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Cablegate: Far Left, Inspired by Chavez, Seeking to Ride

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LIMA 004132

SIPDIS

WHA FOR JMONSERRATE, BFRIEDMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PE
SUBJECT: FAR LEFT, INSPIRED BY CHAVEZ, SEEKING TO RIDE
OLLANTA HUMALA'S COAT-TAILS INTO CO...

id: 41148
date: 9/22/2005 19:23
refid: 05LIMA4132
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 05LIMA3379|05LIMA3784|05LIMA424|05LIMA4968|05LIMA93
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LIMA 004132

SIPDIS

WHA FOR JMONSERRATE, BFRIEDMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PE
SUBJECT: FAR LEFT, INSPIRED BY CHAVEZ, SEEKING TO RIDE
OLLANTA HUMALA'S COAT-TAILS INTO CONGRESS

REF: A. LIMA 3784
B. LIMA 3379
C. LIMA 424
D. LIMA 93
E. LIMA 4968 (03)

Classified By: Political Counselor Alexander Margulies. Reason: 1.4 (
b,d).

----------
SUMMARY
----------

1. (C) Most of Peru,s far-left Marxist parties, movements,
and labor organizations are attempting to unite forces for
the 2006 general elections under the banner of a "Frente
Amplio" (Broad Front). They hope their standard bearer will
be Ollanta Humala, leader of the fascistic Nationalist
Peruvian Party and brother of Antauro Humala, who led the
abortive January 2005 armed uprising in Andahuaylas. Ollanta
Humala, however, is insisting that the left sign up with his
own "National Front for the Salvation of the Republic."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is reportedly conditioning
the provision of funds to the leftist Frente on its making
common cause with Ollanta Humala. Frente Amplio elements
believe they can obtain 10-15 percent of the popular vote and
a sizable congressional bloc with Humala at the top of their
ticket, an estimate with which we concur. End Summary.

--------------------------
FRENTE AMPLIO'S OBJECTIVES
--------------------------

2. (C) Peru,s far-left Marxists, divided many times over
since the Sino-Soviet split of 1965 and the break-off of
Sendero Luminoso in the early 1980s, are now trying to
overcome their marginal political status by creating the
Frente Amplio, a grouping that includes the Communist Party
Red Fatherland (CP-PR), the Teachers Union (SUTEP), and the
General Central of Peruvian Workers (CGTP), the country,s
largest union federation. Poloff interviewed SUTEP
International Relations Secretary (and former SUTEP
President) Nilver Lopez, SUTEP President Caridad Montes, and
CGTP Secretary General Juan Jose Gorritti on 9/13 regarding
the status of the Frente Amplio.

3. (C) According to SUTEP's Nilver Lopez, the Frente Amplio
will support Ollanta Humala's presidential bid. Ollanta and
his brother Antauro led a military rebellion against the
Fujimori regime in 2000. Sacked from the military by
Fujimori, interim President Valentin Paniagua reinstated
Ollanta and President Toledo sent him as military attache to
Paris and then Seoul. Ollanta was then forcibly retired in
December 2004. After 2000, Ollanta's brother, Antauro,
formed the radical, nativist, quasi-racist, pro-coca
Ethno-Cacerista movement (Ref E). Antauro led a January 2005
armed uprising in Andahuaylas, which was quickly put down by
the GOP, Since the rebellion, the Ethno-Caceristas have
largely disappeared from public view.

4. (C) SUTEP's Lopez said the Frente Amplio would have
preferred to cement an electoral alliance with Congressman
Javier Diaz Canseco and his Decentralized Democratic Party
(PDD), but Diaz Canseco, in Lopez' words, "wants to ally with
Paniagua" as part of a leftist/centrist front. Consequently,
the Frente Amplio shifted its gaze to Ollanta Humala, hoping
that Ollanta's ultra-nationalism will help them surmount
their image as discredited old-line leftists. With Ollanta
as their front man, Lopez continued, the Frente Amplio could
score between 10 and 15 percent of the vote and thereby gain
a base in the next Congress.

------------------------------
NEW MAGAZINE PUSHES NEW FRIEND
------------------------------

5. (U) Other evidence corroborates the far left's courtship
of Ollanta Humala. "Wankar" is an increasingly slick monthly
magazine that first came out in July, apparently timed to
coincide with Hugo Chavez visit to Lima. The publication
sports leading Marxists on its masthead (Ref A). Wankar's
second issue featured a long article on Ollanta Humala,
quoting from Humala's comments to the Frente Amplio's
National Directorate. "Wankar" commented that it was
publishing the excerpts to show the "national vision" of "a
noteworthy political leader," whose "eventual alliance with
democratic forces (i.e., the Frente Amplio) that are headed
in the same direction (as he is)."

6. (U) According to the article, Ollanta lamented the
foreign takeover of the Peruvian economy, stressed the
weakness of Peru,s armed forces (which, he said, had the
lowest budget in eighty years), and warned that Chile and the
U.S. were "historic partners" while, in contrast, Peru and
the U.S. (during the Velasco era) had experienced "periods of
confrontation." Ollanta upheld production of coca leaf and
said that Peru should pursue a solution to its foreign debt
along the style of President Kirchner of Argentina.

7. (C) CGTP Secretary General Juan Jose Gorritti signaled
the direction for the Frente Amplio in a conversation with
Poloff on 9/13. Gorritti said that the Frente would take up
"national defense" issues like port privatization, stressing
the risk that Chilean investors might seize control of Peru's
docks and loading areas. SUTEP's Nilver Lopez put the point
even more bluntly. When questioned about some of the
non-leftist elements in the Humala family's Ethno-Cacerista
ideology, Lopez replied that the hard left needed to use
nationalism if it was to successfully project its social
justice message. Lopez told Poloff that even with Ollanta at
the top of the ticket, people who understand "the class
struggle" would run the campaign. In the end, the
ideological differences didn't matter to Lopez, since the
Marxists' goal in 2006 is not/not to win the presidency, but
rather to score 10-15 percent of the vote and place a sizable
bloc of their members in Congress.

8. (U) Recent developments indicate that Ollanta Humala and
the far left are both closing on one another and positioning
for advantage. Rolando Brena, far left presidential
candidate from the 2000 elections and member of both Patria
Roja and the Frente Amplio, said on 9/19 that the Frente was
negotiating with Humala. On 9/20, Ollanta Humala stated that
he was not interested in leading the Frente Amplio, but in
forming his own movement, the National Front for the
Salvation of the Republic (FNSR), and that this group would
welcome the participation of the far left as well as elements
from across the political spectrum.

---------------------------
A CHAVEZ/CASTRO CONNECTION?
---------------------------

9. (C) The marriage between the old left and the pro-coca
nationalist right is being encouraged by outsiders.
Presidential advisor Juan de la Puente told Polcouns on 8/8
that the GOP intelligence indicates that Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro are pushing
Humala and Peru's far-left parties together. De la Puente
stated that Peruvian Communist Party - Patria Roja Secretary
General Alberto Moreno admitted as much in a recent
conversation the two had. De la Puente added that other
elements indicated this new dynamic. He noted that the
far-left and Humala have celebrated Bolivarian events
together in Lima, that Humala's movement has likely received
funding from Chavez, and that, for the first time in anyone's
memory, the far-left's previous standard-bearer, Javier Diez
Canseco, was not/not invited to Cuba this year while the rest
of the far-left leadership was.

10. XXXXXXXXXXXX

11. (C) When Poloff asked CGTP General Secretary Gorritti
about possible Chavez financial support for "Wankar," the
latter hesitated pointedly before denying any such
assistance. When Poloff asked SUTEP's Lopez about Venezuelan
monetary support for the Frente Amplio, the union official
replied matter-of-factly, "We haven't gotten any help so far,
but we are looking for it."

12. (C) While they may deny receiving financial assistance
from Chavez, the Frente Amplio's members openly admit that
the self-proclaimed Bolivarian leader inspires them.
Gorritti, a member of the formerly pro-Soviet faction of
"orthodox" Peruvian Marxists, waxed admiringly about Chavez'
unique brand of socialism, which he said was really a form of
Christianity. For Nilver Lopez and Caridad Montes, Hugo
Chavez runs "the most democratic government in the
hemisphere," an assertion they said was proven by the fact
that Chavez "has won five elections."

----------
COMMENT
----------

13. (C) Despite differences in ideological origin, an
alliance between Peru's traditional far-left Marxists and
Ollanta Humala's brand of Peruvian fascism makes political
sense. With the failure of the Andahuaylas revolt and the
GOP,s subsequent crackdown on the Ethno-Cacerista movement
(Ref C), Ollanta was left without a political organization
and he lacks a registered party to sponsor a presidential
bid. At the same time, the far-left, whose factionalism and
whose identification with Sendero Luminoso and the Tupac
Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) terrorist organizations
have discredited it with the mass of voters, needs a
charismatic leader with a message that can project beyond its
narrow base within the intelligentsia, public universities,
and labor movements. Given their respective needs, a little
political push by Castro and financial incentives from Chavez
should be more than enough to bring the far-left and
fascist-right together on the basis of their shared extremism
and thirst for political influence.

13. (C) An August nationwide poll by the respected Apoyo
consultancy showed Ollanta Humala placing fourth in a
presidential race, with seven percent of the vote and over 10
percent in the southern coast and highlands. Given adequate
funding and strong organizational support from the far-left
parties, unions and NGOs, we would not be surprised if an
Ollanta candidacy could achieve 15-20 percent of the vote and
a comparable percentage of congressional seats in the April
2006 elections. END COMMENT.
POWERS

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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