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Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre
Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre (22 February 1895 - 2 August 1979) was a Peruvian political leader who founded the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) party. Although he was twice elected President of Peru, the Peruvian military staged a coup to prevent him from taking office both times.
Haya de la Torre was born in Trujillo in the north of the country. In 1913 he enrolled in Trujillo University to study literature, where he met and forged a solid friendship with the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. He then enrolled in the National University of San Marcos in Lima.
In 1923 Haya de la Torre was exiled.
On 7 May 1924, while in Mexico City, Haya de la Torre founded the APRA and the pan-Latin American movement known as Aprismo. He returned to Peru in 1931 to run for President. That year, he was imprisoned for 15 months and his party was outlawed until 1934 and then also from 1935 to 1945. In 1945, José Luis Bustamante y Rivero became president with APRA's support. Then, in 1948, some party dissidents revolted in Callao and APRA was again outlawed. In November of that year, Manuel Odría seized power and forced Haya de la Torre to seek asylum in the Colombian embassy in Lima.
Haya de la Torre was able to return to Peru in 1954 and his party was again legalized in 1956. However, he continued to live mostly abroad until 1962. He run for president again, obtaining victory by a slim margin but not enough to be constitutionally elected. Then, a military junta nullified the elections. There were new elections in 1963, but Haya was defeated then. His party remained popular. In 1979 he became president of the constitutional assembly, which drafted a new constitution. On July 12, on his death bed, he signed the new constitution.
Haya de la Torre advocated a system of Latin American (or, to use his preferred term, Indo-American) solutions to Latin American problems. He called upon the region to reject both US imperialism and Soviet communism. He favored universal democracy, equal rights and respect for indigenous populations, and socialist economic policies such as agrarian reform, based on the concept of communal land ownership, and state control of industry.
Haya de la Torre advocated the overthrow of the land-owning oligarchies that had ruled Peru since colonial days, replacing them with an idealistic socialist elite. However, in exchange for attaining legal status for the party, he made opportunistic ideological swings to the right, and by the 1950s it had jettisoned most of its progressive, socialist ideals. In addition, Haya de la Torre's single-handed dominance APRA resulted in pronounced sectarian and hierarchical traits, resulted in an exodus of some of APRA's most talented young leaders to the Marxist left.
- ¡Ni con Washington ni con Moscú! ("Not with Washington, nor with Moscow!")
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