Henrique Capriles, the runner-up in Venezuela’s recent presidential elections, commented on comparisons between Argentina’s and Venezuela’s governments in an article published on Sunday in an Argentine provincial newspaper.
“We can clearly see that the Argentine government has made similar decisions to Venezuela’s, including the currency exchange controls and import restrictions, but the Argentine path must be decided by its citizens” said Capriles who nevertheless complained about the Chavez administration handouts in the region with much needed funds in Venezuela.
The 40-year old opposition leader, who was interviewed by the Argentine province Salta daily El Tribuno, also mentioned that Chavez had given Argentina 3 billion dollars to help pay off IMF debt, claiming: “It’s very clear: this (Chavez) government has financed political projects in Argentina and other countries”.
Capriles added that this money comes from the “petroleum chequebook” and serves to garner “loyalties” and “export the revolution, a revolution or model that only seeks to perpetuate their power and not the wellbeing of our people.”
The former candidate emphasized this point by considering the very different realities of “Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador,” despite their presidents unanimously celebration of Chavez re-election: “What cost does Chavez’s popularity have?”
Capriles called for an end to the Chavez priority agenda for the establishment of an “international group of friends,” and instead implementing an egalitarian foreign policy, focused first on domestic issues before helping other countries.