I have written about the Andean region several times on this blog, and its propensity for upheaval and traditional sympathy to communism and socialism. These events will garner the attention of the Administration very quickly. Perhaps there is hope yet (from my perspective) for a more formal delineation of the "Obama Doctrine" that I wrote about shortly after Obama's ascension.
April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Ollanta Humala campaigned for Peru's
presidency in 2006 wearing red T-shirts and expressing admiration for
Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez. This year, he's donning
business suits and vowing to expand ties with investor-favorite Brazil.
The former army officer's change in raiment and rhetoric has helped
boost him into first place in polls ahead of the first round of voting
April 10. Investors including Barclays Capital, who in December
dismissed him as a "radical" also-ran after Peru grew 8.8 percent last
year, now say the outcome of a likely runoff on June 5 is too close to
While abandoning the anti-capitalist rhetoric has allowed Humala to
build support beyond his rural base, it's unclear if he'd govern with
the same restraint, said political analyst Alvaro Vargas Llosa. Peru's
stocks, bonds and currency fell in the past three weeks as Humala
overtook congresswoman Keiko Fujimori and two other rivals who are tied
for second place.
"There is real reason to fear that Humala won't be part of the
modern left," said Vargas Llosa, a senior fellow at the Independent
Institute in Washington. "It's a real risk because we've never had it so
Humala had 26 percent support in a nationwide poll taken March 26
to April 1 by Lima-based researcher Ipsos Apoyo, up from 21 percent a
week earlier and 10 percent in January.
Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori,
trailed him with 18 percent support, while former President Alejandro
Toledo had 17 percent support and Toledo's former Finance Minister Pedro
Pablo Kuczynski had 16 percent.