May 13, 2006 [LINK]

Anti-Chavez backlash in Peru?

Nationalistic sensibilities have turned many Peruvians away from populist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala, who has been strongly endorsed by Hugo Chavez. Perhaps the vainglorious leader of Venezuela is beginning to offend more people than he attracts, past his peak in terms of influence. The latest polls indicate that Alan Garcia leads Humala by a 62% - 38% margin. I doubt that landslide proportion can be maintained through election day Peru, but it at least suggests that virtually all supporters of Lourdes Flores and other candidates from the first-round race are backing Garcia, as the "lesser evil." This scenario reminds one of the English expression "when Hell freezes over," as in "I'll vote for Garcia..."

Chavez meets Pope at Vatican

Since Hugo Chavez recently likened Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela to a "cancer," it is not surprising that Pope Benedict would admonish him during his visit to Vatican City. The Church wants to defend Catholic schools from government pressure and make sure there is no interference in the selection of Bishops, as has happened in Communist China. See