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Foreign Policy

A divided Peru inaugurates a brand new president

Here is today’s foreign policy: Peru Pedro Castillo swears as the new President, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and Mexico, more humanitarian aid is being forwarded Cuba.

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Here is today’s foreign policy: Peru Pedro Castillo swears as the new President, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and Mexico, more humanitarian aid is being forwarded Cuba.

If you would like to receive the Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please register here.

Peru swears by a new president

Peru prepares for the inauguration of a new president today – the fourth in less than a year – as it draws a line under a lengthy and bitter vote count and elevates Pedro Castillo, a socialist teacher and union organizer, of relative obscurity to his highest office .

It’s fair to say no one saw this coming. Castillo, a member of the Marxist Free Peru party, achieved single-digit polls before the elections in the first ballot in April, but emerged as the surprising winner with around 19 percent of the vote and led a runoff election with Keiko Fujimori, the prisoner’s daughter, a former dictator Alberto Fujimori.

Driven by a wave of support from the rural poor, Castillo scratched past victory with 44,263 votes. Castillo’s victory was immediately challenged by Fujimori using the now familiar – but baseless – allegation of election fraud and weeks of legal challenges. Fujimori eventually accepted the decision of the Peruvian electoral authorities after exhausting their options, despite calling Castillo’s inauguration in the same breath “illegitimate” and calling on her supporters to “defend the constitution and not allow communism to destroy it for good.” to take power ”.

Despite Fujimori’s rhetoric, presidency pressures prevent something like the emergence of the Havana regime in Lima. Powerful control of Castillo’s power came on Monday when an opposition alliance took control of the Peruvian Congress. María del Carmen Alva, a centrist, was elected president of the panel with the support of Fujimori’s Popular Force party.

Left out. Castillo, perhaps conscious of his lack of institutional support, has tried to reassure his opponents of his ambitions. His eye-catching election pledges, summed up in his slogan “No more poor people in a rich country”, have been watered down since the April vote. Where he once proposed nationalizing wealthy mining and natural gas companies, he is now demanding higher taxes on their profits.

As he takes office today, Castillo will seek to break the cycle that torn his predecessors into the abyss and counter accusations that he is a Peruvian version of the other left-wing governments in the region. “I categorically reject the idea that we will bring models from other countries. We are not Chavistas, we are not communists or extremists, let alone terrorists, ”he said last Friday in front of a crowd of supporters.

COVID-19 problems. Its most urgent task is to fight the COVID-19 epidemic in Peru, which has resulted in the highest per capita death rate of any country in the world. Only 13.8 percent of the country are vaccinated and the lambda variant, which was first discovered in Peru, now accounts for 80 percent of the cases.

What we are following today

Flashing meets modes. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today, making him the third major US official to visit the country this year, after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Climate Commissioner John Kerry. According to a State Department statement, the visit will focus on a number of topics including “COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values ​​and tackling the climate crisis”. Blinken is also expected to meet with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. He will end his day in Kuwait where he will meet with senior government officials.

Mexico’s Cuba Aid. A shipment of food, oxygen and medical supplies to Cuba is expected to leave the Mexican port of Veracruz today as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador redeems his promise to provide humanitarian aid to the island following the protests earlier this month. The ship follows another support vessel that left Mexico on Tuesday and the delivery of 126,000 barrels of diesel fuel from Mexico’s state-owned Pemex earlier this week. On Monday, López Obrador urged US President Joe Biden to make “a decision” on the US embargo, as “almost all countries in the world” oppose it.

Talks between the US and Russia. The US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, fresh from trips to China and Oman, is leading the US delegation in Geneva at today’s strategic stability dialogue between the US and Russia. The resumption of talks on nuclear arms control was one of the concrete results of a June summit between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bonnie Jenkins, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, joins Sherman after being approved by the Senate last week.

Global growth. The International Monetary Fund cited access to COVID-19 vaccines as the main driver dividing the global economic recovery into “two blocks” when it released its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday. The lender stuck to its April forecast of 6 percent global growth, but warned that such expansion would be uneven as developed countries largely outperform developing countries. The IMF’s chief economist, Gita Gopinath, called for multilateral measures “to ensure rapid, worldwide access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics” to prevent the mutation and spread of more contagious COVID-19 variants.

Inter-Korean Relations. North Korea reopened a cross-border phone line with South Korea on Tuesday as a sign of the thaw between the two countries. The communications line was disabled by North Korea last June in retaliation for South Korean activists dropping leaflets across its border against the regime by South Korean activists. North Korean state media called the move a “big step” for the two countries, while the South Korean presidency said it would “reinvigorate confidence.”

The US arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby has again come into conflict with US authorities after a federal court ordered that a 3,500-year-old tablet with text from the Gilgamesh epic be confiscated. The tablet was bought by Hobby Lobby from an auction house for $ 1.67 million and was intended as an exhibit at the Museum of the Bible, a company funded by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green. The court found the artifact was originally illegally imported and Hobby Lobby agreed to its expiry. The Sumerian tablet will eventually be returned to its country of origin, Iraq.

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