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LATIN AMERICA | 02-03-2019 08:27

Macri hosts Venezuelan opposition leader Guaidó at Olivos residence

J uan Guaidó, opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, arrived to Buenos Aires on Friday after an express trip to several countries in the region looking to shore up support in his power struggle with Nicolás Maduro.

Guaidó held a closed doors meeting with President Mauricio Macri with at the Olivos preidential residence late afternoon, having arrived late after some technical problems with the plane that brought him from Paraguayan capital Asunción, where he held by President Mario Abdo Benítez earlier that day. The head of Venezuela’s National Assembly had previously visited Colombia and Brazil.

“This is an historic encounter, we leave behind us briefcases filled with cash, the corruption that destroyed Venezuela to embrace a new stage of resurfacing,” Guaidó said in a press conference at San Martín Palace in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Retiro, outside of which thousands of Venezuelan immigrants congregated.

“With Macri we spoke about humanitarian aid and mechanisms of quick cooperation in agricultural and food issues,” he explained, adding, that the duo “touched on issues of diplomatic pressure that we have been working on with Foreign Minister [Jorge Faurie] since the Lima Group [meetings].”

Argentina is one Latin America’s largest recipients of Venezuelan immigrants, to which Guaidó added that “for the Venezuela n people, Argentina’s recognition in the battle for democracy that has lasted for years is very important,” noting that they are “deeply grateful for that gesture.”

Macri, who earlier gave his state of the union speech in Congress, where he blasted the previous administration for aligning itself with the Maduro government, was “very concerned for the human rights situation in Venezuela,” Guaidó told reporters.

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