"No more poor people in a rich country"

Episode 25 Sneak Peak

In a recent piece for Common Dreams, Medea Benjamin and Leonardo Flores set the stage for the recent Peruvian election between leftist union leader Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, the far-right daughter of the former dictator.

Peru's Pedro Castillo has been traveling the country exhorting voters to get behind a call that has been particularly urgent during this devastating pandemic: "No más pobres en un país rico"—No more poor people in a rich country. […] It appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating—by less than one percent—powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country's political "Fujimori dynasty."

You’ll learn little about this dynasty from mainstream U.S. coverage of the election. Keiko’s father, former president Fujimori, is in jail on a 25-year sentence for corruption and 25 killings. Fujimori’s brutal regime is responsible for the forced sterilization of 270,000 women and 22,000 men. Meanwhile, Castillo’s background as a labor leader presents an opportunity for the nation to decisively reject Fujimorismo — and toward a rich country where nobody is poor. Speaking to Kawsachun News, Evo Morales put the value of a Castillo presidency in context, both for Peru’s social movements and, more broadly, for the anti-imperialist left.

The votes are in, and though Fujimori disputes the result, Castillo holds the lead. Meanwhile, multiple news sources report that the tycoons of the copper industry, for which Castillo has proposed nationalization, are rattled by the election results. If that’s not a sound endorsement of Castillo over Fujimori, we don’t know what is.

Join us for a lively discussion on leftist history with David and Margaret Talbot this Friday. Margaret Talbot is a New Yorker staff writer, and David Talbot is the founder of Salon.com; together, they’ve written the historical series “Pulp History.” We hope you’ll join us for the video conversation as a paid subscriber! Audio will be available on Saturday. Thanks for tuning in!