Peru’s New Foreign Minister Pick Rankles Castillo’s Party
(Bloomberg) -- The appointment of an old-guard politician as Peru’s new foreign affairs minister has spurred discontent within President Pedro Castillo’s socialist Peru Libre party less than a month after the new government took power.
Oscar Maurtua, who held a foreign affairs minister post under President Alejandro Toledo in the 2000s, headed to the government palace on Friday to accept the role. A media scandal over statements made by the previous appointee, Hector Bejar, about the Peruvian navy and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in terrorist acts, caused him to to resign last Tuesday.
Castillo’s government has faced pushback from the opposition to its slate of new appointees, some of whom, including Bejar, were considered radical picks. Now it’s facing criticism from within its own ranks, including from Vladimir Cerron, the Marxist neurosurgeon who leads Peru Libre, and Guillermo Bermejo, one of its congressmen.
“The new foreign minister, Oscar Maurtua de Romana, does not represent the sentiment of Peru Libre. Our party is an inclusive and sovereign entity, that has favored a united, independent Latin America, rejecting any policies of interference or servility,” Cerron wrote in a tweet early Saturday.
Other members of the party regard appointment of the career diplomat as a shift from the Castillo government’s professed platform. Bermejo wrote in a tweet on Friday that Maurtua, who favored a policy of U.S. interference, “cannot represent a government of the left.”
Castillo’s new cabinet will have to be approved by the congress this month in order to continue in its roles.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that Bejar’s comments were made at a time when the outgoing minister did not hold any public office and that they have been taken out of context, but Castillo had accepted his resignation.
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