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Appointment Of A Marxist Prime Minister Sparks Controversy In Peru

“Our cabinet belongs to the people, it is due to the people and it goes to them. We will not disappoint their trust,” said the new Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo , on Thursday night. The rural teacher responded in this way to the disappointment caused in some sectors by the appointment of Guido Bellido as Prime Minister.

The presence of a member of the “hard wing” of Peru Libre, the left-wing party that came to power, seems to bring Castillo many more costs than political benefits. Bellido is being investigated for the alleged crime of apology for terrorism .

The “new man”, he came to assure on social networks, cannot be a ” fag “. But it is not just his avowed homophobia or the lightness with which he has spoken about the dramatic experience of Shining Path in the 80s, which causes discomfort. Bellido is the symptom of a major storm whose roar was heard just a few hours after Castillo assumed the leadership of the State .

The daily La República estimated that the election of the new Prime Minister has been “a low blow for those who, from progressive, anti-Fujimorista positions and from the political center, gave support to Castillo in the second round.” Such a designation “is undoubtedly a breach of the basic commitment to keep the country away from any extremist threat.”

The newspaper El Comercio , a centennial reference of the Lima elite, did not deprive itself of its criticism. The president, he said, has given a terrible signal. “It could be described as a mean and irresponsible provocation .” Bellido is, for El Comercio, an instrument of Vladimir Cerrón, the main leader of Peru Libre, who for weeks has become a kind of mysterious populist demon.

The prominent jurist Julio Arbizu, who came out in Castillo’s defense when Keiko Fujimori had denounced, without evidence, the existence of electoral fraud, had something to say about it. “First serious mistake of the Government, appointing as premier a person who, instead of affirming alliances and consensuses achieved, scares them.”

The economist Pedro Francke , who during the uncertain weeks of endless scrutiny tried to function as a link between Castillo and the markets , left the scene with similar sensations. The Lima media maintain that the appointment of Bellido caused him astonishment. Castillo had to convince him to take over as economy minister. At least his presence generated a breath of certainty.

The background controversy
The sociologist Héctor Béja r has been in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. His past is also the subject of controversy. Béjar traveled to Cuba in 1962. There he met Ernesto Che Guevara .

He returned from the island to participate in the National Liberation Army, the guerrilla that operated in the sixties and of which the poet Javier Heraud was part. In turn, he was part of the Government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado, a decade later.

The early malaise with Castillo also has another background. The inaugural speech before Congress included numerous promises of social reparation that put in check the neoliberal model that was launched during the Alberto Fujimori era and that his successors hardly made up. The president announced increases in salaries and budgets for Health, Culture and Education.

“He did not say a single word about how the resources required to finance all those expenses will be generated. Parliament must now act cunningly, like someone starting a fundamental game of political chess. President Castillo has not understood that his has not been a comfortable victory and that he has more doubts than certainties, ”said the newspaper Gestión.

Political analyst César Hildebrant believes Castillo has been quick to “play with fire.” Its subordination to the demands of Peru Libre generates the first conditions for its destabilization. “The right now does not stop enjoying.” Keiko Fujimori has already proclaimed that his party will be “a firm retaining wall against its latent threat of a new communist Constitution and structural changes in the foundations of our development.”

Cultural turn
The controversy related to Guido Bellido, detracted from other decisions adopted by Pedro Castillo, among them creating a ministry of ” Cultures ” that responds to the millenary diversity of Peru, and making it work in the current headquarters of the Executive Power, the Pizarro Palace. , described by the new president a symbol of colonialism .

To undertake this turnaround, Castillo appointed Ciro Gálvez as the holder of the new portfolio , a poet, writer and singer-songwriter who privileges his voice in Quechua, the language spoken in the Inca empire, whose influence is felt in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

A farmer during his childhood, a dishwasher in a Lima restaurant in the early seventies, while studying law, Gálvez, 71, is practically unknown to the cultural world of the capital. He has lived for 40 years in Huancayo, about 300 kilometers southwest of Lima.

“It is generally thought that a person of Andean origin, Quechua, from a community is not trained, but that is not the case, we native Peruvians also have brains, we have intelligence .” Gálvez ran in the first presidential round, but the electorate completely turned their back on him.

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