Asylum in Peru!

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UPDATE:

This is not the first time Peru has granted asylum to anti-Chavez politicians; former Yaracuy state Gov. Eduardo Lapi and prominent labor union leader Carlos Ortega escaped prison, fled to Venezuela and then were granted Asylum.

Manuel Rosales was the Governor of Zulia state in Venezuela. He also served as the mayor of Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia. In 2002, Rosales was complicit in the attempted coup to replace Chavez. He is best known for his opposition to Hugo Chavez and the latter’s socialist policies. In Venezuela’s 2006 presidential elections, Rosales ran against Chavez.

Today, Peru granted Manuel Rosales political asylum. The reason? The prosector’s office in Zulia state was about to charge Rosales on corruption charges. The complaint alleged Rosales stole millions of dollars from government coffers.

Did Rosales steal the money? Maybe. But it is quite the coincidence that Rosales is one of Chavez’s leading political opponents. If Rosales was a Chavez lover, it is unlikely any corruption charges would be filed against him. There is no doubt that Chavez, or at the very least his buddies, enrich themselves off of government money.

Now, Venezuela has withdrawn its ambassador from Peru. Venezuela claims Peru’s decision to grant asylum to is a “mockery of international law”. According to Asylum law as defined by the UN, and based on what Rosales’ case is, Peru acted well within the confines of international law.

It would go something like this: Rosales, if he returned to Venezuela, would likely be persecuted based on his political beliefs–i.e. Chavez is going after him because of Rosales’ opposition. Whether or not Rosales stole the money is a fact-finding issue for the asylum officer, or judge, to decide.

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