Joe Biden’s position on Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela leaves the Argentine government in an uncomfortable situation

Just over two weeks after coming to power, the Joseph Biden administration formalized its first approach to the regime of Nicolas Maduro. And that first statement, issued Wednesday night by the new State Department spokesman, Ned Price, leaves again in an uncomfortable situation to the government of Alberto Fernandez.

On Wednesday night, Price defined Maduro before journalists as “A dictator”, refused to contact him as an interlocutor about the future of Venezuela. And he stressed that they continue to recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as “interim president” of Venezuela.

Although it was suggestive when saying that the new administration hoped to work with “partners” and “allies” in the Venezuelan crisis – Price did not name any country – the spokesman for the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken considered the Organization of American States (OAS) Y to the Lima Group as the spaces of “leadership” to continue “pressing for a democratic transition in Venezuela” to “further strengthen a regional coalition” that advocates “free and fair elections” in the Caribbean country.

The Fernández government ignores Guaidó, advocates dialogue with Maduro, and endorsed the last and controversial legislative elections imposed by Chavismo, of December 6, and that were condemned by most of the western democracies.

Furthermore, it maintains a confrontation opened with Luis Almagro’s OAS and with the Lima Group. He points out that they are and were instruments of the Trump administration and its plans to invade Venezuela. They claim that former President Mauricio Macri endorsed them. Plans that were never actually tested. The Biden thing is Trump continuity.


Curiously, the Argentine government joined the International Contact Group with Venezuela to evade commitments with that of Lima. But when the Contact Group condemned the legislative, Argentina he distinguished himself with silence and an abstention at the OAS.

This week the GCI asked for transparent elections, Argentina accompanied, but the Foreign Minister Felipe Solá was unmarked with a statement in which he asked for “humanitarian access” from Venezuela to “blocked” money – he did not specify – so that he can pay for vaccines against COVID from the Covax fund, when it is the Venezuelan opposition that demands a mass vaccination plan from Maduro, which does not have.

The position is so uncomfortable For President Fernández, for example, his position at the UN – where he has condemned human rights abuses in Venezuela in line with High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet – which last week came out to deny something that is ongoing. These are the conversations that Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand commented to seek a more consensual position at the regional level on Venezuela. These negotiations exist. Chile has just joined the Contact Group. The Argentine President chose to emphasize that he has not discussed this with his counterpart Sebastián Piñera. Do the foreign ministers work without presidential consensus?

Even so, government sources consulted by Clarín flatly deny that Biden’s position leaves them in a bad way. Furthermore, they point out that Alberto Fernández is “the best positioned president” for an eventual “mediation” dialogue in Venezuela and that for this it is worth remembering – they say here – the democrat spoke with a few Latin American presidents, among whom was the Argentine . And they are optimistic that this year Alberto F can make a trip to the White House. They consider that Washington “understands” the Argentine position.

The Government seeks a rapprochement with Washington through coincidences regarding multilateralism and the fight against climate change. But reality prevails and the first differences begin to emerge. In the care that Biden seeks to maintain before the Latinos in Florida who did not vote for him, in the toughness he promises towards China, and trade protectionism.



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