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Peru's media dissects Venezuela's electoral boss

By Aleksander Boyd

London 18.04.06 | In private circles few Latin Americans would adventure words of kindness with respect to Fidel Castro's lapdog, Hugo Chavez that is. Chavez, ever the showman, captivates non-Venezuelan audiences only for a little while. The ever welcomed Venezuelan petro-dollars, which he manages and dispenses as if he owned the country's budget, grease his passage from stage to stage. However Chavez seems to be incurring in the regrettable and politically costly mistake of misjudging the character of his neighbours. Recently in Chile, President Lagos gave him the cold shoulder. There he stood, like the small town man he is, not knowing how to react properly. The same happened in Mar del Plata last year. He waited to arrive in Caracas' controlled and secure environment to start hurling abuse at Mexicos's President, even though he was sitting right behind him in the hemispheric conference.

Apart from the Ethnocacerist's leader Ollanta Humala, also milking him for all he's worth, there appears to be no lost love between Peruvians and Hugo Chavez. However that did not deter Chavez from sending his minister of elections and arquitect of the 'perfect election,' read Jorge Rodriguez, to oversee the recent presidential elections in Peru. Allegedly Rodriguez was in the condition of electoral observer. And, as customary of such role, Rodriguez walked Humala to the polling centre, something Peru's electoral council was not aware of, and even acted as his bodyguard.

Fortunately, for Peruvians, there's no such thing as the Gag Law there and some of the country's media picked up on the odd behaviour of this 'special observer,' producing a report, presented by Cecilia Valenzuela that it's well worth watching [in Spanish]. The vocabulary and adjectives utilised to describe Jorge Rodriguez couldn't have been more appropriate, which shows that, outside Venezuela, only the apologists in Chavez's payroll continue with the pretense that he's a democrat.

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