The resignation of the Argentine ambassador to Russia, Alicia Castro, in protest over the decision of the government of President Alberto Fernandez to condemn the Venezuelan regime for repeated human rights violations, “constitutes a dramatic turn in our foreign policy and does not differ at all with what would have been voted by ex-president Macri”.
Ms Castro's stepping down and publication of a long letter disappointed with the current Argentine foreign policy, sheds some light on the growing discrepancies inside the two-headed Argentine government in which vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner owns the votes that opened the way for her return to office in a ticket with her hand-picked candidate for president Alberto Fernandez.
The close relations between the Kirchner couple and the Venezuela regime of Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro, and what they stand for, should not surprise, but with Argentina in deep recession, the economy in the doldrums and no dollars in the central bank, plus the uncontainable pandemic, Alberto Fernandez must act pragmatically negotiating with private debt holders and now with the IMF, and praying for foreign investment.
This policy however has infuriated the hard liners of Cristina Kirchner followers, who still believe in a return to the seventies, combating evil empires dominating the world and liberating the subjugated peoples, such was the thinking of Chavez and Kirchner when oil and soybeans allowed them to finance those fantasy dreams.
One such character is Alicia Castro, brought up in an English speaking school, who was a stewardess for over twenty years in Aerolineas Argentinas, and union leader, thus her nick name chicken or pasta, and who later ventured into politics becoming a very close ally of Cristina Fernandez. She was reattributed with two diplomatic appointments, ambassador in Venezuela and later in the UK. In Venezuela she became very close with Chavez, the refurbished Fidel Castro, almost intimate according to the Argentine media, and later in London, where she made it a point of clashing publicly with Foreign Office officials over the disputed Falkland Islands.
With the defeat of neo liberal (whatever that means) and US/UK puppet Macri, and the triumphant return of Cristina Kirchner with her brilliant political strategy, Ms Castro was appointed to represent Argentina in Moscow.
However shocked and furious with the UN human rights report on Venezuela, led by ex Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, which condemned the friendly regime of Maduro, and was supported by the government of Alberto Fernandez, Ms Castro resigned with an open letter criticizing current policies.
This follows a previous incident at the Organization of American States, where the Bachelet report was also considered. In a first consideration Argentine ambassador Carlos Raimondi, a Kirchner stalwart, denied human rights violations in Venezuela but rather that the country was constantly under an international siege with attacks, sanctions and attempts to overthrow the elected government. However only hours later Raimondi back stepped on his original position and admitted gross violations of human rights in Venezuela as informed in the Bachelet report.
The ultra Kirchnerites are longing for her leader to remove Alberto Fernandez and have Cristina become president, with Sergio Massa, speaker of the Lower House becoming vice president, and replaced by none else than Maximo Kirchner. However this is hard to see, since such a move would be hard to swallow by the overall political system and overseas reactions. Furthermore, being a populist leader with an empty purse does not fit or work.
Follows the letter, and open confession, of Ms Castro:
I want to thank the national government, especially our vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, for having honored me with the appointment as ambassador to the Russian Federation. I had planned my transfer for the month of April, but in March, with the Placet granted by Russia, I began the period of preventive and mandatory isolation and made my formal request to the Senate of the Nation to postpone the treatment of my Statement due to the explosion of the pandemic, which materially prevents flights to Russia and the five countries where it would have concurrence.
Russia is a strategic country in the construction of a multipolar world, and I believe that it could serve with loyalty, efficiency and patriotism, until obtaining concrete achievements and recognition for our country, such as those registered during my ten years as ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. and before the United Kingdom. My greatest ambition is for Argentina to join the BRICS and thereby make a qualitative leap, both geopolitical and economic and commercial.
Today I want to present my resignation as ambassador, because I do not agree with the current foreign relations policy.
On October 6, at the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Argentina’s vote accompanying the Resolution of the Lima Group constitutes a dramatic turn in our foreign policy and does not differ at all from what would have happened. Macri’s government voted. In fact, the Lima Group was created during the neoliberal restoration by a group of far-right governments, encouraged and financed by the United States with two explicit objectives: To promote a “Regime Change” in Venezuela -with the same matrix of those who operated by the US in the Middle East – and dismantle the regional bloc.
In the past decade I had the honor of participating – as a deputy and as an ambassador – in the wonderful process of forging regional unity together with Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the progressive leaders of the Region, Hugo Chávez, Lula da Silva, Fidel Castro, Pepe Mujica, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega, united in diversity. We clearly understand, following the legacy of our liberators San Martín, Bolívar, Artigas, that the union of South America is the key to our political sovereignty and economic independence. At UNASUR we achieved a dense and effective supranational institutional framework that managed to avoid two coups d’état in the Region and later we formed the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Everything collapsed with the arrival of Temer, Macri, Bolsonaro, Lenin Moreno, the coups in Brazil and Bolivia with the manipulation of Lawfare and media operations. No one has been more exposed to media lynching than the Venezuelan government. It is well known how the Government Agencies of the United States orchestrate their Regime Change plans – with lies they have justified their military invasions in Iraq, the destruction of Libya – and their claims of direct interference in Latin American politics. It is worth asking why the US government and the Lima Group are not concerned about the flagrant violations of Human Rights in Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, or Colombia – where 250 have been murdered. social leaders who signed the Peace Accords – Accords that – I also remember with pride – were promoted by Néstor Kirchner, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. No one can ignore today that Venezuela is under siege, subjected to a criminal blockade that deprives the people of medicine, food, and essential supplies. Contributing to intensify that siege is, to say the least, irresponsible.
Since the coup d’état perpetrated against Hugo Chavez in April 2002, coup attempts, assassination, sabotage, shortages, organized acts of violence to promote chaos have not ceased.
Most of the opposition parties do not present candidates for elections in order not to validate the triumph of the popular vote, as former president Rodriguez Zapatero explained with evidence from Caracas when Nicolas Maduro was reelected in 2018. As they failed to defeat Nicolas Maduro, the The US served a “self-proclaimed” president, Juan Guaidó, who also has the support of several European nations.
We take into consideration that, in a Front, not all of us think the same. We know that there are leaders among us who were always opposed to Venezuelan socialism – without ever having set foot in Venezuela – and even some who celebrated the proclamation of Guaidó.
But we trust that, regardless of preferences, the government of the Frente de Todos would respect the guiding principles of Non-Intervention in the internal affairs of other states, Peaceful Resolution of Controversies, and the enshrined principle of Legal Equality of States. Argentina has made doctrine with these founding principles of International Law, the Drago Doctrine, the Calvo Doctrine.
The countries of the European Union have as much right to interfere in the elections in Venezuela, as Venezuela can rule in the French elections.
Anti-colonialism is also an ethical imperative.
On October 6 at the United Nations Human Rights Council, two Resolutions were voted. Res. L.55. that it underlines the importance of maintaining constructive dialogue and cooperation with Venezuela in order to “strengthen its capacity to fulfill its obligations in the field of human rights”; “Expresses concern about the news regarding alleged restrictions to civic and democratic space, including reports of alleged cases of arbitrary detention, intimidation and defamation of protesters, journalists and human rights defenders”; welcomes the visit of the High Commissioner to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which took place from June 19 to 21, 2019, and the commitments made with the Government to improve the human rights situation in the country; urges the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to apply the recommendations contained in the reports of the High Commissioner presented to the Human Rights Council at its 41st and 44th sessions and requests the High Commissioner to continue collaborating with the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela to address the human rights situation in the country and provide substantive support in the form of technical assistance and capacity building. “
This Resolution that promotes and encourages democratic participation was voted by several countries, among others, Mexico.
Later, the vote on Res. L.43 promoted by the Lima Group was put into consideration.
This Resolution, in addition to strongly condemning Venezuela, in line with the expressions of the opposition, promotes frank interference in internal affairs. Decides to extend for two years the mandate of an “Independent International Mission” that was constituted by three people without any representation, designated by the Lima Group, which limited itself to receiving reports from Panama by email from the Venezuelan opposition, which were never verified. In addition, it suggests the consideration of new measures.
For a greater display of cynicism, he expresses concern about the treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic in Venezuela, which, with 30 million inhabitants, has -according to WHO data- 80,000 infected with Covid-19 and a total of 653 deaths, which, clearly, it shows better performance, monitoring and care of public health than the countries that support Resolution 43, including ours.
This clearly demonstrates the lack of rigor of the arguments presented in this Resolution, which aim to demonize the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its legitimate authorities and its people, who heroically resist the siege of the United States of America and its allies.
Argentina could have chosen to abstain, in any case, if it did not want to commit to either of the two Resolutions.
But instead, he voted with European countries that recognize the self-proclaimed Guaidó as president without a vote, a modality that puts the democracies of Latin America at risk. He voted alongside the United Kingdom, when Venezuela has been a constant and exemplary ally of the Argentine Republic in our fight for sovereignty in the Malvinas. He voted alongside the group of Latin American countries that have closely followed the instructions of the United States to demolish Venezuela. Argentina voted with Bolsonaro, with Piñera, with the coup leader Añez, with Lenin Moreno and empowered them as spokesmen for Human Rights.
For the above reasons, I present my resignation as plenipotentiary ambassador to the Russian Federation, I decline the high honor and privileges that such a high and important position holds.
I am not leaving the Frente de Todos y Todos, to which Kirchnerism contributed so much energy, so many efforts and the majority of the votes. And he built with so many dreams! I now vividly remember the masses of happy and conscious militants young and old at the historic Mar del Plata Summit, where we celebrated the rejection of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), the resounding success led by the “three musketeers”, as Hugo Chávez called his indestructible alliance with Néstor Kirchner and Lula da Silva.
I could not follow instructions from the Foreign Ministry that I do not share and that I consider to be at odds with the interest of the Nation. I want to act with responsibility and transparency; Let no one worry or harm by my statements, nor know concerns in off by the commercial media.
My position and my ideal of building the Great Homeland is today, as it was during the two Kirchner governments, and it will continue to be firm and unwavering. Forever.