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Haya de la Torre, Victor Raul (1895–1979)

Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Peruvian politician and founder of the first mass party in Peru, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA). His influence extended far beyond Peru, as several Latin American parties, such as Democratic Action in Venezuela, the National Revolutionary Movement in Bolivia and the National Liberation Party in Costa Rica, were founded on aprista principles. They aimed to get rid of the political domination of the large landowners and of economic dependence on foreign countries and to carry out social reforms to benefit the mass of the people. Haya was President of the Peruvian Student Federation in 1920 and built up a student-worker coalition, but he was deported in 1923 for opposing the dictator Leguia and spent the next eight years in exile. He founded APRA in Mexico in 1924 as a continental anti-imperialist movement. Haya called himself a Marxist but a visit to the Soviet Union convinced him that the Soviet system was unsuitable for Latin America: he wanted an alliance of workers, peasants and the middle class, with the latter taking the leading role. Through APRA it would control the necessary evil of foreign investment. The military were strongly opposed to Haya and APRA, which was often banned, though Haya became less radical after the Second World War and sought a modus vivendi with the other parties. When General Odria seized power in a military coup in 1948 Haya ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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