Sunday, August 14, 2011

At last, an insightful analysis on the new, quiet Ollanta Humala

For two weeks after his inauguration, Ollanta Humala kept away from public announcements, press conferences, impromptu street declarations etc and basically drove the idiot Lima chattering classes crazy. All sorts of commentaries were run on the quiet Humala, but it's taken until now to get a really top quality insightful article written in English about what's been going on (it's a cut above 99% of the things written in Spanish too, for that matter).

You want smart analysis on Peru political and social affairs? Look no further than Cynthia Sanborn, somebody who really knows what she's talking about (don't believe me? check her CV). Here's how her article starts, click through for more.

On July 28, 2011, Ollanta Humala gave his first official message to the nation, after being sworn in as President by the new Congress.  According to pundits, it did not go so well.  An initial salute to the Constitution of 1979 (replaced in  1993 under autocrat Alberto Fujimori), provoked such cheering and jeering in the chamber that those present, including most Latin American heads of state, could barely hear the speech.   The most vociferous was Dr. Martha Chavez,  leader of the fujimorista opposition, and her 47 minutes of heckling suggested an ugly portent of things to come.

During the following 15 days, President Humala took a cure of silence, avoiding the media while trying to get the new government house in order.  This  generated nonstop complaints from the local chattering classes.  Though Chavez was suspended by Congress for 120 days, she didn’t stop talking, and Fujimori siblings Keiko and Kenji also gave press conferences to question Humala´s silence and leadership skills.