The Venezuelan Tuna Caper

Sometimes folks truth is way weirder than fiction. In the case of Hugo Chavez clownish doesn’t come close to describing him.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that shook Peru, aid has flowed in, including from the government of Venezuela. Alan Garcia, the President of Peru was grateful, even to his bitter political enemy, Hugo Chavez:

Venezuela and other Latin American nations have shipped tons of food, medical supplies and other relief to Peru, where Wednesday’s quake left more than 500 dead and tens of thousands homeless. Garcia publicly thanked Chavez despite their well-known mutual antipathy.

What class from Garcia. Of course, that was before he found the tuna:

The appearance of donated cans of tuna with labels containing the image of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and a condemnation of the Peruvian government as “heartless” caused a political storm here Monday in the midst of an already controversial earthquake relief effort.

“One has to ask who is behind this,” President Alan Garcia said after a Lima newspaper reported that the polemical tins were being distributed in the quake-ravaged region south of the capital. “This is not the moment to take advantage of the circumstances to make electoral propaganda.”


The labels’ text acclaimed the “solidarity” of Chavez and Humala with quake victims, while bemoaning the “looting, road blockages, desperation and chaos” in Peru, according to Expreso, which published a photo of a can and the text of a label.

“The Peruvian government acts in an inefficient, slow and heartless manner, notwithstanding the pain of the victims, leaving them to the mercy of hunger, thirst and delinquency,” the label said, according to the newspaper.

Of course Chavez and his cronies deny they have been handing out the Tuna. No, it is the Peruvian government in some bizarre black op trying to discredit Chavez:

The Venezuelan ambassador to Peru denied his government was to blame and said the whole affair was probably part of a dirty-tricks campaign to discredit the fiery socialist leader. “This is a damaging manipulation, a vile manipulation because Venezuela has brought humanitarian aid, not party politics,” Ambassador Jose Armando Laguna told CPN Radio in Lima.

Pejman finds that dubious:

Are we really supposed to believe that immediately after a devastating earthquake, the Peruvian government got it in their heads to make the Chavez regime look bad by handing out aid purportedly from the Chavez regime that attacks the Peruvian government?

Yes we are Pejman, and Hugo Chavez is a true democrat to boot. His defenders will swallow anything.

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