Argentina prevented access to the country to the deputy and first vice president of the National Assembly of Venezuela (AN, Parliament), María Iris Varela Rangel, who arrived at a Buenos Aires airport and was expelled hours later for being included in a list of leaders sanctioned Chavistas, approved in 2019, official sources reported this Friday.
In a statement, the National Migration Directorate (DNM) of the Government of Alberto Fernández indicated that the Venezuelan official arrived at 1:05 local time (4:05 GMT) on May 12 on a flight from Brasilia.
“This official is prohibited from entering and transiting through the national territory by virtue of the agreement signed by the previous management of the Foreign Ministry and these restrictions continue to date,” indicates the published text.
The ban arises from the list drawn up in 2019 -when the liberal Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) was still governing- by the countries party to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), in which sanctions were established for various leaders close to the Government of Nicolás Ripe.
According to the statement, Varela is at number 26 on the list.
At 03:09 (06:09 GMT) on May 12, according to the same text, authorities consulted the Foreign Ministry if there was any indication that had not been communicated to the DNM about the prohibition of entry and movement of the Venezuelan deputy. About two and a half hours later, the Foreign Ministry replied that “the agreement signed” in the previous government remains in force.
That is why Migrations proceeded to “perform the exit verification, once the passenger obtained a means to return.”
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During the government of Macri -one of the political leaders most critical of the Chavista government, which he calls a dictatorship-, Argentina ignored Maduro’s embassy in Buenos Aires in favor of Elisa Trotta, the diplomat sent as ambassador by the then opposition leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, self-proclaimed interim president in 2019.
“The Argentine authorities denied entry to the country to Iris Varela, one of the heads of the Maduro dictatorship, as she is sanctioned by the TIAR. Violating human rights has consequences. We warn that the false ‘deputies’ who accompanied her are also members of the regime,” Trotta said on Twitter on Friday.
Tensions between Argentina and Venezuela relaxed after the triumph of Alberto Fernández at the end of 2019, who after assuming the Presidency decided not to recognize Guaidó’s representative.
Its vice president, Cristina Fernández, maintained a close relationship during her time as president (2007-2015) with both the late Hugo Chávez and Maduro.
On April 18, the current Argentine head of state generated controversy by considering that many of Venezuela’s problems “have been dissipating over time,” thanks, in part, to the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the agreements reached within the framework of the International Contact Group on Venezuela.
It was at that moment that Fernández announced that the country would regain its full diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation. (I)