Date: Tue, 24 Dec 96 16:33:26 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Latin American Left Blames Fujimori For Lima Drama
Latin American Left Blames Fujimori For Lima Drama
21 December 1996
MIAMI, Dec 21 (Reuter) - Former Latin American guerrillas and other
leftists have reacted with an instinctive, even nostalgic sympathy for
the Peruvian revolutionaries holding several hundred people hostage in
They blamed Peru's president Alberto Fujimori for the crisis, saying his
policies had provoked the conflict.
While the heyday of guerrilla movements in Latin American has past,
former participants said they understood the action by the Tupac Amaru
Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) guerrillas, who are holding about 340
high-ranking hostages in the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima.
"The people of the world cannot sink into extreme poverty and misery
with struggling. They have to defend themselves against the aggression
of the neo-liberal model," said Marco Leon Calarca, spokesman for the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, from Mexico City.
"The desperate action of the MRTA is an act of violence in reply to the
repressive Fujimori regime," said Pedro Moncada, ex-commander of
Ecuador's Alfaro Vive, Carajo! in Quito.
In Montevideo, the ex-leader of the Uruguayan Movement for National
Liberation - Tupamaros, Julio Marenales, said he "felt close to any
movement that wages a sincere struggle and seeks a profound
change in the country."
"They are confronting the army so it is inevitable they are using
guerrilla tactics," said Marenales, whose group laid down arms in the
1970s and is now represented in parliament.
Rina Bertaccini, spokeswoman for the Argentine Communist Party, said:
"The responsibility for this situation lies with the Peruvian government
which holds political prisoners in terrible conditions." The
government of Peru was "killing the people with hunger," she added.
In Mexico, the leftist daily La Jornada said in an editorial the
military, political and judicial successes of Fujimori's government had
not been accompanied by steps against poverty and repression --
"profound guerrilla causes."
"On the contrary, Fujimori's actions have worsened these conditions,"
said the newspaper, the voice of the intellectual left in Mexico.
Mexico's Zaptista rebels kept quiet on the drama while the National
Revolutionary Union of Guatemala, which has just made peace with the
government to end Latin America's longest civil war, were
But the loudest silence came from Cuba, inspiration for many of the
Latin American guerrilla movements.
Cuban Foreign Ministry spokesman Miguel Alfonso said only that the
Havana government had confidence in the Peruvian authorities. Cuba's
ambassador to Peru and another diplomat are among the hostages.
Cuba has criticised Peru's free market reforms but says it has broken
its ties with guerrillas groups. A Cuban mediating role has been raised
but Peruvian authorties are cool to the idea.
Ex-combatants of Colombia's M-19 movement, Alfaro Vive, Carajo! and the
Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front of El Salvador have offered to
mediate in the crisis.
Rosemberg Pabon, former M-19 commander who seized the embassy of the
Dominican Republic in Bogota in 1980, said: "History is repeating itself
and the message I sent to Peru is there must be a peaceful solution."