Peru’s president urges Venezuela’s Maduro to step down

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

LIMA,  (Reuters) – Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski today urged Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro to step down, calling him a “dictator”, and rejected the socialist leader’s call for the two to meet face-to-face along with other presidents in the region.

The centrist leader said in an interview for Reuters Latin American Investment Summit that Maduro had lost any remaining credibility since forming the constituent assembly, an all-powerful body made up of Maduro’s Socialist Party loyalists.

“He’s a dictator and has carried out a coup through a fraudulent election to eliminate Congress,” Kuczynski said in the presidential palace in the historical centre of Lima.

The comment marked the fiercest criticism yet that Kuczynski, an Oxford and Princeton trained economist and public administrator, has lobbed at Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader narrowly elected to replace Hugo Chavez in 2013.

On Kuczynski’s watch, Peru has led Latin American efforts to pressure Venezuela to enact democratic reforms and signal to the world that much of the region is troubled by its deepening political and economic crises.

Maduro, who has previously called Kuczynski a “dog” and “coward” servile to the United States, on Thursday challenged the “American President of Peru” to agree to meet in person to discuss Venezuela with other leaders in the region.

“I’m not going to meet with Mr. Maduro. Sorry,” Kuczynski said.

When asked what message he would send Maduro, Kuczynski said: “Leave!”

Shortly after Kuczynski spoke on Friday, Peru’s foreign affairs minister announced that Peru was expelling Venezuela’s ambassador to Peru to protest the constituent assembly.

Maduro has said the constituent assembly is the country’s only chance at securing peace after four months of unrest and anti-government protests that have left more than 120 people dead.

Kuczynski said his primary concern with Venezuela was the regional fallout as thousands of Venezuelans flee the country’s grinding poverty and hyperinflation every day and seek refuge in neighboring countries.

“We’ve opened the door to them,” Kuczynski said. Peru recently extended a temporary work visa for Venezuelans.

“The only thing I can say is that there are a lot of people who are having a hard time in Venezuela … and that will end one way or another,” Kuczynski said.

Comments  

Venezuelan migrants pose humanitarian problem in Brazil

BOA VISTA, Brazil,  (Reuters) – Last August, Victor Rivera, a 36-year-old unemployed baker, left his hometown in northern Venezuela and made the two-day journey by road to the remote Amazonian city of Boa Vista, Brazil.

CARICOM-Cuba Summit agrees to stronger co-operation in disaster risk management

Stronger co-operation in disaster risk management is among the major decisions of the Sixth CARICOM-Cuba Summit, held in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, a release from the CARICOM Secretariat said on Saturday.

Gunmen attack mourners at funeral in Kingston nine shot, two fatally

(Jamaica Gleaner) Gunmen yesterday attacked mourners at a funeral at Kings Chapel on Windward Road in Kingston, killing two people and injuring seven others.

Honduras tribunal says partial vote recount shows same result

TEGUCIGALPA,  (Reuters) – Honduras’ electoral tribunal said yesterday that a partial recount of votes from the disputed presidential election showed broadly the same result as previously, giving the lead to current President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Peru’s Kuczynski acknowledges having advised Odebrecht project

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski acknowledged that he worked as a financial adviser for an irrigation project owned by the Brazilian builder Odebrecht on Saturday, contradicting his previous denials of having any links to the company.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×