Argentine President Mauricio Macri Tuesday launched an appeal in Montevideo to find solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and called for the return of democracy in that country. He delivered that speech during the Mercosur summit where he is to take up the bloc's rotating presidency from host Tabaré Vázquez.
Macri spoke of a humanitarian crisis that requires immediate efforts [to] protect the rights of millions of Venezuelans, who are victims of harsh repression from their own government.
The régime of Nicolás Maduro's questionable approach to human rights and respect for democracy has led to Venezuela's suspension from the subcontinental alliance in 2017.
Witnessing Macri's speech among other leaders was Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close partner to the Chavist government of Maduro's. Bolivia is an associate member of Mercosur.
Macri described the Maduro rule as a dictatorship that carried out a fraudulent electoral process and asked his Mercosur partners (Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay) to take action and, if necessary, to work tirelessly for the release of political prisoners, the respect for human rights, and the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
Venezuela had joined Mercosur as a full member in 2012 after Paraguay had been suspended from the group. Caracas' admittance was decided in a summit between the Argentine Cristina Kirchner, the Brazilian Dilma Rousseff, and the Uruguayan José Mujica, without representation of Paraguay, a founding member of Mercosur.
In 2017, Uruguay first objected to Venezuela being sanctioned but eventually yielded to pressure from Brazil and Argentina.