Peru's amazing shoeshine-boy president

Wanna read a great Horatio Alger story? Except that in Latin America, it's a far more radical thing: President Alejandro Toledo, the outgoing president of Peru, a staunch, effective opponent of leftist Chavista populism, has decided to go back to being a shoeshine boy for charity, doing $100 shoeshines on behalf of the the shoeshiners pension fund. He leaves office on July 28, and although he had plenty to be proud of as Peru's first full—blooded Indian president, he was never ashamed of his humble roots, nor did he ever shrink from humble work. In South America, and particularly proud Peru, it's a very dramatic good example to remind everyone of human potential and possibilities.

Oh, and Toledo has an advanced degree from Stanford University, too.

Toledo was a wonderful president of Peru who openly challenged Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and all his leftist populist panaceas. He got nothing but trouble —— much of it of a vicious racist personal nature — from both Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, with each insinuating that he wasn't quite Indian enough, or else was a sellout. Chavez hurled the equivalent of "Oreo Cookie" charges at Toledo a few months ago. Morales tried to argue with Toledo that he was a better Indian.

Toledo's fierce, fiery response to the two leftists has been pretty much, in different statements, summed up as: "don't you dare try to tell me about poverty and racism and sell me your leftwing snake oil. You know nothing about poverty and racism, so don't go there. You poverty—pimps are frauds."

The amazing Toledo has been utterly fearless about opening opportunities for Peru's Indians to succeed with greater opportunity, rather than affirmative action or handouts, and he has been utterly intolerant to the proposed left populist solutions of socialism and underclass dependency. He never waivered.

As a result of Toledo's great yet underappreciated presidency, Peru was saved last month from sliding into the Chavez orbit, with its voters decisively rejecting Chavez's personal puppet candidate for president in favor of Alan Garcia, a candidate far more likely to follow in Toledo's example.

Well done, President Toledo.

A.M. Mora y Leon 07 20 06 

Wanna read a great Horatio Alger story? Except that in Latin America, it's a far more radical thing: President Alejandro Toledo, the outgoing president of Peru, a staunch, effective opponent of leftist Chavista populism, has decided to go back to being a shoeshine boy for charity, doing $100 shoeshines on behalf of the the shoeshiners pension fund. He leaves office on July 28, and although he had plenty to be proud of as Peru's first full—blooded Indian president, he was never ashamed of his humble roots, nor did he ever shrink from humble work. In South America, and particularly proud Peru, it's a very dramatic good example to remind everyone of human potential and possibilities.

Oh, and Toledo has an advanced degree from Stanford University, too.

Toledo was a wonderful president of Peru who openly challenged Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and all his leftist populist panaceas. He got nothing but trouble —— much of it of a vicious racist personal nature — from both Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, with each insinuating that he wasn't quite Indian enough, or else was a sellout. Chavez hurled the equivalent of "Oreo Cookie" charges at Toledo a few months ago. Morales tried to argue with Toledo that he was a better Indian.

Toledo's fierce, fiery response to the two leftists has been pretty much, in different statements, summed up as: "don't you dare try to tell me about poverty and racism and sell me your leftwing snake oil. You know nothing about poverty and racism, so don't go there. You poverty—pimps are frauds."

The amazing Toledo has been utterly fearless about opening opportunities for Peru's Indians to succeed with greater opportunity, rather than affirmative action or handouts, and he has been utterly intolerant to the proposed left populist solutions of socialism and underclass dependency. He never waivered.

As a result of Toledo's great yet underappreciated presidency, Peru was saved last month from sliding into the Chavez orbit, with its voters decisively rejecting Chavez's personal puppet candidate for president in favor of Alan Garcia, a candidate far more likely to follow in Toledo's example.

Well done, President Toledo.

A.M. Mora y Leon 07 20 06