Congress approves investigation of ALBA cultural centers

By Ryan Dube

Congress voted unanimously Wednesday to investigate the functions, organization and financing of cultural centers that espouse the leftist ideology of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to determine if the charismatic former paratrooper is using his oil riches to expand his political movement into Peru. The motion was presented by Congress’ National Defense Commission and approved 96-0.

An investigative commission will be formed to probe the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, centers, and will be given subpoena powers to summon ALBA members for questioning. The commission will also have extraordinary authority to access bank accounts and records of financial transactions.

A congressional subcommittee led by lawmaker Rolando Souza recommended investigations into the ALBA offices on Monday, arguing they are tools of Chavez’ government to meddle in Peruvian internal affairs and promote a regional revolution.

“We have reasons to distrust and investigate to ensure that political life is solely the responsibility of Peruvians,” said lawmaker Carlos Bruce. “We believe it is appropriate to investigate and find out what is behind the ALBA cultural centers.”

Bruce added that Chávez was the only Latin American president to try and influence Peru’s 2006 presidential elections by openly endorsing the nationalist candidate, Ollanta Humala, and engaging in a bruising war of words with Alan García, who ultimately won the election.

Venezuela’s ambassador in Lima, Armando Laguna, denied his government was providing financial support to the ALBA centers, which several Peruvian lawmakers contend are hotbeds for leftist radicals and remnants of Peru’s Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement.

Laguna told Radioprogramas that the ALBA centers are “houses of friendship where groups of people, in a voluntary and independent manner, have organized themselves and created this Peruvian-Venezuelan organization.”

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.