MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th April, 2022) Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said on Monday his country will fully restore diplomatic relations with Venezuela, and called on states in the region to review policies toward Caracas.
"Venezuela has gone through difficult times. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet dealt with the issue and worked with the government and many of these problems have dissipated over time. We see how the agreements in the contact group have allowed the electoral process to move forward, and we believe it is time to help Venezuela restore, through dialogue, normal life of the country and society. This cannot be achieved by leaving it alone, without ambassadors and our attention," Fernandez added.
Venezuela has been mired in a political crisis since early 2019 when Juan Guaido, former head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, proclaimed himself interim president in an attempt to oust re-elected President Nicolas Maduro.
Most Western countries, with the US at the helm, endorsed Guaido and imposed crippling sanctions on Venezuela, targeting the country's oil and financial industries. Russia, China, Turkey, and several other nations have supported Maduro.
In March 2021, the Argentine authorities decided to leave the Lima Group over disagreements with the policy that the organization promotes towards Venezuela. After the center-left government came to power in Argentina in 2019, Buenos Aires repeatedly expressed its disagreement with the position of the group's member states and refused to sign the organization's statements on Venezuela.
The Lima Group was created in 2017 with a declared aim to settle the political crisis in Venezuela. The group includes Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. Most member states have backed Guaido when he briefly proclaimed himself president and organized a short-lived protest in January 2019 and decided to downgrade the level of their diplomatic relations with Caracas.