Argentina and Brazil on the Side of Democracy

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryWhatever the relationship between Argentina and the United States and other parts of South America, the Argentine government of current President Mauricio Macri have taken a principled and correct position in regards to Venezuela. The Argentine government recognizes that Venezuela is a left wing dictatorship, and that Nicolas Maduro is an illegitimate ruler because the last election did not include the Venezuelan opposition. Further, the Argentine government recognizes that Maduro’s policies have led Venezuela to the brink of collapse and three million Venezuelans fleeing their country. Therefore, Macri has recognized the only democratically elected branch of the Venezuelan government, the National Assembly, as legitimate and its speaker Juan Guaido as the legitimate head of state. Guaido has been designated as interim president of Venezuela by the National Assembly, and Guaido has called for new, free and fair elections and for Maduro to step down from power.

The Argentine government is monitoring the human rights abuses in Venezuela, and the brutality of the Venezuelan government. Argentina has taken in 130,000 Venezuelans fleeing from their country, and the Argentine government is maintaining contact with democratic organizations including the National Assembly. Similarly, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made it clear that Brazil will not forcibly return the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who have sought refuge in Brazil. Bolsonaro is doing what he can to lessen the suffering of the Venezuelan refugees streaming into Brazil, and rejected any demands from the Venezuelan government to “return” those Venezuelans trying to escape what Bolsonaro rightfully calls a dictatorship. It is becoming clear that only a minority of Latin American countries now recognize Maduro and his socialist government. In Maduro, many Argentinians and Brazilians see a dark spectre from their past—many Argentinians remember only too well their military dictatorships from the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and Brazilians have not forgotten their socialist government which made a mess of the country. They also remember when Venezuela offered refuge against their past tyrannical regimes. The Argentinians and Brazilians are trying to do what they can to help those Venezuelans who go their their countries and are working to save Venezuela.

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