sábado, 20 de julio de 2013

Venezuelan government observes opponent's regional tour

Venezuelan officials have voiced disgust with the trips undertaken by regime opponent and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonsky, most recently to Chile and Peru to promote the opposition's challenge to the results of Venezuela's presidential elections last April. The opposition Table of Democratic Unity denounced President Nicolás Maduro's election then as fraudulent, and has since sought to garner support for its calls for a full recount of votes. It has won degrees of sympathy from conservative and liberal politicians abroad, though less from governments reluctant to offend Venezuela. Venezuela has in turn used the same discourse with critics outside as it does with domestic opponents, frequently denouncing them as fascists. In Chile Mr Capriles met on 19 July with conservative politicians and managed to dine with President Sebastian Piñera Echenique at a senator's house, Venezuela's El Universal reported. This was earlier termed a private meeting. He met with two former presidents Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, the latter particularly critical of Venezuela. Frei said that Venezuela had "insecurity like Iraq" and he scoffed at its ambition to export its model of government. He backed the vote recount demanded by the Venezuelan opposition and said it was "normal practice" in democratic countries to receive officials and opposition politicians from other states, Chile's El Mostrador reported on 19 July. "I don't know why there is this storm in a teacup over a visit by a governor who had a 50 per cent support in the presidential elections and he cannot be received by the government and opposition," he said. Venezuela's official AVN news agency observed on 19 July that Mr Capriles was in Chile seeking the support of "Pinochet's supporters." It was referring to politicians it stated were past and present supporters of the military regime of the 1970s-80s led by General Augusto Pinochet. Those who met with Mr Capriles included members of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee and of the two parties backing the Piñera government, Renovación Nacional and Unión Independiente Democrática. AVN singled some out, citing past roles in or support for "Pinochet's military dictatorship;" those named included the Senator Jovino Novoa Vásquez who hosted Mr Capriles's dinner with the President and Senator Hernán Larraín Fernández. On 20 July Mr Capriles went to Lima, hoping to meet with President Ollanta Humala. He was scheduled to meet with several politicians including the former president Alan García.