All South American presidents with the exception of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez under chemotherapy treatment, and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, who cancelled at last moment following medical instructions, will be present at Thursday swearing in ceremony of Peruvian president-elect Ollanta Humala.
Other outstanding leaders include Spain’s heir to the throne Principe Felipe de Borbón, China’s Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, Britain’s Minister for Latin America, Jeremy Browne and Dan Restrepo, President Obama’s main advisor on Latin American affairs at the National Security Council.
Restrepo and US ambassador in Lima, Rose M Likins will be the only two US representatives at the ceremony.
However president-elect Humala at the beginning of July travelled to Washington where the met with President Obama and in the State Department with Hillary Clinton.
In Washington Humala described the United States as a “strategic ally” of Peru and anticipated he hoped to work closely with the Obama administration.
Secretary of State Clinton also sent congratulations on Peruvian Independence Day, July 28 underlining the shared values of democracy and human rights.
“Earlier this year we witnessed Peru’s commitment to democratic ideals as a new president was elected after free and transparent elections. Today, our two countries are standing up for democracy and human rights around the world. These enduring values are the foundation of our partnership”, said the message that also recalls Peru’s rich history and heritage as “the home of one of the most influential civilizations of the Western Hemisphere”.
Most presidents also participated Wednesday evening of a dinner hosted by outgoing president Alan García who anticipated he would not be present at the swearing in ceremony of his successor Ollanta Humala.
Garcia said that there is no law, bill, decree that demands the outgoing president to be present at the ceremony.
Furthermore he recalls his last experience following his first mandate in 1990 when his farewell speech was repeatedly interrupted, booed and he was personally insulted by some of the new members of congress.
“There’s no need to expose the incoming president to these situations”, said García.
Even when the last five years of President Garcia and his open economy, pro-business and foreign investment policies turned Peru into a macroeconomic success story, a significant percentage of the Peruvian population feel they have not shared the harvest of a booming economy and the government did not deliver on its promises.