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The Foreign Affairs Commission of the Peruvian Congress declared the former Bolivian president Evo Morales 'persona non grata' for "his negative political activism in Peru." In response to this, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) founder responded that "unity and solidarity" are more important than what was expressed by the parliamentarians.
The declaration, approved by the majority of the Commission, is symbolic in nature. The full text was published on the Twitter account of its president, Ernesto Bustamante, a member of the right-wing Fuerza Popular party, whose leader, Keiko Fujimori, was Pedro Castillo's leading contender during this year's presidential elections.
"To declare Evo Morales Ayma persona non grata in our country for his negative political activism in Peru and his evident interference and meddling in the political, social and economic agenda of the government of Peru, to the clear detriment of the interests of the Peruvian people," reads one of the paragraphs of the document signed by Bustamante.
The document requests "the competent authorities" to prohibit the entry of the former Bolivian president to Peruvian territory and the Ministries of the Interior and Defense "to take the necessary actions to comply with this agreement."
Faced with this announcement, the former Bolivian president responded in a tweet that both countries "are brothers with historical and unbreakable ties of struggle for dignity and sovereignty" and added that "unity and solidarity" come before what was expressed by the group of congressmen. "We hope they are not part of the racism," he added.
Last August, when the former president of the Council of Ministers, Guido Bellido, went to Congress to ask for a vote of confidence in the ministerial cabinet he heads, he began his speech in the Quechua language, but was interrupted by the president of the Parliament, Maria del Carmen Alva, who asked him to translate, while some parliamentarians shouted at him to learn to speak.
In addition, the presidential campaign in Peru was marked by expressions of classism and racism by Fujimori's followers against Castillo and his supporters, mainly from rural and indigenous areas of the country.
The statement explains that since July of this year, Morales has been visiting Peru and has held "proselytizing meetings with different political organizations" in that country, that "he is attended in official vehicles" and "provides ungrateful statements that show his own agenda according to foreign interests."
Likewise, it is stated that he has referred to "sensitive issues that divide the Peruvian population," such as the conformation of a Constituent Assembly, the nationalization of natural resources and hydrocarbons, anti-imperialist policies, expansion of coca crops and the rejection of U.S. agencies such as the DEA and USAID, which were expelled by La Paz during Morales' terms of office.
Bolivia y Perú son hermanos con lazos históricos e inquebrantables de lucha por dignidad y soberanía, p.ej. en tiempos de confederación Perú-Boliviana. Unidad y solidaridad están por encima de alguna declaración de un grupo de congresistas, esperamos que no sean parte del racismo
"Bolivia and Peru are brothers with historical and unbreakable ties of the struggle for dignity and sovereignty, e.g., in times of Peru-Bolivian confederation. Unity and solidarity are above some declaration of a group of congressmen; we hope they are not part of racism."
Another of the reasons outlined in the declaration even reaches Runasur, a South American platform of social movements that Morales has been promoting, whose meeting would be held in the Peruvian city of Cusco, between December 20 and 21. The right-wingers allege that "the meaning of the sponsorship of the national authorities" is not officially known.
The Bolivian leader entered the neighboring country on foot last July 26 to attend the swearing-in of the leftist as the new president two days later. Upon arriving in the border area of Desaguadero, in the department of Puno, he declared that he was in "permanent contact" with Castillo during the campaign and that they had "political and programmatic" coincidences. His previous visit had been in 2018, after the International Criminal Court rejected Bolivia's request to negotiate an exit to the sea with Chile.
During his days in Peru, he met with the founder of the ruling Peru Libre party, Vladimir Cerrón. He expressed his desire to establish a bilateral agenda for the Bolivian president, Luis Arce, and his Peruvian counterpart.
Morales also held meetings with Peruvian teachers' union representatives and coca leaf producers. When leaving this last meeting, he said that they agreed on "working for unity," that "Latin America is not the backyard of the U.S.," and spoke of the need to create an Andean Council of Coca Producers.
The former Bolivian president also stated that Argentina, Bolivia and Peru should industrialize lithium as states.
Last August, the Bolivian leader was in the Peruvian city of Arequipa, where he participated in the First National Youth Congress. From there, he expressed his agreement with the call for a Constituent Assembly in the Andean country, which was one of Castillo's campaign promises. "It is a new re-foundation for Peru, as was done in Bolivia," he said.