Thursday, July 18, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 11-07-2021 17:27

Juan Guaidó responds to Alberto Fernández: 'Human beings are disappearing in Venezuela'

Venezuelan opposition leader challenges previous statements by the Argentina's president, but suggests Fernández administration "can be a bridge" in efforts to resolve the crisis.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó has highlighted the role President Alberto Fernández could play in negotiations with Nicolás Maduro.

Guaidó, who is recognised by some nation's as Venezuela's interim leader, also expressed his opinion on past statements by Argentina's leader on human rights.

"Human beings are disappearing in Venezuela," he told Conecta2 programme, broadcast on CNN. “Alberto Fernández could be a bridge to guarantee an agreement in Venezuela."

“I would say that Alberto Fernández’s government can be a proxy because of the obvious ties [Vice-President] Cristina [Fernández de] Kirchner has with, for example, Maduro,” Guaidó added. "It can be a bridge to guarantee an agreement, a solution, and provide assurance to all sectors.”  

That is the role, he said, "that they can and want to fulfill. For Venezuelans, anything that helps us to come up with a solution will be fine."

Continuing, Guaidó reflected on Fernández’s earlier comments regarding human rights violations in Venezuela, in which the Argentine leader said they were "gradually disappearing."

"What we intend to say, categorically, is that what is happening in Venezuela at this time cannot be relativised with human rights violations," declared Guaidó. 

“Human rights violations are not disappearing.  Human beings are disappearing in Venezuela as a result of hunger, of human rights violations, of the refugee crisis — a product of political assassination, of torture and of persecution in Venezuela.”

In a June interview with Perfil, Guaidó said that Venezuelans “are hoping for Argentine support.”

He hopes President Fernández will support “an agreement of national salvation, beginning with free and fair elections on the road to institutional and human recovery with respect for human rights and personal integrity, in order to heal the wounds from over 20 years of political and social conflict leading to a deplorable humanitarian catastrophe.”

“I know we can count on the support of Argentina’s Congress,” he said, in an interview reproduced in the Times.  “The defence of human rights includes us all. Argentina, as you well know directly, underwent a dreadful dictatorship. We are fighting for the same things for which Argentines fought at that time. Our petition is simple: respect human rights, give us free elections and let us recover our country as soon as possible, ending for once and for all the suffering of millions of Venezuelans who yearn to return to their country, reunify their families and see our nation flourish once again.”

Alberto Fernández’s statements

In May, when Fernández spoke on the subject of Venezuela, he called the complaints of human rights violations that have fallen on the Nicolás Maduro administration a "problem" that "little by little was disappearing."

The president recalled his support for the report on human rights violations and extrajudicial executions prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and maintained that the issue has begun to resolve itself.  

"Many on the left criticised me because I supported Bachelet's report when it indicated actions of the Venezuelan government that violated human rights,” said the President in dialogue with Radio 10.  “But I also worked to help Bachelet create a permanent bureau in Venezuela to monitor the implementation of human rights.”   

“The problem in Venezuela has been disappearing little by little,” Fernández continued. “There is a way to solve these problems that does not include inserting ourselves into the countries, neither with armed action nor with blockades,” the president reckoned.

— Times/Perfil


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