The Caracas government has censured Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as a “coward” and “dog” subservient to Washington after he called Venezuela a “big problem” and insulted its late leader Hugo Chavez during a speech in the US.
Kuczynski had said during the late February visit to Washington that “Latin America was in general like a well-behaved dog on the carpet except for Venezuela which was a big problem.”
Annoyed by the Peruvian leader’s comments, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demanded an apology from 78-year-old Kuczynski, a former Wall Street investment banker who won the election in Peru last year.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez followed up the effort on Monday with a blistering attack during an event honoring the late President Chavez.
“He (Kuczynski) goes round, poor thing, with my respect because he is an elderly man, a good dog who wags its tail at the empire and asks for an intervention in Venezuela. He’s alone, going round like a crazy man, with no one paying attention,” said Rodriguez.
She further condemned the US-backed Peruvian head of state for insulting Chavez during a recent summit in Colombia.
“I also rose and told him, ‘look, mister, you are a coward, and I repeat it here, Mr. Kuczynski, you are a coward who dared to tarnish the memory of our commander Hugo Chavez,” added the Venezuelan top diplomat.
Later on Monday, Peru’s government issued a statement, saying that it rejected Venezuela’s “insolent” comments and would send a protest letter to Caracas. Lima also recalled its ambassador to Caracas for consultation on Monday.
“The comments made by Venezuela’s foreign minister are unacceptable,” said Peru’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna in an address before the nation’s congress.
Luna further tried to justify the offensive remarks by the country’s president saying, Kuczynski employed “an idiomatic and metaphorical expression used in academic circles” meant to describe Latin America’s lack of conflicts rather than “demonize” the region.
Kuczynski has been one of the most vocal critics in the region of Venezuela’s ruling “Chavismo” movement named after its late popular head of state.