The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, says that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s comments on Colombia’s upcoming presidential elections are “bad practice” but he doesn’t consider them “intervention.”
“I don’t like that people from one country talk about the elections of another counctry. It’s not good practice… I wouldn’t call it intervention, it’s bad practice,” Insulza said Tuesday during a debate at the Wilson’s Center in Washington.
“I don’t think anyone is going to be influenced by these comments… analysts have said for years that these type of comments actually favor the candidate that is attacked,” Insulza said,
Chavez has been highly critical of Partido de la U’s presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos, calling him a “wolf dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood,” because of the way he is “going around searching for votes.”
The socialist president, who has denied trying to influence the Colombian elections in any way, continued saying that “if the people of Colombia … would disgracefully vote mister Santos (…) I will not receive him.”
Santos said last week that he would welcome talks with Venezuela, after Chavez said that he was ready to “turn the page” with Colombia.
Chavez responded, saying that Colombians can forget any kind of relations with Venezuela if they elect Santos, “who is a real mafioso.”
Venezuelan relations with Colombia have been rocky for years, but hit an all-time low in November when the U.S. and Colombia signed a military pact. Chavesz, one of the Americans’ fiercest critics in the region, considers this pact a threat for the region.
Colombia’s presidential elections are scheduled for May 30.