Monday, June 05, 2006

Peru: Garcia Wins..Chavez Now Will Do???

So the lesser of two evils Alan Garcia wins the presidency, over Hugo Chavez' candidate Humala.

My thoughts:

1. Hopefully, Garcia really learned his lesson. He had a major meltdown at the end of his last term, and was saying some really crazy things - something about wanting to join the protestors at Tianamen Square IIRC.

2. The trans-national nature of the campaign. In South American countries, electoral politics centered in the country holding them - and perhaps Washington. But in this new era of trans-national populism and mass media, Chavez effectively inserted himself in the middle of the campaign - and ultimately his favored candidate paid the price. You still had the spectacle of Chavez transmitting his weekly show to Venezuela from Bolivia, and giving soundbites that would certainly end up being played on Peruvian TV.

3. While accusing opponents at being at the service of foreign powers is a staple of electoral politics in Latin America, the fact that an elected Latin American leader's interference was a campaign issue is unique - particularly since Venezuela and Peru are not traditional enemies.

4. Chavez will now do what? Didn't this bigmouth say he will cut relations with Peru if Garcia won?? This goes beyond idle boasting. Chavez got on TV, and essentially called out Garcia in front of all South America. If he doesn't go through, he ends up losing credibility in front of Bolivians and Nicaraguans to whom he has promised direct aid implicit on certain candidates winning. People opposed to Ortega in Nicaragua, and to certain terms of the constitutional changes in Bolivia - can now say that Chavez is not trustworthy.


Anonymous said...

What are the chances of Chavez visiting Ortega in Nicaragua? I hope he does. It will be good for the opposition. Chavez has given a helicopter to Ortega. The last I read the FSLN mayors had no way of receiving the oil becuuse they had no storage tanks. I also read Venezuela will be sending two airplanes to Managua to take eye patients to Cuba for surgery. 120 people per plane.

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