Wikileaks. Cable 45214

ID: 45214
Date: 2005-11-15 18:54:00
Origin: 05LIMA4854
Source: Embassy Lima
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 05LIMA4132
Destination: 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 004854

SIPDIS

WHA/AND FOR JOAQUIN MONSERRATE
WHA FOR BRUCE FRIEDMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2015
TAGS: PINR, PREL, PGOV, PE
SUBJECT: HUMALA FEINTS TO THE CENTER, BUT CONTINUES TO
FLIRT WITH THE FAR LEFT

REF: A. LIMA 4132

B. LIMA 4968 (03)

Classified By: Polcouns Alexander Margulies. Reason: 1.4(b/d).

——–
Summary:
——–

1. (C) Peruvian ultra-nationalist and Chavez admirer Ollanta
Humala has recently made efforts to position himself — at
least rhetorically — closer to the political center. Over
the last month, he has publicly rejected the New Years Eve
2004 rebellion his brother, Antauro Humala, led in
Andahuaylas; distanced himself from Chavez-style
confrontation with the United States; and forsworn his
family’s “Ethno-Cacerista” political identity (Ref B).
Despite the recent moderate pose, Ollanta still speaks highly
of Chavez, is discussing an electoral alliance with far left
parties, opposes opening up Peru’s ports to foreign
investment, favors the “industrialization” of the coca leaf,
and has pledged to review contracts with foreign oil
companies if elected President. Ollanta is skilled at
putting a moderate-seeming face on basically radical,
pro-cocalero positions. A recent national poll put him in
fourth place for President with 11 percent of the electorate.
End Summary.

——————————–
My Brother’s Rebellion, Not Mine
——————————–

2. (U) Ollanta has accused the press of trying “to mix my
brother’s violent discourse with my own.” He recently
publicly rejected his brother’s abortive rebellion in
Andahuaylas last New Year’s, an event that left four
policemen dead and Antauro Humala and large numbers of his
followers in jail. Ollanta contrasted the Andahuaylas putsch
with his own uprising against Fujimori in October 2000,
stating that he acted “in defense of the Republic’s
constitutional order” with the support of the people. On
various occasions, Ollanta has stated that while he loves his
brother and his family (who are supporting Antauro), in
politics “everyone has their own road.” Ollanta says that
there is no need to resort to violence because “Hugo Chavez’
government demonstrates that revolutionary changes can be
made through democracy.” Ollanta has rejected accusations
that he plans to support a possible Congressional campaign by
his brother so the latter, if elected, could obtain
legislative immunity. Recently, he told a television
audience that he “had never said he would have corrupt
politicians shot,” an explicit threat his brother Antauro
repeatedly made in public statements.

———————————————
Taking Distance from Chavez’ Anti-Americanism
———————————————

3. (C) While Humala cites Chavez as a democratic example, he
has been careful to stake out a certain distance from the
Venezuelan President. He repeatedly stated in a recent
interview that he has never met Chavez and does not know him
personally. (Comment: We understand that Ollanta met Chavez
last July in Lima. End Comment.) Asked if a future Ollanta
Humala government in Peru would follow Chavez’ lead, Ollanta
replied that Peru follows “distinct dynamics.” Venezuela, he
said, was the fourth largest oil-producing country in the
world, “but it has problems with the United States. I don’t
think Peru has any reason to enter into this political
collision (between Washington and Caracas).”

———————————
Breaking with the Family Ideology
———————————

4. (U) Ollanta says that he is not an Ethnocacerista, a
follower of the radical, nativist, quasi-racist, pro-coca,
anti-U.S., anti-Chilean ideology created by his father and
propagated by his brother, Antauro, for the last several
years in a newspaper named after Ollanta himself (Ref B).
Ollanta claims that his own Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP)
is separate and distinct from the remaining Ethnocaceristas.
Ollanta also says he now rejects positions taken in the
Ethnocacerista newspaper “Ollanta” that he said made excuses
for Sendero Luminoso. He characterized those viewpoints as
“crazy.” (Note: The newspaper “Ollanta” has not appeared on
Peru’s streets for about a year. It disappeared from view
several months before Antauro Humala’s abortive Andahuaylas
rebellion. End Note.)

5. (U) Ollanta claims that his party represents “the
nationalism of the French under occupation (during World War
II).” (Note: The Ethnocacerista newspaper “Ollanta”
frequently protested that Peru was a colony of the U.S. End
Note.) While Ollanta himself concedes that Peru needs
foreign investment to develop, he opposes port privatization
and calls for renegotiating contracts with foreign companies.
In a recent interview, he alleged that foreign oil companies
buy Peruvian crude oil for USD 8/barrel and sell the same oil
back to Peru at international market prices. He calls for
the industrialization of coca and protectionism for
agriculture.

6. (C) Ollanta Humala’s alleged break with his brother was
questioned by the Lima daily “La Republica,” which reported
on 6/11 that Ollanta had purchased an electoral kit from the
official elections registry (ONPE) with the intention of
registering the Ethno-Cacerista Party in August of this year.
The previous April, he had purchased a similar kit for his
Peruvian Nationalist Party.

——————————–
The Hard Left Still His Best Bet
——————————–

7. (C) The hard left communists have been longing to run
behind Ollanta Humala, given the latter’s strong showing in
national polls, where he places fourth (Ref B). While Humala
has toned down his rhetoric, his party is discussing an
alliance with the New Left Movement (MNI), and on 11/5 the
MNI voted to accept a PNP proposal to form an electoral
alliance called The Front for National Salvation (FSN). The
details, however, still have to be worked out, with Humala
saying that he would accept an alliance if the leftist
parties stress their nationalist values rather than their
Marxist ideology. (Note: Humala was not in Lima when the MNI
voted. Instead, his party’s Secretary General, Francisco
Rojas, delivered the proposal for an alliance. End Note.)

8. (C) Members of the socialist camp are also holding the
door open to Ollanta. Peru Socialist Party (PSP, formerly
the Democratic Decentralized Party-PDD) leader Javier Diaz
Canseco told the press that his group “could talk with
Ollanta Humala” on 11/3. Other leftist parties have said the
same, although former Women’s Affairs Minister Susana
Villaran has rejected allying her social democratic party
with Ollanta.

9. (U) Ollanta submitted a request to register his party to
the National Electoral Council (JNE) on 11/14 along with
three boxes of signatures. (He needs 130,000 valid
signatures to register his PNP.) Should Humala succeed in
registering the PNP, this could influence his negotiations
with the left.

——–
Comment:
——–

10. (C) Ollanta is offering a Chavez-like slick package for
a discontented electorate, staying deliberately vague about
plans and proposals and adopting a moderate tone, even when
promoting positions that are basically cocalero and statist.
In an 11/13 appearance on Channel 5′s “Electoral Pulse”
program, Ollanta appeared in suit and tie. During the
program, he called for a new constitution, the revision of
foreign contracts, state control over major resources and the
“patenting” of the coca leaf to protect the livelihood of the
“two hundred and fifty thousand families” who live off this
product. When pressed for details on his plans for reform,
Ollanta demurred, saying that both his party and his
candidacy were young, and would define the details over time.
He averred that his only “radicalism” was in wanting a state
that would respond to citizens’ needs. Ollanta wrapped
himself in the cause of poor farmers who, he said, were
compelled to carry out agricultural strikes due to impossible
economic conditions and state institutions that did nothing
to alleviate the farmers’ plight.
11. (C) There are indications that Ollanta’s style and
message could gain some traction. A recent national poll by
the Apoyo consultancy, reported in Lima daily “El Comercio”
on 11/13, shows Ollanta’s support rising from 8 to 11 percent
from October to November. (Ollanta stood at 5 percent in an
April survey by Apoyo.) Regionally, Ollanta’s support is
concentrated in the south and the southern altiplano. The
regional concentration indicates that even if he does not win
nationally, Ollanta could remain a troublesome thorn in the
side of a new government as an advocate for cocaleros and
small farmers.

12. (C) As the smaller parties scramble to join electoral
alliances in advance of the April 2006 general election,
Ollanta hovers as a beacon, a wild card “outsider” candidate
whose charisma tempts fascists and Marxists alike. Should
the left, socialist and communist, unite behind Ollanta — in
combination with cocaleros and small farmers — he would
become an even more formidable electoral presence. Post will
continue to monitor Ollanta’s political courtships as they
develop during this wedding season of pre-electoral
alliance-making.
STRUBLE

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

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