Jan 112023

The Communist Party of Canada demands the immediate release of the democratically elected President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, as well as an end to the military and police repression against the forces of progress. Since December 7, the popular masses have risen up against a palace coup that forced his removal from office and his arrest. This uprising has gained remarkable momentum among all the popular forces, combining general strikes, demonstrations and even the occupation of the airport in Arequipa, the country’s second city. 

We salute this growing militancy while the repression is becoming more and more visible, with more than 40 dead, 500 injured and more than a hundred prisoners. We also condemn Canada’s complicit silence in the face of such a coup d’état (though internationally condemned), obviously orchestrated by the local oligarchy supported by US and North American imperialism. We also stand in solidarity with the demand for a Constituent Assembly for Peru and join our voices to those who reject the manoeuvres of Vice-President Boluarte whose avowed aim is to rehabilitate the Peruvian continental right. 

Since his election in July 2021, the entire Peruvian state apparatus has been set in motion to prevent President Castillo from governing, even going so far as to initiate three impeachment attempts against him. 

However, he was quick to give guarantees not to the popular masses, but to the country’s comprador oligarchs. Castillo has indeed multiplied his attempts to collaborate with neoliberalism and imperialism. The number of US bases on Peruvian territory has increased from 7 to 10. Similarly, he did not hesitate to sack his foreign minister after the latter announced his country’s withdrawal from the Lima Group, not to mention the privileged links forged between his country and Israel. 

However, he did not fail to propose a social programme that could have attacked the economic base of the local oligarchy in the pay of North American imperialism. However timid, this ambiguous stance is too dangerous for the interests of those who seek to keep the country underdevelopment and the tutelage of US imperialism. This is all the more the case given the resurgence of popular movements in the region that are finding some political resonance – not without obvious contradictions – with Petro in Colombia, Boric in Chile and AMLO in Mexico. 

For North American imperialism, this is too much, especially in a context marked by its obvious decline and when these movements win over countries that have historically been allies. It cannot allow any derogation from its domination of the whole continent and does not hesitate to resort to the old coup tactics that the workers and popular masses of Latin America know only too well. 

Clearly, the danger today is that Peru will sink into a dictatorship in the pay of Washington. Thus, demanding Castillo’s release goes beyond defending his record. It is in fact about defending national sovereignty and democracy in Latin America in a context where the class struggle in the region is becoming more acute. For North American imperialism, it is a question of preventing, at all costs, a repeat of the 2000s, when the majority of Latin American countries engaged in a progressive anti-imperialist process.

In this context, we call on the democratic and trade union movements to take action and show solidarity with the struggle of the Peruvian people against a common enemy that, here as in the south of the continent, is attacking the indigenous peoples, the workers and the popular masses. 

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada