Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brazil in Peru (and elsewhere?)

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.


  1. I find it interesting Daniel's long term Cassandra vision about the threat that Brazil presents for the independence of South American nations.He is seeing something that many are loathe to admit, taken as they are, by Brazil's "good guy image" that received a great boost by Lula.

    Brazil has always been seen as a benign nation, conquering the world only through its Soccer Team, cheered on by many in the 3rd world.With Lula's stellar performance on the international stage, it improved its image even more.

  2. Dear Dano:

    Here we go … in four parts.

    Part 1 of 4

    I think I am not wrong when I say… This is what we both live for! ... The geopolitical analysis, the big game, the woods instead of the trees. This is what really is going on and all the other issues are just distractions. This is where you find the answer to questions that seem to have no answer.

    Why is Hugo Chavez in power and the United States in not doing anything about it?

    Because it is in the best interest of the economic power structure (Wall Street and the military industrial establishment) in the United States to have a political retard such as Chavez create chaos and destroy a country that has the oil we need. Chavez is their boy and they are very proud of the job he has done and continues to do. If anyone dares to threat him the CIA will immediately advice the Cuban secret service about the threat in order to protect him.

    Chavez has been in power for 12 years now and he keeps saying that the United States wants him dead because it wants the Venezuelan oil. What a pile of you know what!! As President Alan Garcia told Chavez; why would the US kill you for the oil when you already are giving all of it to them; you have nothing to worry about, they already have your oil! And I must add, with the kind of chaos and destruction you are causing in Venezuela they are guaranteed to keep having it for many years to come since that is the only way Venezuela will have to pay for the reconstruction of the country you have destroyed.

    The same thing happens with Fidel; after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the missile crisis non-aggression agreements expired, the US Department of State realized that they wanted Fidel to be their boy and he has basically been working for them since. He has Chavez on a leash and is very good at recruiting other political morons such as Morales, Kirchner, Correa and Ortega to keep the whole Latin American region walking on eggs.

    We may not like it but you cannot live in denial forever… it is what it is and it may not be nice or fair but it is certainly real. This doesn’t make the US good or bad either. This is how the whole world works and those of us, who were born and/or live in Latin America, have basically three choices. We can cry; we can become crusaders of a lost cause and try to fight reality sacrificing the welfare of our people only to end up with a blown up ego or, we can stand tall, use our intelligence as well as imagination and having the best interest of our people in mind play the game the best we can with the cards we have been dealt with.

  3. Dear Dano:

    Here we go … in four parts.

    Part 2 of 4

    Dano’s geopolitical analysis is vey accurate and I think there are only one or two comments that could be added.

    For all the love and kisses between Brazil and the US there is a major undercover power struggle going on and both Colombia and Peru are very important pieces in that imperialistic puzzle.

    For those who are Lula fans and are already thinking that I am crazy because Lula is a socialist with the best intentions for the region let me say the following; Lula is a socialist politician but he was an imperialistic president. Brazil was, during Lula’s tenure, and continues to be, under Rousseff, in a clear and firm imperialistic path when it comes to Latin America. A long-term strategy that was designed by and is currently being implemented by “Itamaraty” - perhaps the most professional and efficient foreign relations office in Latin America.

    Brazil, like the US, has a long history of cozy relationships with all kind of African and Arab dictators and strongmen. They are confortable with dictators and have no problem dealing and supporting them because they are good business.

    Brazil, like the US, is not a partner in the development of any country or region; they are suppliers and contractors that collect wealth and richness from their areas of influence to feed the growth of their own economy and markets. That is what they do and that is the definition of imperialism.

    Having Argentina and the whole MERCOSUR under the belt, an area that is of no strategic interest to the US except for Paraguay and its vast fresh water resources, Brazil decided to stretch its area of influence and take advantage of the opportunity that having a political moron as President of Venezuela offered them. I think “Itamaraty” was a little too confident and thought that since grabbing MERCOSUR was so easy perhaps grabbing the whole region would be easy as well.

    Brazil soon came to realize that it was not that easy and the first confrontation with the US was held in Venezuela. Brazil started meddling with what the US considers it’s oil in that country and to use Chavez to try to create chaos and destruction in Colombia. Colombia is perhaps the most important country in these geopolitical war games because it holds the key to what some economists call “the third path” and what I call the PEPCICO (Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Colombia) region.

    A region of 120 (+) million consumers that would be self-sufficient and could certainly become a credible competitor to both Brazil and Mexico. A region that, both from a geopolitical and trade stand points, could be considered very interesting and appealing to the US.

  4. Dear Dano:

    Here we go … in four parts.

    Part 3 of 4

    Let’s face it, the US today is not what it used to be and the outlook for the medium term does not look all that optimistic. A sizeable and strong ally in Latin America to balance Brazil power is very appealing.

    A viable economic region in sum that has everything going for them but is missing a long term and stable energy source, though I must say, the oil and gas prospects in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru seem to be pretty encouraging.

    The US reacted to Brazil’s moves by offering Colombia protection against Venezuela and ultimately against the Brazilian ill intended dealings. Brazil never expected that Uribe would have the guts, as well as the will to self-sacrifice himself, to allow the US military presence in Colombia. Uribe was right though; he could afford the attacks to his image and other Latin American countries calling him a sold out and a traitor but he could certainly not afford to expose his country to an open war with Venezuela. A war that, regardless of who came out as the winner, would leave both countries seriously hurt and facing a major economic, infrastructure and political destruction. Something I must add, Brazil and Lula were looking forward to.

    Brazil realized it had made a mistake and underestimated the US will to use its military might to protect its geopolitical interests in the region. Brazil did learn from the mistake and actively sponsored the so-called UNASUR in order to try and prevent individual countries to act on their own and the US from flexing its military muscle against Brazilian interests in future confrontations.

    The second confrontation is being held in Peru, which is also a major piece in the puzzle and the US has already made their first move by agreeing to make Chile a quasi-military ally in the region and the only country in the Americas with access to US military technology. A privilege that only very close ally such as Israel, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and certain NATO countries have.

    Brazil needs Humala to get a grip on Peru and Humala is another political moron who is willing to sell out Peru without even realizing what is going on. As Goethe once said; “There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action”.

    Let me say though that there are a significant number of people in Peru who would gladly encourage the country to become fully dependent from Brazil. What can I say; the world is full of idiots.

  5. Dear Dano:

    Here we go … in four parts.

    Part 4 of 4

    The game is on! Brazil and the US pulling on one side and Colombia and Peru trying to lure Chile into renouncing to being the US pawn in the region and in turn becoming a core member and player in a potential market that eventually will most likely encompass Panama and Ecuador.

    Bolivia is too much of a hassle so it is out and you cannot count with Venezuela until Chavez is gone. Even then, it will take a good ten years before Venezuela can come up to par and join an economic block in equal terms.

    No one knows what is going to happen but, some major positive steps in this direction were taken when the stock markets of the three countries (Colombia, Peru and Chile) decided to merge into one company and all three countries agreed to standardize their legislations in order to guarantee the same treatment and the free flow of investment and capital in this potential region.

    This is what is at stake in the Peruvian election and, from that standpoint, those of us who do not believe that democracy is a cult, look at the Keiko Fujimori option as far less dangerous than Humala.

    Whatever happens though, I agree with you Dano; in the next decade the Geopolitical map of Latin America will change dramatically. Also, we will know then if Latin America or at least the PEPCICO region wasted the cards it was dealt and instead chose to become what the British would call; “the confetti of empires”.

    By the way; there is a third confrontation being played in Nicaragua and Costa Rica to undermine Panama and a fourth confrontation on the makings now that Brazil has invited Mexico to form an oil cartel in the region.

    May we all live in interesting times!!

  6. Mousqueton

    Many thanks for such an enlightening series of comments. I hope they do not come that late that we will be the only ones reading them.

    I will try to add comment more on that tomorrow.

  7. @ Dano

    What can I say Dano... you are far too fast for me.

    I am in the middle of writing a series of articles for my Peruvian blog which I intend to publish before the June runoff election.

    The Brazil issue is of course part of these articles because it is tied to the Humala candidacy.

    I will try to keep up with you though since I am almost done with these series of articles.

  8. Eduardo11:03 AM

    Well, I've read tha Kuzcynski denounces Ollanta Humala as receiving a bunch from Caracas, and the Brazilian counselors being merely a distraction.

  9. Castro in bed with the CIA? That's crazy talk.

  10. jsb

    i think that mousqueton wrote it metaphorically, for all practical purposes, not literally. though with castro one never knows if for punctual circumstances he would not have minded giving a hand tot he CIA...

  11. Mousqueton,quoting you:

    "the stock markets of the three countries (Colombia, Peru and Chile) decided to merge into one company and all three countries agreed to standardize their legislation in order to guarantee the same treatment and the free flow of investment and capital in this potential region. "

    This is one of the more relevant points you make.I see Chile is forming a bloque with these countries more than being just a pawn of the US or remaining isolated.

    What will determine the way that LA will look in the future will be whether most countries will maintain a stable course of integration with the world economy or try to isolate themselves in Chavez's left wing dictators club subject to Brazil's influence. That's why Peru is strategically a lynch- pin depending on which way it goes in these elections will be a determining factor for LA.

  12. Second comment to Mousqueton:

    I find your conspiracy theory of Fidel and Chavez being tools of the US quite absurd.Using this logic North Korea and Iran would also be working for the US as it gives it a good excuse to maintain a large military presence in Asia and the Persian gulf.

    Chavez is not the darling of Wall Street.What would really be good for Wall Street would be if Venezuela had a government like Chile, where both the center right and left parties maintain their international commitments, and provide long term reliable government.If this had been the case in Venezuela since 10 years ago by the time it would be exporting 3 times the amount the oil as now relieving the US from dependence on unstable Middle Eastern dictators, and reducing the price of oil by eliminating the fear factor bonus in the international oil markets.

    Sorry but your theories reflect the disproportionate wave of irresponsible victimization complex of LA... their eternal problem: The Almighty US is behind it all, so what can we possibly do? We don't deserve our fate!"Which is why LA continues in the misery of poverty and instability,not to mention paranoia.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.