It has been a complete surprise for many that President Nicolás Maduro did not travel to Buenos Aires to participate in the 7th CELAC Summit. It was an important event, and CELAC was promoted mainly by Venezuela from its beginnings to the present, so Venezuelan government representation is essential in a context of challenges towards regional integration.
The context in which the trip was canceled must be understood within the context of a plan of aggression against the Venezuelan delegation that was taking shape in the days before the summit.
For the last couple of weeks, a smear campaign against the Venezuelan president was being carried out in Argentina by political and judicial operators associated with the right-wing opposition linked to the "interim presidency" of Venezuela, which is now being called the "delegate commission" (backed by the United States), and Argentinian right-wing macrismo. Anti-Chavismo from here and there took the reins of the maneuver, arguing, how could it be possible for a "dictator" to touch the sacred ground of liberal democracy in the extreme south of the continent? Political opinion once again showed itself in all its misery around that hackneyed subject for years.
In addition, there was the intention to prosecute Maduro on Argentinian soil, if he were to land in Ezeiza. Two lawsuits were filed before the judiciary of Buenos Aires, and Patricia Bullrich, president of the extreme-right Republican Proposal party, said a few days ago that "if Nicolás Maduro comes to Argentina, he must be immediately arrested for having committed crimes against humanity."
That a character like Bullrich, who no longer holds government positions and, therefore, has no power to make her judicial dreams come true, endorses political pressure and is capable of preventing the presence of the Venezuelan president in the CELAC Summit, over and above the Argentinian President Fernández’s invitation for Maduro to participate, being the host of a summit of continental significance, clearly demonstrates Fernández’s inconsistency as head of state and government, and exposes his weakness before his peers.
In a recent article, Misión Verdad had commented that the position of the Alberto Fernández government regarding the harassment against the Venezuelan president was ambiguous. Furthermore, in regards to internal jurisdictions, the Argentinian government lacked a decent security framework for a head of state against whom an arrest warrant was issued by the FBI since the time of the Trump administration. The lack of firmness in the face of the threats surrounding the Chavista president is what resulted in Venezuela changing its delegation and sending Foreign Minister Yván Gil to Buenos Aires.
Given the events of recent weeks, some eventuality that could undermine the president’s participation was to be expected, taking into account the bad history of the Fernández administration to guarantee the necessary security.
Let’s take the case of the EMTRASUR plane and its crew as an example, a recent paradigmatic case. The plane was seized under instructions from the FBI, in full overcompliance with the illegal sanctions against Venezuela and in keeping with the structure of suffocation that right-wing governments would be proud to comply with. In addition, the crew members were prosecuted without evidence of any kind, unless the rumors of “terrorism” by Israeli and US Zionism can be considered as crimes.
The Fernández government could have vetoed the events of the EMTRASUR case under the framework of Argentina’s own constitutional jurisdiction. Therefore, there was an element of negligence in the matter. However, the power of the United States and the offensive of the right wing were stronger in the courts of Buenos Aires than Argentina’s national sovereignty. There have been no reparations for what happened, and despite that the Venezuelan government maintains stable relations with Argentina.
It may also be stated that the Fernández government could not even provide the necessary security to Cristina Fernández, vice president and top leader of Kirchnerism, as evidenced by the assassination attempt against her in September 2022. The successive failures in her protection occurred before the attack, and even after it, while she continued to greet her followers near her residence.
A state that cannot guarantee the ruler of its own country a minimum security framework, especially given that Cristina Fernández has experienced constant threats for a long time, can much less provide support to a demonized president like Nicolás Maduro.
Argentinian sovereignty is injured, and its state cannot provide security guarantees even to high-level politicians, both national and international, with human rights being one of the most expensive issues in the official rhetoric of Alberto Fernández. The fact that the Venezuelan president has not been able to attend the 7th CELAC Summit is a clear indication of this.
Translated by Orinoco Tribune.