The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández (left) and of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, share a press conference at the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, on April 18, 2022. MARCOS BRINDICCI (AFP)
Alberto Fernández and Guillermo Lasso fight over a letter.
In an exchange aired on social networks, they have been crossing accusations for a week.
They have already withdrawn their respective ambassadors in what is one of the most tense moments in the relationship between Argentina and Ecuador.
The scuffle began 15 days ago, when María de los Ángeles Duarte Pesantes, Rafael Correa's former minister convicted of corruption, fled from the Argentine diplomatic headquarters in Quito to Venezuela after a little more than two years as a refugee there.
Lasso accuses Fernández of collaborating "in the escape of a fugitive" and lying about the innocence of Ambassador Gabriel Fuks, expelled from the country hours after the incident.
Fernández considers that Lasso has had an "excessive reaction" that "hurts the relationship" bilaterally.
The tension between the two will be the talk of the Ibero-American Summit to be held from this Friday to Saturday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
According to the Buenos Aires version, Ambassador Fuks realized on Saturday, May 11, that Duarte was no longer at the residence, where he had lived since 2020 with his young son, an Argentine national.
He then notified his foreign minister, Santiago Cafiero, who in turn contacted his Ecuadorian counterpart, Juan Carlos Olguín.
The Ecuadorian authorities then summoned Fuks to a meeting where, they say in Argentina, he was mistreated and insulted prior to his expulsion from the country.
Fuks himself recounted in an interview with EL PAÍS that the secretary of the Presidency rebuked him by shouting "the little Argentines have it all armed."
Ecuador does not believe a word to the Government of Argentina.
Foreign Minister Olguín said at a press conference that Argentina had "betrayed trust" between the two countries by facilitating the ex-minister's escape.
Ambassador Fuks, he said, had behaved in a haughty manner, refusing to provide footage from the embassy's security cameras and had "liberated" the area by demanding the removal of a police car that had been stationed in the area. residence gate for “citizen security” work.
President @alferdez, trust, especially between states, is a broad, two-way street.
— Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) March 21, 2023
The crisis escalated to the level of the presidents, and Lasso and Fernández got involved in an unusual discussion.
Lasso shot first.
He regretted that his Argentine counterpart had received Rafael Correa in Buenos Aires, sentenced in Ecuador to eight years in prison for corruption in the same case as his former minister.
"It is very sad," Lasso wrote on Twitter, that Fernández "has put his personal friendship and political identity with Rafael Correa ahead of the fraternal relationship between the peoples of Argentina and Ecuador."
Fernández replied in the same way: "The excessive reaction of the president to expel the Argentine ambassador is what truly hurts the relationship of our peoples."
Lasso doubled the bet: “How much I would have appreciated it if you called me as soon as your 'guest' incident happened.
He did not do it,
and you will know the reasons”.
There was, for the moment, a new response from the Argentine.
Relations between Ecuador and Argentina had fallen to their lowest point shortly before Lasso's inauguration as president, in May 2021. Fernández got along very badly with former president Lenin Moreno, whom he accused of having "betrayed" Correa after be your vice president.
During the electoral campaign, Fernández openly supported the correísta candidate, Andrés Arauz, but later had a good relationship with Lasso.
Both countries sent ambassadors again and everything seemed to be on track, until the escape incident.
After the exchange of letters, attention will now be on Santo Domingo, where both presidents will be forced to meet.
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