The Past is Prolonged: The Fujimori Story and The Nation of the Future

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FHC and AKF: In the Nation of the Future, bringing up the past
.

Unger said Lula had “inner greatness and a concern for the future.” In Unger’s view, the future speaks louder than memory does. –See The Apotheosis of Mangabeira Unger

After the [May 1999] election, the OAS and the United States tried to impose sanctions on the Peruvian government. Fujimori opponents, who wanted the sanctions, accused Brazil of having blocked the proposal at the OAS.

La República reports: “Former Fujimori cabinet ministers to be sentenced in coup.”

Se les acusa de apoyar ruptura de orden constitucional. Serían condenados a 18 años de prisión.

Accused of supporting the tearing up of the Constitution. Could be sentenced to 18 years.

Diez ex ministros fujimoristas conocerán hoy su suerte ante la justicia en ocasión del proceso que se les sigue por el autogolpe del 5 de abril de 1992, liderado por el ex dictador Alberto Fujimori.

Ten former cabinet ministers of ex-president Alberto Fujimori will learn their fate from the court today in their trial over the coup d’etat of Abril 5, 1992, led by former dictator Alberto Fujimori.

Al respecto, la Sala Penal Especial de la Corte Suprema programó para esta mañana la lectura de sentencia contra Jaime Yoshiyama Tanaka, Carlos Boloña Behr, Absalón Vásquez, Juan Briones Dávila, Víctor Joy Way, Óscar de la Puente Raygada, Jaime Sobero Taira, Alfredo Ross Antezana, Víctor Paredes Guerra y Augusto Antonioli Vásquez.

The Special Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court has scheduled sentencing this morning for Jaime Yoshiyama Tanaka, Carlos Boloña Behr, Absalón Vásquez, Juan Briones Dávila, Víctor Joy Way, Óscar de la Puente Raygada, Jaime Sobero Taira, Alfredo Ross Antezana, Víctor Paredes Guerra and Augusto Antonioli Vásquez.

Todos ellos han sido acusados del delito de rebelión y podrían ser condenados de 12 a 18 años de prisión por supuestamente haber apoyado al entonces presidente Alberto Fujimori a quebrar el orden constitucional.

All are accused of rebellion and could be sentenced to 12 to 18 years in prison for allegedly supporting the then-president’s violation of the constitutional order.

En esa fecha, mediante un recordable polémico Mensaje a la Nación, el extraditado disolvió el Congreso, cerró el Poder Judicial, persiguió a los opositores, controló los medios de comunicación, etc.

On this date, through his memorable and controversial Message to the Nation, the extradited ex-president dissolved Congress, closed the judiciary, persecuted the opposition, controlled the news media, and so on.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, a bit of history is being rehashed in the same case because former president Cardoso has been called as a witness by Fujimori’s defense.

The Jornal do Comercio reproduces a column Paulo Henrique “I H8 the PSDB!” Amorim about a reported backstage moment during an interview President Lula had with Miriam Leitão of O Globo recently.

An excerpt to give you the flavor of the issue.

Disse o Presidente Lula: “Não quero que publiquem isto, é apenas uma informação: quem defendeu terceiro mandato foi Fernando Henrique Cardoso, que defendeu o terceiro mandato do Fujimori (ex-presidente do Peru). Ou vocês se esquecem que publicaram isso ?”

The president said [to O Globo‘s Leitão & Co.]: “I do not want you to publish this, it is just for your information: It was Cardoso who defended the idea of a third term, who defended the third term of Fujimori. Or have you forgotten that you reported that story?”

The looming threat of a third term for Lula — to go along with a third term for Chávez and a third term for Uribe — is a loud talking point here that apparently has no substance to it whatsover.

See

Diagnosis: 99% noise.

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“Third term: Why Lula does not have this right.” The teaser reads: “The president publicly denies a desire to remain in power for four more years, but does nothing to deter allies who want to amend the constitution to allow it.”

Contemporary newsflow: “Re-Election Fervor Seizes Latin Leaders — New ‘Dynasties’ Could Undermine Democratic Reforms,” By Matt Moffett, Wall Street Journal Eastern edition, 1996-08-28

Reports on re-election activities of Latin American leaders. Negative reactions to Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori’s bid for a third term in the year 2000; Argentine president Carlos Saul Menem’s encouragement of proposals that could enable him to serve a third term; Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s engineering of a constitutional change that would give him a second term.

Both Menem and Cardoso presided over economic chaos during their extra innings. Only Menem was indicted for running guns to Ecuador and Croatia.

At around the same time, I think I remember, Cardoso had brokered an end to a border war between Peru and Ecuador — the MOMEP initiative (1995-1999). I am reading a thesis by Leandro de Oliveira Gastri on the subject.

The negotiations referred to took place at the OAS Quebec City Summit of 2001, I think. I could be wrong. Checking.

Brazil reportedly later withdrew the decoration awarded Fujimori. Checking.

Na edição que está nas bancas, a revista Carta Capital, numa reportagem de Leandro Fortes (“Eterno factóide”), diz: “O ex-presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso, além de ter sido beneficiado com a manobra da reeleição, colocada em prática via mudança da Constituição, foi um dos avalistas internacionais do terceiro mandato de Alberto Fujimori, do Peru. Tanto, e de tal forma, que Fujimori, atualmente às vésperas de ser julgado por crime de corrupção, tráfico de armas e genocídio pela Justiça peruana, arrolou FHC como testemunha. “

In the edition now on newsstands, CartaCapital magazine, in a report by Leandro Fortes (“The Eternal Factoid”), says: “Former president Cardoso, besides having benefited from [a constitutional amendment permitting his reelection], was one of the international supporters of a third term for Fujimori in Peru. So much so, and in such a way, that Fujimori, on the eve of his corruption, arms trafficking and genocide trial in a Peruvian court, enlisted Cardoso as a witness.”

BBC Brasil, October 25, 2000:

O escritor Mario Vargas Llosa acusou o governo brasileiro de ser um “cúmplice descarado da ditadura peruana” comandada, segundo ele, pelo presidente Alberto Fujimori.

Writer Mario Vargas Llosa accused the Brazilian goverment of being “an open accomplice of the Peruvian dictatorship,” commanded, according to Vargas Llosa, by President Fujimori.

“O governo democrático do senhor Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a quem eu respeitava muito como intelectual e como democrata, foi um cúmplice descarado da ditadura peruana,” afirmou Vargas Llosa em entrevista exclusiva concedida à BBC.

“The democratic government of Cardoso, whom I once respected greatly as an intellectual and a democrat, was an open accomplice of the dictatorship,” he said in an interview to BBC.

Vargas Llosa disputou a eleição presidencial peruana em 1990, vencida por Fujimori.

Vargas Llosa was a candidate for president of Peru in 1990, an election won by Fujimori.

Desde então, ele passou a criticar duramente o governo de seu país. Segundo ele, Fujimori é um “ditador” que usou os serviços secretos peruanos – comandados até recentemente por Vladimiro Montesinos – para se manter no poder.

Since then, he has gone on to criticize the Peruvian government harshly. According to Vargas Llosa, Fujimori is a “dictator” who uses the Peruvian secret services — commanded until recently by Vladimiro Montesinos — to maintain his hold on power.

“Sancionar a ditadura”

“Seal of approval for the dicatorship”

O escritor criticou duramente o governo brasileiro durante sua entrevista à BBC.

The writer had hard words for the Brazilian government during his BBC interview.

Segundo ele, o Brasil trabalhou junto com oficiais do governo peruano para “sancionar a ditadura e a fraude eleitoral” durante as eleições presidenciais de maio deste ano.

According to him, Brazil worked with Peruvian government officials to “give the dictatorship and election fraud its seal of approval” during the presidential elections in May of last year.

“Espero que Fernando Henrique Cardoso um dia explique isso.”

“I hope Cardoso will explain this one day.”

Fujimori venceu a disputa para permanecer no cargo por um terceiro mandato. Mas a oposição peruana e a Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA) não aceitaram o resultado da votação, afirmando que houve fraude.

Fujimori won the election for a third term, but the Peruvian opposition and the Organization of American States did not accept the result, stating that fraud had occurred.

A OEA retirou os representantes internacionais que iriam monitorar as eleições, afirmando que não havia condições para que o voto fosse livre e democrático.

The OAS withdrew the international representatives that were to monitor the elections, saying that the conditions of a free and democratic vote were lacking.

The Russian elections upcoming will go similarly unobserved, one reads.

Logo depois da eleição, a OEA e os Estados Unidos pretendiam impor sanções contra o governo peruano. Os opositores de Fujimori, que defendiam as sanções, acusaram o Brasil de ter bloqueado a idéia junto à OEA.

After the election, the OAS and the United States tried to impose sanctions on the Peruvian government. Fujimori opponents, who wanted the sanctions, accused Brazil of having blocked the proposal at the OAS.

What happened there, anyway?

The Carter Center at the time:

Since last December, four successive observer missions, sponsored jointly by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Carter Center, have pointed to fundamental flaws in Peru’s electoral process. These included: unequal access to the media, media bias favoring the incumbent, smear campaigns against Peruvian election monitors and opposition candidates, the misuse of state resources for electoral advantage, and a climate of impunity. These serious problems were compounded by an opaque vote tabulation process that, following the April 9 polls, was plagued by irregularities and inexplicable delays. All of these factors led a large segment of the Peruvian electorate to question the credibility of the polls and those administering them.

Jimmy declined to attend the cotillion

… an election on May 28 will not meet minimum international standards for a credible, democratic election. Under current circumstances, NDI and the Carter Center will not send its fifth electoral observation mission to observe the May 28 exercise.

There is only one result for a search on “cardoso +fujimori” in Google News Brasil in the last three weeks. Including today.

Brazil does not have a great variety of news sources — Google News lists 200 (4,000+ for the United States) — and most of them carry mostly some mix of wire copy from the Big 3: Globo, Folha, and Estadão.

There must be more substance to the Cardoso-Fujimori relationship than that, though. There seems to exist a school of thought that Cardoso’s military was the tail that wagged the dog on this issue.

Searching. A quick google, as is often the case, turns up little. One has to dig — possibly even into libraries, or the memories of other human beings with first-hand knowledge.

Nothing is quite as bad as the Peruvian news media, and Brazil has experienced no massive release of Vladivideos to suggest that, say, Roberto Marinho got huge amounts of money in order to talk the government’s trash for it — there was that matter of those investments that went south after the monetary policy went in an unexpected direction — but it is hard not to recall the sentiment attributed to Roberto Civita at a moment like this:

“They think that Abril supports Cardoso’s plan of government. They have it wrong. It is not Abril who supports Cardoso. It is Cardoso who supports Abril’s plan of government.” –Roberto Civita, Grupo Abril

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