08/14/2020 - 17:35
Argentina abstained this Friday from accompanying the statements of the so-called Lima Group , and also abstained from endorsing an international declaration of some thirty countries that, by criticizing the legislative elections that Nicolás Maduro wants to impose on December 6, called for a government of transition to achieve free and transparent presidential elections in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan opposition anticipated that it will not present itself to that process, considering it an “electoral theater.” And this leaves Chavismo in a position to continue to control the situation, after the National Assembly passed into the hands of the opposing parties in 2015 to the regime.
The document signed by multiple countries on all continents was alsoreleased by the US State Department, which shows Washington's interest in the situation.
"A group of interested countries, including members of the Lima Group, the International Contact Group, the European Union, the United States and others, we call on all Venezuelans, of all ideological tendencies and party affiliations, whether civil or the military, to put the interests of Venezuela above politics and urgently commit to supporting a process defined and promoted by Venezuelans to establish an inclusive transitional government that leads the country to free and fair presidential elections, as soon as possible, " the statement begins.
The government of Alberto Fernández maintains dissident positions to those of the organizations to which it belongs. Photo: Marcelo Carroll
"Parliamentary elections by themselves do not present a political solution; on the contrary, they can further polarize an already divided society," continues the text, which was supported by countries as diverse as Albania, Australia, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Estonia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Ukraine.
At the same time, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union held a meeting to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. Last week, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, declared that Venezuela did not meet the conditions to carry out "a transparent, free and fair electoral process."
And he also said that he is going to convene a ministerial meeting of the International Contact Group soon.
The curious thing is that the Argentine government has made the country a member of different groups with which it strongly disagrees. Participate to sign against.
One of them is the Lima Group. Instead of leaving this instance that the administration of Mauricio Macri entered , what the Government of Alberto Fernández did was stay but did not approve a single statement. On the other hand, it has just joined the so-called International Contact Group, which, as seen on the European side, has a critical position on the elections in Venezuela. It is unknown how Argentina will act with its statements.
The Foreign Ministry justified Clarín his position before the Lima Group this Friday, as follows. They said there was "no progress" with a roadmap. That the discussion then "becomes abstract" and that for this reason they "do not" agree with the idea of a transitional government. "We are betting on legislative elections" and on the way out of the crisis "with Venezuelan institutions." They said they were against the abstention promoted by the opposition to the regime.
Previously, the current government said they did not support alleged interventions or embargoes. But the statement this Friday does not seem to go in that direction.
"The countries indicate that the process towards the transitional government should include the possibility for the National Assembly (Parliament) to fully carry out its functions and for the independence of the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council to be restored," the document states.
"We call on all the institutions of the Venezuelan State to participate in this process." And they reiterated "the willingness of all countries that maintain economic sanctions to discuss their lifting in a context of political progress."
It was the Colombian Iván Duque who called the meeting of the Lima Group this Friday. For Argentina, Vice Foreign Minister Pablo Tettamanti and the Chief of Cabinet of the Foreign Ministry, Guillermo Justo Chaves, participated.
Fernández, who receives pressure from Kirchnerism, akin to Chavismo, also has positions of distance with the OAS, where he refrains from condemning Maduro.
On the other hand, his position before the United Nations Human Rights Council a week ago was different. There it received a harsh report from the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, on the human rights violations committed by the regime. She also called for elections. That earned him direct criticism of President Fernández from the harshest K sectors.