Peru’s recent impeachment of President Pedro Castillo presents an opportunity for the United States to restore its geopolitical and economic ties with one of its most important allies in Latin America. Peru has enjoyed an impressive track record of economic growth based on free-market reforms and an especially close relationship with the United States

However, Castillo’s election posed a threat to that relationship, as his Marxist-leaning ideology threatened the economy, while his foreign policy marked a major shift toward anti-American interests.

“Castillo posed an institutional threat on a completely different scale,” Daniel Raisbeck, a Latin American political analyst at the Cato Institute, told Fox News Digital. “To begin with, his party’s program for the 2021 election included numerous measures that explicitly sought to violate the constitution’s unequivocal safeguards for private property, which he declares ‘inviolable.'”

Observers say Castillo’s impeachment by Peru’s Congress this week sent a crushing message to the Latin American left that attempts to play fast and loose with the rules will be met with a stern institutional response.

PERU PRESIDENT BOOTS IN ATTEMPT TO DISSOLVE CONGRESS, SWORN NEW LEADER

Former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was impeached by the country’s Congress on Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Martin Mejia, Files)

Threatening to shut down Congress, rule by decree and rewrite the Constitution, Castillo emulated his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, who used similar maneuvers to effectively sideline the National Assembly, and then used a hand-picked constituent assembly to approve a new Constitution, granting him almost absolute power. The Peruvian people and their institutions have sent a sensational message demanding respect for the rule of law and adherence to the constitutional order.

Castillo came from Peru Libre, an openly Marxist political party, and was inspired by leaders such as Fidel Castro and Vladimir Lenin. To say business leaders and investors were concerned about the prospect of a Castillo mandate would be an understatement.

Raisbeck said Castillo was a clear and present danger to the Peruvian economy. “The constitution also guarantees free enterprise, foreign investment and freedom of the press. Castillo’s platform, on the other hand, established an agenda to nationalize mining and other major industries, expropriate land, and get rid of the system successful private pension of Peru”, He explained.

As Peru’s Congress proceeded on Wednesday with a third impeachment attempt, Castillo took to national television to announce its dissolution, pledging to convene a new constitutional assembly and temporarily rule by decree in a move that emulates his Venezuelan counterpart Maduro.

However, Castillo appeared to have miscalculated his levels of institutional support, and his surprise announcement prompted massive resignations by his cabinet and a stern appeal by the Attorney General to uphold the constitutional order.

PRESIDENT OF PERU DISSOLVES CONGRESS BEFORE THIRD TRIAL OF REMOVAL

Dina Boluarte, right, greets members of Peru's Congress after being sworn in as the new president hours after former President Pedro Castillo was impeached on Wednesday.

Dina Boluarte, right, greets members of Peru’s Congress after being sworn in as the new president hours after former President Pedro Castillo was impeached on Wednesday.
(CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Finally, in quick succession, his own vice president, Dina Boluarte, publicly condemned Castillo’s actions:

“I reject Pedro Castillo’s decision to perpetrate a rupture in the constitutional order by closing down Congress. This represents a coup d’état and aggravates the institutional political crisis that Peruvian society can only overcome by strictly abiding by the law.”

Peru has enjoyed an impressive track record of economic growth based on free market oriented reforms. However, the election of the far-left Castillo followed a regional trend, as the Latin American left has enjoyed a powerful resurgence in recent years, winning the vast majority of major elections, albeit often by narrow margins, racking up major victories in Mexico , Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

After Lula da Silva’s narrow victory in Brazil’s presidential election in October, Argentine Congressman Javier Milei, a frequent critic of the region’s left, tweeted a meme that considered Latin America to be the USSR – the “Union of the South American socialist republics”.

Castillo’s desperate attempt to hang on to power echoes similar tactics previously employed by Latin American despots: attempting to shut down opposition bodies, rule by decree, and call for new “constituent assemblies” to rewrite the Constitution in their favour.

Castillo’s short tenure as president was marked by numerous corruption investigations with allegations of bribery and self-treatment. More serious allegations have now emerged against him and close allies allege ties to the Shining Path, a Marxist guerrilla group based in southern Peru that once controlled large swathes of the country.

COLOMBIA ELECTS FORMER REBEL GUSTAVO PETRO TO BECOME THE COUNTRY’S FIRST LEFT-WING PRESIDENT

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently said former Peru's President Pedro Castillo told him he was seeking asylum in Mexico.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently said former Peru’s President Pedro Castillo told him he was seeking asylum in Mexico.
(REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photos)

Castillo was arrested late Wednesday afternoon in Lima, on charges of rebellion and violation of the constitutional order. Its current whereabouts remain unclear. Mexico’s foreign minister recently announced that they are considering an offer of asylum to the former president.

Rossy Saavedra Medina, who lives in the Lima neighborhood of Magdalena del Mar, has called on the new president to focus on the economy. “The economy needs to get back to normal now … in recent months, it’s been the poor who have suffered the most,” she told Fox News Digital.

Juan Antonio Castro, a retired math professor and dual US-Peruvian citizen, told Fox News Digital that Castillo “seemed to be a corrupt individual looking to enrich himself and his family…Why do people vote for these candidates? It’s the same thing we’ve seen happening in Venezuela”.

Protesters had gathered at various points in Lima to protest Castillo’s arrest. Some of the protests sometimes turned violent when they clashed with police outside the Congress building.

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Interim president Boluarte, originally from the southern region of Apurimac, is seen by observers as something of a blank slate, and it is unclear how she intends to govern. While she was elected on Castillo’s Peru Libre Party ticket, which she espouses of Marxist origins, she was later expelled from the organization by party bosses when she stated that she did not intend to adhere to party doctrine.

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