Caracas, May 30, 2023 (OrinocoTribune.com)—During the Summit of South American Presidents held in Brasília on Tuesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro advanced a busy agenda of bilateral meetings with the presidents of Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina while signing agreements with Brazilian President and host Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
President Maduro and Bolivian President Luis Arce met at the Itamaraty Palace, the headquarters of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, in a private bilateral meeting to strengthen strategic ties between the two countries.
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 30, 2023
On April 20, Maduro and Arce met in Caracas, signing 13 cooperation agreements within the context of the Venezuela-Bolivia Third Joint Integration Commission. No further statements were provided after the meeting.
Earlier, the Venezuelan delegation, led by President Maduro, met with Argentinian President Alberto Fernández. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil posted photos of the meeting on his social media.
“Venezuela and Argentina review the bilateral agenda to consolidate cooperation and integration routes. President Nicolás Maduro held a meeting with the president of Argentina in Brazil during the summit of South American presidents,” wrote Gil.
With the victory of President Alberto Fernández in 2019, Venezuela and Argentina reestablished diplomatic relations, previously fractured during Mauricio Macri’s administration (2015-2019), reports the Presidential Press. After more than two years, relations were fully reestablished in July 2022, when President Fernández appointed Oscar Laborde as Ambassador of Argentina in Venezuela, and a month later, at the end of August 2022, Stella Lugo de Montilla was appointed as Venezuelan Ambassador in Argentina.
Venezuela y Argentina revisan agenda bilateral para consolidar rutas de cooperación e integración. El Presidente @NicolasMaduro sostuvo un encuentro con el mandatario de Argentina @alferdez en Brasil en el marco de la reunión de Presidentes de los países de América del Sur. pic.twitter.com/trMZgsAfFq
— Yvan Gil (@yvangil) May 30, 2023
The Argentinian government published a press release on the meeting with the Venezuelan delegation, where they repeated various talking points, including the following:
• “Alberto Fernández urged his Venezuelan counterpart to once again be represented in international forums and mechanisms, especially the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).” The IACHR is an Organization of American States (OAS) body. The Argentinian government failed to acknowledge the IACHR’s role in destabilizing democratic institutions in Venezuela and other progressive governments of the region.
• “Argentina’s work in supporting dialogue among Venezuelans themselves in the search for a political solution that, within the framework of its institutional and constitutional mechanisms, guarantees the full validity of democracy and respect for human rights” was noted by the Argentinian government in a way closely resembling similar US government statements.
• “Argentina proposes that a road map should be agreed upon with the ruling party and the opposition to work on the guarantees for the 2024 electoral process.” This statement once again repeats US government talking points used against Venezuela to interfere in its internal affairs, presenting as victims the right-wing opposition forces that have attempted to oust President Maduro’s democratically elected government on several occasions.
In January 2023, President Maduro had to suspend at the last minute his participation in the last CELAC Summit held in Buenos Aires due to a lack of assurance from the Argentinian government regarding his safety. Additionally, Argentina illegally seized a Venezuelan cargo jet belonging to state-owned EMTRASUR, causing several Venezuelan and Iranian workers to be illegally detained under fabricated charges that were dropped over a year later. This maneuver opened the door for Washington to seize the cargo jet Venezuela legally purchased from Iran.
With the aim of strengthening bilateral relations and reviewing the strategic cooperation agenda between Venezuela and Colombia, Presidents Nicolás Maduro and Gustavo Petro held a bilateral meeting in the Itamaraty Palace.
The summit of South American presidents served as an opportunity to reinforce strategic ties including Venezuela and Colombia’s joint signing of the Agreement for the Creation of the Neighborhood and Integration Commission. The agreement aims to coordinate cooperation in border areas and promote business collaboration to strengthen bilateral production.
The agreement was signed by the foreign ministers of Colombia, Álvaro Leyva, and Venezuela, Yván Gil.
According to Colombian sources, the binational initiative to search for disappeared Colombian citizens, allegedly killed by the Colombian paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia and buried in Venezuela, was also discussed during the meeting. This comes after recent confessions by the paramilitary’s former leader Salvatore Mancuso, now in prison in the US.
Colombian news outlets also highlighted President Maduro’s remarks about President Petro becoming a key figure in the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the far-right opposition. On April 25, President Petro organized an international conference on Venezuela to resume the talks between these groups, paralyzed after the US government failed to unfreeze $3.2 billion of Venezuelan money held in US bank accounts. Weeks later, the US government announced that its “ambassador” to Venezuela, James Story, who operated from Bogotá, would end his mission in May. At the same time, the US administration also announced that the illegally seized assets would be released to the Venezuelan opposition, criticized by President Maduro as “looting” of resources belonging to the Venezuelan people.
Mainstream media such as Voice of America, El Pais, RFI, and EFE, stenographers of US White House talking points, tried to generate tension using comments from Uruguayan President Lacalle criticizing Lula’s full support of Maduro and Chilean President Boric’s comments regarding human rights in Venezuela. The coverage evidently attempted to obscure the fact that President Nicolás Maduro has fully returned to the South American community after years of failed US-led regime change operations that today are only supported by a few remaining US satellites.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/September 28, 2023