Peru’s government is backing an Organization of American States-led solution to the political crisis that has gripped Venezuela, Premier Rene Cornejo said.
Cornejo, appointed to lead President Ollanta Humala’s cabinet last Monday, replaces Cesar Villanueva as the fifth premier in Humala’s two-year-old administration. Cornejo was previously the housing minister.
“We favor the OAS mechanisms,” said Cornejo, according to daily El Comercio. “This means an interaction between the different members of the OAS in order to reach an effective solution.”
Cornejo added that Peru’s representative to the OAS, Juan Jimenez, is contributing to the regional body’s solution presentation on the conflict. Jimenez was Premier prior to Villanueva.
Opposition politicians in Peru have been calling on the Humala administration to take a stronger stance against the Venezuelan government over the escalation of violence in that country. The government has issued a statement saying that it is concerned about the conditions in Venezuela, but like many other Latin American nations, it has not taken other actions.
Prior to his election in 2011, President Humala and his backers were close to President Chavez of Venezuela, when Chavez attempted to lead Latin America and had the support of Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega (all re-elected in nationalist and populist regimes). Humala, however, distanced himself somewhat from Chavez shortly before he was elected and, adding social inclusion and support programs, has generally continued the liberal economic policies that have led Peru over the past 20 years to its current strong position.
Student-led protests against the administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have led to several deaths, the imprisonment of a leading opposition politician, and growing concerns about the stability of the nation as the polarization between pro-government and anti-government groups increases.
Maduro was the handpicked successor of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Venezuela has faced a shortage of basic goods, increasing inflation, and high rates of homicides and other crime.