In a further indication of its support for Venezuela's opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, the Argentine government on Friday formally recognised his envoy in Buenos Aires as the troubled country's official representative.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie designated Elisa Trotta as the "maximum authority of Venezuela in Argentina," confirming her as ambassador. She will formally present her diplomatic credentials to President Mauricio Macri in the coming weeks.
"The Argentine government recognises Mrs. Elisa Trotta as the legitimate head of the Representation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in our country," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday, adding that she will begin carrying out official consular functions.
“Ms Trotta will be representing all Venezuelans resident in Argentina and will also be entitled to address consular affairs,” it added.
Guaidó, the opposition leader and President of Venezuela's National Assembly, has been recognised as Venezuela's president by more than 50 countries including the United States. Macri, who is seeking re-election in Argentina's presidential election on October 27, has been one of Guaidó's main supporters in Latin America.
Guaidó has sought to appoint envoys to all nations that are supporting his claim as Venezuela's legitimate leader.
Trotta, who has been in Argentina since the turn of the year, was feted by Macri earlier this year at the Casa Rosada and acknowledged as Venezuela's representative in Argentina. However, the Foreign Ministry has now officially recognised her, passing on all consular and diplomatic functions to her.
Interviewed by a Buenos Aires radio station on Friday, Faurie said that Argentina has not broken diplomatic relations with Venezuela, but that Trotta would not be responsible for all of Venezuela's diplomatic functions.
“We haven't broken relations. States keep relations, which are independent of governments,” argued Faurie, adding that he was expecting enoys representing the Nicolás Maduro administration to leave Argentina.
However, questions over continuity remain, with Argentina's presidential election imminent. Frente de Todos candidate Alberto Fernández, the Peronist leader who is the favourite to win the October 27 vote, has indicated he would seek to reset Buenos Aires' position on Venezuela, adopting a more neutral tone.
"Latin America must help rebuild democracy in Venezuela and full institutionality. For that we must do what Uruguay and Mexico propose: try to find a point of approach that returns democratic coexistence and full institutionality," he said recently, indicating he would adopt a more neutral stance on Venezuela than the Macri administration.