I was speculating as to Chavez not minding at all Humala losing as he might not be able to control him. Maybe he sensed that Humala would lose quickly control of the Peruvian National Assembly (did rumors on UPP existed already?). Thus Humala would weaken before he had a chance to establish a hard regime in Peru. Maybe Chavez, ever the autocrat, resented that Humala might not be a easy to manipulate as BoliviaÂ?s Morales? Who knows but the late campaign strategy of Chavez is more understandable today. The mystery here is not that Chavez endorsed Humala the first time. The mystery is why, after all the grief Chavez got the first time around he persisted in endorsing again Humala at such risk. Two things could happen:

1) If Chavez gambit lost, he could discard Humala promptly and all would forget about him backing Humala in the ridiculous way he did.

2) If it succeeded with Humala winning, this one, and the UPP, would feel so indebted to Chavez after that second notorious endorsement that they would be more docile to his designs. Kind of a last ditch effort, but Chavez is known for his last minutes recoveries.

Unfortunately for Chavez, it is quite possible that it will fail anyway. There is enough evidence of people who supported Humala did not like the support of Chavez (heck, even Humala's wife complained!) Humala now defeated they might dare come out and break links with Chavez.

At any rate, before the reader thinks that Chavez was particularly machiavellian, whatever he tried on Peru will have deteriorated considerably his image among his LatAm colleagues who have not been amused at all by the antics of Chavez in Peru (even if few say anything in public). But these days an unbound Chavez does not check at details and freely runs into unnecessary troubles. The silence from Miraflores on Peru speaks volumes....

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