Peru: Prime Minister criticizes Humala’s support of Venezuelan TV channel shutdown

(left-right: Bolivia's Morales, Hugo Chavez, and Ollanta Humala)(LIP-jl) — Peruvian Prime Minister Jorge Del Castillo strongly criticized Peruvian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Ollanta Humala for supporting the controversial shutdown of Venezuela’s RCTV television channel and stated that he probably would have done the same had he won the presidency.

"His support of the Venezuelan issue clearly shows that he would have done the same thing had he won last year’s presidential election," Del Castillo stated on last night’s Peruvian news program Cuarto Poder.

"Had he won the presidency, you two would have been replaced by a pair of retired army captains or commanders," he told the program’s hosts.

The prime minister called the closing of RCTV a sign of a dictatorship.

"They close the channel one day and then threaten to close another on the following day. What is next? That is how dictatorships work. This happened recently in Peru (referring to former President Alberto Fujimori), but fortunately for the country, democracy has been reestablished. I hope that never happens in our country again," he said while also mentioning that current President Alan Garcia would never resort to such tactics because of his strong belief in democracy.

"We are democrats. We believe in freedom of expression and our country could never be anything else that doesn’t respect it," declared Del Castillo.

Humala, who narrowly lost last year’s election to Alan Garcia, has long been linked to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and has publicly declared his fondness of the South American president’s governing style and ideologies.