Caracas, May 25, 2023 (OrinocoTribune.com)—The Chilean minister for foreign affairs, Alberto van Klaveren, reported today that the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, has appointed Jaime Gazmuri Mujica as ambassador to Venezuela after seven years without an ambassador in Caracas; according to analysts, this is something that, in diplomatic terms, signifies weak diplomatic relations.
As Chile’s new representative in Caracas, Gazmuri will have in his hands the power to normalize diplomatic relations, which have been strained by President Boric’s open criticism of Nicolás Maduro’s government. In the recent past, Chile has also had strained relations with Venezuela, notably due to the role played by former President Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022), who spoke openly in support of the failed US “regime change” operation in Venezuela that utilized former deputy Juan Guaidó and the now-extinct Lima Group. For five years, Chile had a head of mission in Caracas without the rank of ambassador, although Venezuela continued to keep its ambassador in Santiago.
Chilean Foreign Minister van Klaveren, who took office at the beginning of last March replacing the right-wing Antonia Urrejola, has opened dialogue with Venezuela on issues of the highest sensitivity for the region and for Chile, such as the migration problem.
Venezuela’s ‘Plan Vuelta a la Patria’ Repatriates 115 Migrants From Chile (+Boric)
Venezuelan migration was initially promoted by Latin American right-wing governments, led by Piñera and following the steps laid out by Washington, inviting Venezuelans to “escape Maduro’s dictatorship” and move to these countries offering them visa facilities and labor facilities, that translated to xenophobia, open deportations, and labor exploitation.
In recent months, a group of Venezuelan migrants trying to exit Chile, many of them trying to reach the United States via Perú, were stranded in a “no man’s land” between the border of both countries, creating humanitarian and security crisis. During that crisis, Boric was heavily criticized for making xenophobic comments against Venezuelan migrants regarding crime in Chile.
“Our priority is to protect the border to ensure regular, safe, and orderly migration,” stated Boric during his speech, claiming that one of the obstacles that hinders the deportation of those who commit crimes is that the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela do not receive the people expelled. This statement caused immediate reactions in both Bolivia and Venezuela, due to the lack of collaboration and arrogance coming from those same Chilean authorities towards the countries it claimed won’t cooperate.
Venezuela Asks Chile & Peru to Respect Migrants’ Rights, Negotiates for Repatriation Flights
Venezuela launched a social program a few years ago called Plan Vuelta a la Patria, initiated to repatriate, for free low-income Venezuelan migrants wanting to return home. However, these flights had been restricted by Chilean authorities for years. In early May, the Chilean government gave Venezuelan authorities warranties for the safe arrival and departure of these flights, and a first repatriation flight was finally possible.
Ambassador Gazmuri is an agronomist engineer, who majored in agrarian economics at the University of Chile. He was senator for the Maule Region (1990-2010), where he was a member of a number of commissions, including those of foreign relations, finance, economy, housing, defense, agriculture, and labor. He was also a member of the National Television Council (2011-2013), and director of Televisión Nacional de Chile (2019), among other relevant public posts. Notably, between 2014 and 2018, he served as Chile’s ambassador to Brazil.
Boric is one of the Latin American presidents who has distanced himself the most from Caracas, both during the electoral campaign that brought him to the presidency in March 2022 and during his presidency itself. His position has put him at odds with leftist sectors of his government’s coalition. Last September, Boric upped the attacks against Venezuela. While participating in an event at Columbia University, in New York, Boric insisted on criticizing alleged human rights violations committed by Venezuela and Nicaragua, following the false lines laid out Washington.
Gabriel Boric Lashes Out at Cuba and Venezuela at Summit of the Americas
“In Chile, we had serious violations of human rights in the social outbreak [of 2019], we cannot have a double standard,” Boric said in September 2022, failing to mention the state of emergency and human rights violations committed by his state against the Mapuche indigenous people fighting for their lands in the south of the country. On the same tour, before the UN General Assembly, Boric had accused Venezuela of causing “tremendous pressure” on Chile, as a result of the thousands of Venezuelans who entered the country fleeing the “humanitarian crisis;” all these statements are almost directly copies of the hypocritical White House narrative against the Bolivarian Revolution.
Boric’s statements before the UN had an evident reaction in Caracas. United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) deputy, Diosdado Cabello, in response, accused the Chilean president of speaking “bullshit” before the world leaders gathered in New York. “If they think we are going to capitulate because a fool like Boric came out to talk bullshit about Venezuela, they are wrong,” Cabello said during his television show, Con el Mazo Dando. “[It’s] a jinx, going out of their way to speak ill of Venezuela, having so many problems, a historical debt with the Mapuche people, and what he does is go after [the jinxes].” According to the Venezuelan Chavista leader, Boric spoke ill of Venezuela “to look good for the gringos.” Cabello also noted that doing so was “pretty lame.”
Lula receives Venezuelan ambassador
Meanwhile, this Wednesday, May 24, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that bilateral relations between Venezuela and Brazil were formally restored, with the delivery of the letters of credentials from Ambassador Manuel Vadell to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
El restablecimiento con buen ánimo y compromiso de las relaciones bilaterales entre Brasil y Venezuela, es un gran paso. La entrega de las Cartas Credenciales de Manuel Vadell al Presidente @LulaOficial, constituye un nuevo punto de partida para la consolidación de la unión entre… pic.twitter.com/qFMIv0biMy
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 25, 2023
“The reestablishment of bilateral relations between Brazil and Venezuela with good spirits and commitment is a great step,” wrote Maduro via social media. “The delivery of the Letters of Credence from Manuel Vadell to President Lula da Silva constitutes a new starting point for the consolidation of the union between our sister nations.”
Relations between Venezuela and Brazil had also been fractured for almost 6 years, since the supposed ‘impeachment’ against Dilma Rousseff was carried out, installing a right-wing regime in Brazil. Communications between the two countries reached their lowest point with the government of Jair Bolsonaro, who, at the beginning of 2019, decided to recognize former opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as the so-called “interim president,” joining the chorus of other Latin American right-wing puppet government following instructions laid out by the White House.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)