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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 17:35 UTC



Chilean FM says conditions not met for free elections in Venezuela

Monday, April 15th 2024 - 23:59 UTC
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Van Kleveren also pointed out that the ongoing crisis in the Middle East seemed distant but was not Van Kleveren also pointed out that the ongoing crisis in the Middle East seemed distant but was not

The Chilean Government of President Gabriel Boric Font is adopting a neutral stance regarding Venezuela's political crisis by keeping active ties with the administration of President Nicolás Maduro as well as with disenfranchised opposition leader María Corina Machado. However, “there are no conditions for free elections in Venezuela,” Santiago's Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren told reporters during the weekend.

“Unfortunately, at this time we consider that not all the conditions are in place for free elections and we have expressed this in public statements,” van Kleveren added in a TV appearance.

“It is of great interest to us, as a country that values democracy and human rights, that plural, free elections are held, and Chile has had a tradition in that matter. Chile has contacts with the Venezuelan opposition, just as it has with the Venezuelan government, and those contacts with the Venezuelan opposition are highly valued, even by leaders such as María Corina Machado, who has been disqualified, but has had a very positive opinion regarding the actions that the Chilean government has developed in support of a democratic process in Venezuela,” Santiago's top diplomat also said.

While underlining Chile's hopes to contribute together with the rest of the international community to facilitate elections with democratic conditions in Venezuela, van Klaveren insisted that breaking up ties with Caracas was a situation “to be avoided” because “it would affect the interests that Chile maintains with that country.”

Van Klaveren made those remarks after calls from the international community to isolate Maduro, in addition to the abduction and murder of former Venezuelan Lieutenant Ronald Ojeda who had fled to Chile to avoid persecution from Caracas' regime.

Boric met Saturday with Chile's Ambassador to Venezuela Jaime Gazmuri Foreign Undersecretary Gloria de la Fuente to review the Ojeda case.

Regarding the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, van Klaveren repudiated Tehran's actions and said he feared “an escalation” of the hostilities.

“We saw that Iran's action against Israel was a relatively contained action; in part, thanks also to the defenses available to Israel and some of the countries that came to help. But the bigger problem is the possibility of an increase in tensions in the Middle East, in an area that is already very troubled,” the minister pointed out.

In van Klaveren's view, Iran's attack “seems very distant from Chile, but it is not because the effects of a major confrontation in the Middle East will be felt throughout the international system.”

“We are also concerned about the fate of our citizens, about the Chilean communities that are in the area, basically in Israel and in the Palestinian territories,” he added. He also admitted that “our consuls and our diplomatic missions there are in contact with the Chileans living there and, fortunately, there have been no problems reported.”

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