by the El Reportero wire services
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has brushed aside the controversy in Peru about the opening of offices of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (Alba).
Groups supporting Chavez have opened six offices of the Peruvian daily La Republica reported July 20.
Chavez says the offices are purely symbolic and in no way interferes in the internal affairs of Peru.
* Recently, Peruvian Foreign Minister, José García Belaunde and Prime Minister, Jorge del Castillo launched further attacks against the Venezuelan government.
The President contends that they are trying to accuse Venezuela of interfering in internal affairs just because the state governor of Puno decided to open an Alba office.
“I think that Latin American oligarchies are so frightened that when they see a branch, they jump with fright, thinking it’s a snake.”
Chavez insists that Venezuela will not interfere in the internal process of any country, unless it has alliances with that country such as in Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.
Former presidential candidate, Ollanta Humala rejects the Peruvian government’s accusations and defends the office in Puno, which borders on Bolivia and states that the government should study the possibility of entering Alba as a good economic alternative to the Free Trade for the Americas agreement (FTAA).
Despite the government’s concern and denouncement of the presence of ALBA offices, Puno’s Regional President, Hernán Fuentes has announced that another ALBA office will be established in Juliaca.
Fuentes has explained that the presence of the offices will aid in health services, assist in education, and leadership training to start small businesses, and that it does not receive money or have any political affiliation. He has expressed his plans to place more ALBA offices in different parts of the province when possible.
The regional president has denied receiving any type of remuneration from the Venezuelan government to set up ALBA offices in the region.
(VHeadline.com and Livinginperu.com and Stratfor, contributed to the article.)