Peru is in trouble, and Biden is silent. Time to speak, or let election fraud allegations linger unanswered, and watch America’s longtime ally, free, safe, democratic Peru – go Communist. This is not a close call. Having spent years visiting Peru, working to protect democracy, the rule of law, and public safety there, we are watching a tragedy unfold – and Biden is silent. Why?
Sometimes history happens fast, and we look back wondering – why did we not see this? Peru right now is such a case. We can weigh in, push for an international election audit, take account of voter fraud allegations, preserve that democratic country – or lose them to the community of democratic nations, perhaps a thousand years of darkness.
Time to speak.
On July 6, election results from Peru’s June 15 presidential election were thrown into doubt. Honest Peruvians flooded the streets of Lima to ask honesty, a serious recount of presidential election results. You might think this is novel since we experienced major doubt in 2020, but the world is awash with election fraud. As Assistant Secretary of State, I saw it globally.
Now, Peru – for thirty years safe, secure, democratic, respectful of law and order – is facing a potential Marxist or Communist takeover. A candidate much like Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and even closer to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, is clamoring for power. Behind throughout the election cycle, he suddenly outflanked the daughter of a former president to claim victory.
Much of Peru is in shock.
In past years, I was all over the nation. I feel deeply for the people. This is a nation that experienced unthinkable terrorism – through the “Shining Path” – ten years before our 9-11. They beat it, and beat runaway crime and drug trafficking, now face it again.
Only this time, the sudden winning candidate aims to champion Marxism, promote cocaine trafficking, kick the DEA and others out of the country, empower lawlessness. Too often, the image of Robin Hood is used to champion communism and lawlessness, which kills. Peru is on the cusp.
If America speaks up – if election integrity is insisted upon, there is hope. But sand grows small in the hourglass. And as the Peruvian people ask help – as the Cubans ask our moral support – Biden and his team stand flatfooted, not hearing the alarm, or not caring, or worse complicit.
Against all odds and confounding free Peruvian expectations, Marxist Pedro Castillo topped his opponent, female Keiko Fujimori, by roughly 44,000 votes in a country of 32.5 million. Think about that and the largely unmonitored rural districts which reported the surprise victory.
Right now, electoral challenges and lawsuits abound, protests roll, and Peru is on fire, but how long will that last, will justice be done or only lip-synced for the world? Many believe tens of thousands of ballots are unqualified and should be tossed, but modern talk gives election review a bad name. Where will it end?
At the end of July, a Peruvian election commission will rule on an audit, faster than happened in the US in 2020, but the outcome remains unclear – not just for ballot counting, but due to politics. The Marxist candidate promises to shut down Peru’s Supreme Court, open drug legalization and trafficking, raise everyone’s pay, reshape the Constitution. Sound vaguely familiar? In the streets, fear runs rampant.
So why does it matter, and what can we do? It matters because, with Colombia, and other countries of South America, Peru is an American ally. It matters because a flood of cocaine would come north – where do you think? In my time as Assistant Secretary of State, we worked with Peru to kill terrorism and instill rule of law, peace, democratic norms.
This would flip the table, might flip tables to Marxism beyond Peru.
How do we stop it? We speak up for freedom, liberty, election integrity, rule of law, and everything that Republicans and Democrats – Americans of every stripe – have long stood for. We explain that Marxism, communism, and socialism are dead-end streets, invariably ending in death and repression and that turning away from election integrity is the first step.
So, will Biden save Peru – or lose it. Will he step up, speak up, stand for freedom, liberty, election integrity, rule of law, and human rights – or look the other way? We will see.
Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize author and critic of Latin American strongmen on left and right, has a warning: If the Marxist is allowed to win, “we probably will not have free elections again.” If that is not sobering, shouting for Biden’s voice – nothing is.