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Latin America market round-up: Hugo Chávez watch

Alan García’s victory over Ollanta Humala in Peru’s presidential elections left Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez seething. Peruvians rejected the populist Humala, who sought to distance himself from Chávez’s anti-American rhetoric despite having received the Venezuelan leader’s uninvited backing. Chávez threw insults at García, calling him “a thief, a demagogue, a liar”. García reiterated his support for democracy and free trade, shooting back a barb of his own: “The Chávez phenomenon is militarism with a lot of money.” It is a stunning metamorphosis for the former socialist president whose first term in the 1980s ended in hyperinflation and a terror campaign by Shining Path. Nevertheless, Lima’s financial community remains worried by García’s plans to renegotiate Peru’s free trade agreement with the US.

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