Well, El Pais of Spain details for us that Brazil is quite involved in Peru's business and thus there is really no surprise behind the heavy support they provided to Humala. If we add to this new intemperate words of Mario Vargas Llosa then Humala's chances are not only improving but he might get less scary. The question here is to evaluate his real hold on the people behind him. Lula had that "advantage", the PT had time long enough to develop a few local fiefdoms, powerful enough to have Lula as "their man in Brasilia" rather than the mighty leader having his men in the states....
The political structure of Peru does not allow for regional counter balances like in Brazil or the US, but that might be the way for Humala to make it: to sign on a meaningful ruling alliance with either the people of Toledo and/or Castañeda. Even if PPK goes all the way with Keiko, Humala would prevail. And our night sweats would decrease.
Then again, as a Peruvian I would be concerned as to whether the submission of Humala to Brazil is a real improvement over his older submission to Chavez. After all, this is a way for Humala to strengthen his position long term: the more Brazil interests are important in Peru the less the indigenous business class can be a threat for Humala. Chavez understood that early enough and he has been busy at work ruining the Venezuelan indigenous business class and giving whatever is left of free economy to Brazil, China and even Colombia when needed.
It is interesting to see how countries for political reasons are willing to become economic protectorates of other countries. Sad, very sad...
But Brazil's advance across the continent keeps on and the fall of Peru would be a major succes, perhaps the definitive one in a way that neither Venezuela or Colombia could ever be. If Peru were to be integrated in the sphere of Brazilian influence that would simply mean that South of the Equator nobody's has business to do except for the things Brazil does not care of or cannot provide. Let's do a survey for fun:
-Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are now dependent of Brazil. It has worked out well for Uruguay and not so well for the other two. But Mercosur for all its flaws has benefited Brazil more and made its preponderance inevitable. Argentina has only itself and its psychotic peronism to blame for not having been able to make Mercosur an alliance of equals. As long as people like the Kirchners can rule at la Casa Rosada, Argentina will be always second fiddle.
-Bolivia is not faring any better. The more the antics of Morales keep going on the more Bolivia will near break up. At this point I am willing to bet that a referendum in Santa Cruz as to whether remain Bolivian or become Brazilian would have a lot of nasty surprises for La Paz. Lula owes big to Chavez to have allowed Morales to make so many mistakes. And the more Bolivia claims for a maritime window that Chile will never give, the more Santa Cruz is going to look East.
- Chile escapes but then again who would want Chile? True, it is a beautiful country and great wine, but it is so far out that few really can care for Chile. A blessing for Chile which might explain more than what people may suspect its relative interference free political development and growth. OK, outside of the Allende-Kissinger years.....
- Ecuador and Venezuela are similar cases. Eccentric countries, with more or less oil, they are of no interest for Brazil except for possible customers of its goods. Chavez surrendered quick to Brazil, for nothing in exchange. His case is pathetic. Ecuador is more independent minded but small, oh so small....
- Which leaves Colombia as the only genuine exception. It does have its two ocean windows and that explains a lot. It also is the country further distant from Brasilia, and with the least things to offer Rio. Even Santiago is closer, wine wise at least. And Colombia has another advantage: Lima is as far from Bogota as it is from Manaos. That is reason enough for Brazil to stop at Lima once Humala is in office and forget about the rest, even Venezuela which will fall on its own weight and be split evenly between Colombia and Brazil.
In 10 years? The Americas will be divided in three areas:
- The US commonwealth, from Canada to Honduras
- The Brazilian second empire, South of the Equator
- The Colombian marches, from Managua to Quito, and from San Jose to Caracas.
- There will be a few cute regal states where all bourgeois of the three realms vacation and keep their money: the Principality of Panama, The Raj of Trinidad, the West Indian resorts and the reservation of Haiti.