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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 12:42 GMT
Peru angry over Chavez comments
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Peruvian candidate Ollanta Humala
Mr Chavez's support for Mr Humala has been condemned in Peru
The Peruvian authorities say comments made by Venezuela's president about candidates for the April election in Peru are unacceptable.

Hugo Chavez described the conservative Lourdes Flores as the candidate of the Peruvian oligarchy.

He also praised the nationalist former army officer, Ollanta Humala, saying he stood for Peru's "abandoned people".

Mr Chavez's comments come a week after Peru accused him of interference and recalled its envoy for consultations.

The diplomatic row erupted last week when Mr Humala attended a news conference in Caracas with the Venezuelan leader and Bolivia's President-elect Evo Morales.

On that occasion, Mr Chavez praised Mr Humala for "joining the battle" against the Free Trade Area of the Americas backed by Washington and a number of countries in the region.

He also said a failed military uprising led by the Peruvian candidate in 2000 was worthy of Don Quixote.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Chavez said: "He [Mr Humala] asked me for a meeting and I received him. The president of Peru got angry, what am I to do?"

Mr Humala has been gaining ground in opinion polls ahead of the 9 April vote. Ms Flores, a former congresswoman, is seen as a frontrunner in the election.

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