News Analysis: Venezuela-Peru tensions — political ploy or diplomatic blunder?

CARACAS, March 14 (Xinhua) — Ties between Venezuela and Peru have been strained since Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski came to power in July 2016.

Pro-business and U.S. educated, Kuczynski has more in common with the Washington elite than with Venezuela’s ruling socialists.

The former World Bank economist has been outspoken about his open support for political transition in Venezuela, and recently recounted how he told Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez “that her government was unsustainable, it has to go.”

He has also compared Latin America to a docile dog lying at the foot of its master, the United States. “The U.S. focuses on areas that cause trouble, right? Like the Middle East and so on. It does not spend much time on Latin America, which is like a nice dog that’s sleeping on the carpet. It’s not causing anybody any problems.”

The exception to that was Venezuela, he added.

In response, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro instructed Rodriguez to issue a note of protest “on behalf of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” and to summon Peru’s ambassador to Caracas for consultation.

Milagros Betancourt, a former ambassador and now professor of International Law at the Andres Bello Catholic University, notes that “at this time, ties are at a very low point, there is annoyance in both countries and it does not appear as if it is going to get better in the near future.”

She added, “I think ties will remain at a minimum.”

In addition to Kuczynski’s less than diplomatic remarks, Peru is…