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ARGENTINA | 28-01-2019 17:27

Venezuela tensions split Argentina down the middle

Aside from the far left and Peronists tied to former president and Nicolás Maduro ally, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, most of Argentina's political elite has put their weight behind Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó.

The dramatic political situation in Venezuela is feeding into a fresh outbreak of ideological tension in Argentina.

Aside from the far left and Peronists tied to former president and Nicolás Maduro ally, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, most of Argentina's political elite has put their weight behind Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó.

Society more broadly seems to be following suite, responding to the far-away drama according to their place on either side of Argentina's famous "la grieta", or divide.

"Look at Libya, Syria or Afghanistan", said Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's former Ambassador to Venezuela Alicia Castro who on Sunday evening engaged in an on-air debate with former Venezuelan political prisoner Marcelo Crovato.

"Argentina asked (Venezuela) for help during the military dictatorship. Should we have let the military kill them or should we have helped them?" Crovato responded, appearing on the Debo Decir television programme.

Casto described Guaidó's decision to declare his interim presidency, which subsequently gained the support of governments across the world, as "a grotesque coup d'état orchestrated by the United States".

Crovato claimed "tens of thousands of people" had been killed by the Maduro government "because they were an annoying opposition", he charged.

"If you like dictatorships, I congratulate you. I don't", he added.

For her part, Castro claimed she defended "the free will of the people", in reference to the defence of Maduro's recent electoral win, which many governments like Argentina's and the United States' described as flawed.

"Normally all coup d'état's in Latin America were supported and financed by the United States. The Escuela de las Américas was the school of torturers during the genocidal civil-military dictatorship (in Argentina)", she charged.

'POCKET BOOK SOCIALISTS'

Another high profile Kirchnerite, lawmaker Gabriela Cerruti, also clashed with Venezuelans living in Argentina when she questioned their claims of having achieved comfort and success in the Argentina of President Mauricio Macri.

Responding to a Venezuelan man's Tweet labelling Maduro supporters in Argentina as "pocket book socialists", she took to irony.

"Come to Buenos Aires to earn the minimum wage. If you're lucky and you find work", she said.

Twitter user Luis Cobelo challenged the likes of Cerruti to live for free in his apartment in Barquisimeto "without being charged a cent. I'll pay half your plane flight from wherever you are", presumably to see if they could live happily in Maduro's Venezuela.

-TIMES

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