Ever since the CNE said that Nicolás had won the election, things have not been going very well for him. From widespread pot banging the first four days, to bickering within Chavismo, to Diosdado undermining him and his own party members criticizing him, it is tough to be Nicolás Maduro these days. But if one thought there was one area where Nicolás could handle things well, it was on the diplomatic front. After all, he was Chavez’ Foreign Minister for almost seven years, where following Hugo’s orders alone was probably a difficult thing to do. And except for trying to stage coups in Paraguay and Guatemala, Nicolás was mostly discreet, like a diplomat should be.
But his bad streak is prompting him to losing his cool and making outrageous statements. The first one was to accuse former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of trying to assassinate him, throwing in Roger Noriega and Otto Reich into the pot. A laughable charge and a dangerous one, as Uribe is still respected in Colombia and Santos may get impatient with his new counterpart in Venezuela. But Nicolas likes to imitate Chávez, except that it doesn’t work very well with Nicolas.
But where Maduro really lost his cool was in his response to Peru’s Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo statements. Maduro called back Venezuela’s Ambassador to Peru and said: “You may be Peru’s Foreign Minister, but you can not give opinions about Venezuela. I do not accept that lack of respect towards the political process that Venezuela is living. I don’t accept it…But to involve yourself with Venezuela’s problems to give us advice, please, don’t. You made a mistake Peruvian Foreign Minister, you have made the mistake of your life”
By now you may be wondering what it is that Rocagliolo said that caused such outrage. Well that is the amazing part, not much. What he said was:
“Peru is promoting that Unasur pronounce itself in asking for dialogue and tolerance in Venezuela…the second element of the Unasur declaration consists in asking that there be in Venezuela a climate of dialogue and tolerance, request that we maintain, request that I reiterate. It seems fundamental to us for both Venezuelans and the region that such a climate of dialogue, tolerance and mutual respect can be established.”.
Imagine, calling for tolerance and dialogue!
But Maduro losing his cool has backfired, as Peruvian politicians from all sectors have backed their Foreign Minister. Not only that, but it has given relevance to the trip by Leopoldo Lopez and Deputy Eduardo Gomez Cigalas around the region, explaining the treatment of opposition Deputies in the Assembly, as well as the refusal by the Venezuelan Electoral Board to do a complete audit as promised to Unasur countries so that they would accept Maduro’s victory in the April 14th. election.And now in Argentina, a Deputy is requesting that Venezuela be suspended from Mercosur for the non-democratic actions of the Maduro Government, while in Peru, the Vice-President of Foreign Affairs of Congress said that in Venezuela there is no President and what there is a an orangutan, a reference to the military gorillas that ruled that country, as well as seeing little birds and talking to Chávez:
The curious thing about this whole affair is that Peru’s Foreign Minister Roncagliolo is currently the spokesman for Unasur on these affairs and by losing his cool, Maduro may be helping the opposition in promoting that Unasur pressure the Venezuelan Government for a full audit and recount of the recent Presidential election.