Peruvian media praise Chavez: "The bad boy managed to behave well"
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez behaved
well during the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) summit
in Lima, Peruvian media stressed Saturday.
The press had feared Chavez's trademark attacks on colleagues, which have often had him clash with Peruvian President Alan Garcia and which in recent days saw him in a row with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
However, at the summit Friday, Chavez sealed his reconciliation with Merkel and with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero - following a spat at a summit in Santiago in November.
El Comercio, the most prestigious Peruvian daily, titled its piece on Chavez "The bad boy managed to behave well."
"Despite his reputation for unpleasantness, Chavez was one of the leaders who made the most of the platforms for negotiation with other heads of state," El Comercio noted.
For reasons that were not made public, Chavez skipped the crowded closing rally at the Social Summit of the Peoples, a gathering organized by leftist parties and social organizations in parallel to the formal leaders' summit.
Beyond that, Chavez sought to win over centre-left Paraguayan president-elect Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop.
"You are young. You look older on television," Chavez told Lugo when they met in Lima, for the first time.
However, Lugo has so far declined to join the pro-Chavez camp of regional politics, and stressed at a press conference in Lima that he is close to "progressive" governments like those of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, Paraguay's closest neighbours.
The only man that Chavez attacked in Lima was Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. The two have had a long-standing clash.
"I cannot talk to Uribe. In order to do that, I would have to go down into a swamp, and I do not go down into swamps," Chavez said.
El Comercio noted that the Venezuelan reserved three floors at the luxury hotel Casa Andina, ordered four bottles of blue-label whisky, filled his room with security cameras and asked that only his personal cook prepare him meals.
Chavez was reportedly accompanied by two small dogs and a very large painting of South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, dpa reported.