Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In Peru Chavez is not welcome

After the Mexican spat who brought us a "suspended" relation, at least until a new Mexican president is elected, Chavez got the good news of Morales election. Though the political context in Bolivia does not guarantee free cruising to Morales, at least Chavez could flatter himself that if in Venezuela he was barely getting 15% of the vote, in Bolivia he was already a future president of the Bolivarian Confederation of South America.

So emboldened when Morales Visited he received also the very lousy Peruvian wanna-be Chavez, Ollanta Humala. This failed military gained fame by taking by assault a town hall, not even a bona fide coup as Chavez did in 1992 (again I ask, what is it with those failed soldiers that catches on with the crowds, since Hitler by the way). But apparently the resentment and silliness of the people is enough to propel him to second in the present polls. Peru complained then of interference of Chavez in its internal affairs, a new dispute erupted and the Peruvian ambassador was called for consultations. (1)

Things seem to have settled down some. But an irrepressible Chavez, who just must have, thug style, the last word, did manage to reopen the spat and escalade it. Toledo this time was not amused. His choice words:
Chavez is president of Venezuela, not of Latin America.
He can have all the petrodollars he wants, but that doesn't give him the right to destabilize the region.
Strong words. But Chavez has a not so secret weapon, his vice president who will lower himself to any lame excuse, statement or whatever noise to protect his boss (as when he declared poker faced that "nobody knew about the failing bridge"). So he went ahead and said:
Toledo lacks good judgment and his political opinions are no doubt undermined by the immense failure of his presidency
And more.

One does not know whether to cry. What is wrong with this statement? For all of its political problems Peru has kept a constant economical growth, something that Chavez with a huge supply of oil could not manage, except for the recent recovery (recovery, not growth). Peru has done much better these past 5 years than Venezuela. Peru is at 63 in the index of economic freedom, as a "mostly free" economy whereas Venezuela keeps going down and is now at the end of the pack, in the "repressed group", at 152 out of 157 (even below Cuba at 150), together with rogues such as Burma and North Korea. (2)

For those who do not understand what the Index of Economic Freedom means, Peru is in a group of countries that are finding a way to have a sustainable economical growth whereas Venezuela group is the one of countries which found the way of sustained decrepitude.

You can find the Peruvian version in the links from El Comercio Toledo words, Lourdes Flores, Chavez bête noire and still up in the polls, and the prime minister. (3)

Really, Chavez would do better to busy himself with Venezuela and how to solve the fallen viaduct, for example. Even if "his" candidates win everywhere, they will probably get rid of him ASAP and certainly will not become abjectly servile the way he became to Castro. But it seems that his folie des grandeurs is pushing him to make more and more mistakes, exposing himself more and more such as his recent anti-semitic words. Amusing to watch, though scary: after all, it is the Venezuelan people that will pay the piper when he is gone.

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1) All links in English today! Except for the ones from El Comercio.

2) Published by the Wall Street Journal, no link, sorry.

3) Globovision even showed a clip of a Peruvian politician saying that Chavez had won by fraud. Looks like doubters are growing. Also shows that it does not pay on the long run to be big mouthed.

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