Venezuela Rejects Statement by Argentina's President

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez rebutted claims by Argentine President Mauricio Macri of human rights violations in Venezuela, accusing the newly elected leader of double standards in repressing peaceful protest in his own country.

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Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez (L) attends the Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, Paraguay, Dec. 21, 2015. (Reuters)
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez (L) attends the Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, Paraguay, Dec. 21, 2015. (Reuters)

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez defended the sovereignty of her country against the interventionist statements of Mauricio Macri, the newly elected right-wing president of Argentina, who demanded the release of so-called “political prisoners” in Venezuela during the Summit of Heads of State of the Southern Common Market (or Mercosur). 

"You are meddling in matters of Venezuela. You are defending Leopoldo Lopez, a person who led violent demonstrations, you are defending this political violence," Rodriguez said as she presented photographic evidence of the protests that took place in 2014 in which 43 people were killed. 

"In Venezuela we have independent public authorities that must be respected by the international community," she added while questioning Macri for human rights related measures taken by his government in the short time he has served as president.

"I understand that President Macri wants to demand freedom for these violent people, I understand this because I know that one of his first announcements as president was that he will release those responsible for torture, disappearances and killings during the dictatorship in Argentina," Rodriguez said.    

The foreign minister concluded by accusing Macri of double standards, reminding the Argentine leader that his government recently accused globally renowned activist Hebe de Bonafini of “inciting collective violence.”

The Mercosur Summit was held in Paraguay over the weekend and concluded this Monday with the adoption of a draft that will guide the sub-regional bloc’s action the next year. Among the issues that were addressed by the regional bloc were trade, human rights, E.U. negotiations, the Pacific Alliance and energy 

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