Peruvian lawmakers scrutinize possible Venezuelan hand in ALBA cultural center

Cuban Ambassador Luis Delfín Pérez will appear before a Peruvian congressional subcommittee to answer questions about the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) on November 13. Delfín Pérez will be followed by ambassadors from Nicaragua on November 20, Bolivia on November 27, and Venezuela on December 4.

ALBA’s activities have been viewed with suspicion in Peru because of its ties to the Venezuelan and Cuban governments. In July, Prime Minister Jorge Del Castillo accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of “unacceptable meddling” in Peru’s internal affairs after an ALBA office was inaugurated by local authorities in Juliaca, in Peru’s southern Department of Puno. Del Castillo alleged the purpose of the ALBA office was to “destabilize the nation.”

Chavez dismissed the allegations as a typical overreaction by “Latin American Oligarchs,” and added: “We are not going to get ourselves involved in any internal process with any nation, unless we have an alliance to do so, as we have with Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia.”

The president of ALBA’s Juliaca office, Edwin Pacsi Ccopa, denied any link to Caracas, telling Lima daily La Republica: “ALBA is an association that only wants to help people in need. There is no foreign political interference.”

Congressman Rolando Sousa, the subcommittee president, told the Andina news agency that lawmakers will “determine whether [ALBA’s] strategies are exclusively related to humanitarian help” or if they pose a foreign threat to Peru’s national politics.

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