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Montevideo, February 16th 2019 - 18:12 UTC

Unexpected meeting of Uruguay and Argentina to address the Venezuelan situation

Tuesday, February 12th 2019 - 09:55 UTC
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Vazquez and Macri will meet on Wednesday at the Anchorena park, a twenty minutes helicopter flight from Buenos Aires Vazquez and Macri will meet on Wednesday at the Anchorena park, a twenty minutes helicopter flight from Buenos Aires

Presidents from Uruguay and Argentina, Tabare Vazquez and Mauricio Macri, will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss an open agenda, but which according to Buenos Aires sources will be centered on the Venezuelan situation, where the two countries hold different positions. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Colonia, at the Anchorena Park, which is an official resting place of the Uruguayan Executive, and a twenty minutes helicopter flight distance from Buenos Aires.

President Vazquez with strong backing from the ruling coalition continues to support Nicolas Maduro as legitimate president of Venezuela, refuses to describe the Caribbean country's government as a dictatorship or that it has organized fraudulent elections, and has been the dissident voice of Mercosur in condemning the Caracas regime.

Argentina on the other hand recognizes self proclaimed Juan Guaidó, who leads the National Assembly of Venezuela, as the interim president of Venezuela, and is a founder and member of the Lima Group, which is highly critical of the Maduro regime and is demanding fresh presidential elections. Guaidó has the support of the United States, leading members of the European Union and Latin America,, in total some fifty countries.

However differences now have the need of a more practical and immediate definition, because all sides agree that the Venezuelan people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid,(medicines and food) which Maduro rejects point blank as a Trojan horse to invade the country and topple his regime, while Guaido has warned the military, so far behind Maduro that impeding access to the aid is a “crime against humanity.”

It can be speculated that president Vazquez is believed to have a certain degree of influence over Maduro, but that is not certain since that alleged link could be more compliant with the many “shady” business deals between Chavista and Uruguayan officials, including members of the Vazquez family.

Delivering the humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people has become the heart of the controversy, internationally, and thus the urgency to solve the case, and could help t o explain Wednesday's meeting.

However the announcement of the Vazquez-Macri came out of the blue, and although Argentine sources have been willing to advance possible scenarios, from the Uruguayan side it was limited to a very brief release mentioning the event but anticipating that it will be followed by an official statement instead of a media conference.

Uruguay last week hosted a double simultaneous conflicting positions events on Venezuela. One of the tem the so called International Contact Group led by the European Union, calling for immediate free, transparent, democratic elections in Venezuela, in fact disavowing Maduro and supporting Guadio as interim president, and a second led by Uruguay and Mexico with a hands-off attitude calling for communication, dialogue and good will from con conflicting sides to solve the situation.

Uruguay finally joined the EU and ICG calling for fresh snap elections, but also insisted in dialogue and reaffirmed it continues to recognize Maduro as the legitimate elected president of Venezuela, even when the opposition did not participate claiming a big fraud scheme mounted by the Chavista regime. Interim president Guaido rejects dialogue arguing that in the previous three/four dialogue attempts, including one with participation of the Vatican, Maduro took advantage to gain breathing space and reaffirm his hold of the country.

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