Venezuela Rejects “Gratuitous Attack” by Peru at UN

Venezuelan UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez hit back at Peruvian President Pablo Kuczynki after the latter called for international “pressure” on Venezuela during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. 

By Lucas Koerner
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Peruvian President Pablo Kuczynki addresses the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2016. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Peruvian President Pablo Kuczynki addresses the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2016. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Caracas, September 21, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez hit back at Peruvian President Pablo Kuczynki after the latter called for international “pressure” on Venezuela during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. 

“It was an unfortunate speech that shows certain countries continue to interfere in our internal affairs,” lamented Ramirez. The leading Bolivarian diplomat condemned as a “gratuitous attack” Kucynski’s suggestion that Venezuelan democracy is on the brink of collapse.

“Full-fledged democracy requires absolute respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as due process,” the Peruvian leader stated, referring to so-called “political prisoners” such as opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was sentenced to 13 years last year for leading 2014’s violent anti-government protests that left 43 dead.

In taking aim at Venezuela, Kucynski adds his voice to the chorus of retired and sitting right-wing heads of state across the region who have denounced Venezuela’s human rights record over the past year, including Argentine President Mauricio Macri, former Colombian presidents Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana, ex-Mexican president Felipe Calderon, among others. 

In his speech, the 77-year-old former Wall Street banker was, however, silent on Brazil, whose democratically-elected president Dilma Rousseff was ousted early this year in a dubious impeachment proceeding that has been widely condemned as a “parliamentary coup”. 

That same day, Brazilian Interim-President Michel Temer’s address to the international body was boycotted by the delegations from Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba, who walked out as head of state began his speech.

The ouster of Rousseff in April is part of a rightward regional shift that has seen the election of neoliberal, pro-Washington candidates in various countries, including Kucynski in Peru and Macri in Argentina.