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President Maduro cancels visits to Argentina and CELAC, citing ‘aggression’

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s government announced Monday that it will cancel a planned trip to Argentina to attend the upcoming CELAC summit.

The Bolivarian leader condemned the alleged plot of “aggression” against his delegation but did not provide specific details other than claiming ties to the United States.

“In the last few hours we have been informed, in an irrefutable way, of a plan drawn up within the neo-fascist right wing, the purpose of which is to launch a series of offensive actions against our delegation headed by the President of the Republic. It is to take action.” Read the official statement.

“They intend to put on a deplorable ‘show’ to sabotage the positive impact of an important regional event, the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and contribute to a discrediting campaign. – Already failed – is what the North American empire has done against our country.”

Earlier in the day, the Brazilian government confirmed that Maduro would withdraw from a meeting with President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva scheduled on the side of the summit in Buenos Aires.

Foreign Minister Ivan Gil will represent Venezuela at the CELAC summit in place of Maduro, who took part in Monday’s march to mark the fall of the 1958 military dictatorship.

Maduro’s potential presence was in the news ahead of the CELAC summit. Members of the Argentine opposition coalition, Juntos por el Cambio, have called for his arrest if he sets foot in the country, and individuals and civil society have linked him to alleged human rights abuses. I tried to bring a case in the Argentine judicial system.

Venezuela’s socialist government thanked it for the “heartfelt invitation” to the summit issued by Argentine President Alberto Fernandez.

The meeting between Maduro and Lula, who returned to power for a third term on 1 January after a strong rift between Caracas and Brasilia during the term of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro (2017-2022) raised expectations.

Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Commission arrived in Venezuela last week to “normalize relations between the two countries” and reopen consulates that have been closed since 2020.

– Times/AFP

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