Peru government will not congratulate Chavez

(LIP-wb) — The Peruvian government will not congratulate re-elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, said Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaúnde.

"Chávez didn’t send a message to president Alan Garcia when he was elected earlier this year and therefore we do not intend to send anything to him”, said the Peruvian minister.

Garcia Belaúnde said the re-election of Chávez was expected. Updated results from Sunday’s vote showed that with 85 percent of polling stations counted, Chavez had 62 percent with 38 percent for challenger Manuel Rosales. Chavez was headed for a clean sweep of all 24 states.

“I believe that at some point relations between Peru and Venezuela can be normalized but as of now we only communicate on a business level and not through diplomatic channels,” Garcia Belaúnde added.

Venezuela and Peru are immersed in an acute diplomatic crisis since the end of April after an exchange of insults between Garcia and Chávez which ultimately resulted in the withdrawal of respective ambassadors in Lima and Caracas.

Chavez said he plans to seek constitutional reforms to end presidential term limits, which would enable him to run again in 2012.