Mérida, June 7th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his party, the PSUV, congratulated Peruvian president-elect Ollanta Humala on his electoral win, saying they hoped the victory would mean more social inclusion in Peru.
Left wing Humala narrowly defeated Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori, in second round elections held on Sunday. Humala, who many would consider the first left wing president elected in 25 years in Peru, will take office on 28 July.
In a statement put out by the President’s Office, Chavez, “on behalf of the Venezuelan people and government”, expressed his “most sincere congratulations to President-elect of Peru Ollanta Humala, to whom the Peruvian people gave a solid victory”.
“Again, a sister republic of our America sets an example of democratic vocation, spreading the strong message of commitment of Latin American peoples with the transformation of our society by peaceful means and as an expression of the will of the majority around the world,” the statement continued.
The Venezuelan government expressed its “its willingness to promote fraternal bilateral relations with Peru in all strategic areas”.
The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) also held a press conference to welcome Humala’s victory. PSUV legislator Rodrigo Cabezas said the victory was “an achievement for Peruvian progressive forces who are crying out for inclusion, equality, and social justice”.
He argued that there are over 12 million Peruvians living in poverty, and a challenge for the new president will be to ensure that “social inclusion is generated at the same pace as economic growth”.
The victory also hindered “the aggressive anti communist campaign, basically of a fascist nature, that the Peruvian media and right wing were waging against the now President-elect of Peru,” Cabezas said.
Speaking on Sunday as the elections in Peru were taking place, Chavez said his government would make every effort to have good relations with whoever ended up being elected president, while expressing concern that some sectors had used him in the electoral campaign.
“They used me in their electoral campaign, I don’t worry about it now,” he said. In a number of elections in Latin America, right wing sectors have associated left wing candidates with Chavez in an attempt to red-bait the candidate.
In May 2006 Peru and Venezuela withdrew their respective ambassadors. Venezuela had announced its withdrawal from the Andean Community, saying Peru and Colombia’s Free Trade Agreements with the U.S. had “killed” it. Alan Garcia, running against Humala for president at the time, called Chavez “shameless” and a “brat”.
Chavez responded that should Garcia win the election, Venezuela would withdraw its ambassador, as Garcia was “corrupt” and a “bandit”. The Peruvian government accused Chavez of “meddling” in its affairs and supporting Humala, and withdrew its ambassador.
Venezuela followed suit, Garcia won the elections, and the two countries restored relations in December that year at the South American Nations summit, which aimed to drive forward regional integration.
Venezuelan Expats in Peru Concerned
La Patilla reported that there are “Venezuelans in Peru who fear that Humala will revoke their political asylum”.
According to La Patilla, there are nine Venezuelans benefiting from political asylum in Peru, and their asylum status depends on the Peruvian state in power.
One of those with political asylum is ex-presidential candidate Manuel Rosales. Rosales was granted asylum in Peru in 2009 after he was charged with stealing public funds and accepting bribes during his term as governor of Zulia state.
Another Venezuelan with asylum in Peru is Nixon Moreno, leader of violent protests in Merida state in 2006 which saw one female police raped and her partner left in a coma. Moreno was charged with attempted homicide.
There is also opposition leader Carlos Ortega, who was charged with crimes connected to his actions during the petroleum strike and the sabotage of the oil industry in 2002-3. He was granted asylum in Costa Rica, but later had it revoked after he broke his obligations under asylum and gave a speech in which he vowed to return to Venezuela and work clandestinely to oust Chavez.