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  

Haiti president says many aid organizations hid misconduct

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti’s president said on Friday that sexual misconduct by staff of British charity Oxfam was only the tip of an “iceberg” and called for investigations into Doctors Without Borders and other aid organizations which came to the country after its 2010 earthquake.

U.S. set to lose top spot as global corn exporter to Brazil

CHICAGO,  (Reuters) – Brazil could eclipse the United States as the world’s top exporter of corn within five years, ending decades of U.S.

Brazil army ordered to take over security in violent Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO,  (Reuters) – Brazil’s federal government yesterday ordered the army to take over command of police forces in Rio de Janeiro state in a bid to curb violence driven by drug gangs, who have “virtually taken over” Rio’s metropolitan area of 12 million people, President Michel Temer said in announcing the decree.

Head of OAS anti-corruption mission in Honduras resigns

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – The head of the Organization of American States’ anti-corruption mission in Honduras said on Thursday he would resign over a lack of support from authorities in the Central American country and clashes with OAS leadership.

Billionaire businessman Mendoza rules out Venezuela election run – sources

VALENCIA, Venezuela/ CARACAS  (Reuters) – Billionaire businessman Lorenzo Mendoza has ruled out challenging Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming election despite multiple calls for him to stand, sources from his company’s workforce said yesterday.

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

×