Chávez critic granted asylum, Venezuela recalls ambassador to Peru

To protest Peru’s decision to grant political asylum to President Hugo Chavez’s most outspoken critic, Manuel Rosales, Venezuela has recalled its ambassador in Lima, daily Peru21 reported Tuesday.

According to Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Rosales should have been arrested and then extradited to his home country, where he currently faces corruption charges. Venezuela disparaged Peru’s decision as “a mockery of international law” on Monday and then recalled its ambassador in Lima while it evaluates its diplomatic relations with Peru.

Rosales, a former presidential candidate and Maracaibo Mayor, fled Venezuela last week, and sought political asylum in Peru to escape a trial on corruption charges he says are politically motivated.

“As a personal and concrete issue of a Venezuelan citizen who considers that he is under threat and arrives in Peru, our country’s first duty is to offer him protection,” said Peru President Alan García. “A democratic government’s first obligation is to offer protection to anyone who feels threatened.”

A “conflict” situation should not be generated by the fact that Peru has granted Rosales asylum, added García, because Peru and Venezuela “are two countries that scrupulously respect each other and are united by history.”

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