Diplomatic Tensions Rise Between Venezuela and Chile

The Venezuelan government denounces surfacing interventionism by Chile. Meanwhile, Brazil, under Temer, shows no interest in reestablishing diplomatic ties with the Maduro administration.

By Jeanette Charles

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Artistic rendition of Chilean and Brazilian flags (Noticia Al Dia).
Artistic rendition of Chilean and Brazilian flags (Noticia Al Dia).
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Caracas, September 13th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - In an official statement this week, Venezuela accused Chile of intervening in its domestic affairs after Chile requested information and conditions about a Chilean-Venezuelan citizen recently arrested in Nueva Esparta state early September.

Authorities arrested Braulio Jatar under allegations of money laundering and extortion. However, the Venezuela press union and Jatar's family members say that he was detained for video recording an opposition protest against Nicolás Maduro on September 3rd. 

Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the issue in a statement released on Monday criticizing the Chilean government for its political approach to this case. “[Chilean] Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, in his unfriendly actions against the Venezuelan government and without knowing the legal and constitutional systems of our country, obeys the most reactionary Pinochet bourgeoisie sectors and international elite pressures,” read the statement.

The Chilean government officially denounced Venezuela’s accusation of interventionist behavior on its end and reiterated that its interest is in assuring due process and guaranteeing Jatar's “human rights.” 

The Venezuelan government additionally stressed that Jatar is a Venezuelan citizen, resides in Venezuela, and allegedly committed crimes in Venezuela. As such, there is no foundation for Chilean legal jurisdiction in the case. "The eventual display of another nationality is irrelevant...The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs can not twist the doctrine of human rights to interfere in matters of exclusive Venezuelan jurisdiction," expressed the Venezuelan government's statemement. 

Jatar was detained in Nueva Esperta and transferred to a detention center in Guárico state according to Venezuelan local news outlets. However, Chilean Foreign Minister Munoz insists that Jatar’s whereabouts are unknown. “It is important to present that Mr. Jatar, for more than a week, has not had the possibility of contacting his lawyer, which consitutes an additional infringement on due process,” read Chile’s official statement.

In response, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry reiterated that, “Venezuela demands that Chile’s Foreign Ministry adheres to international norms, respect Venezuelan sovereignty and historical coherence with the South American unification and integration processes.”

Jatar is the director of online news outlet Reporte Confidencial.

Brazil Uninterested in Diplomatic Ties with Venezuela

Meanwhile, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs José Serra has expressed his government’s unwillingness to reestablish diplomacy with its South American neighbor. After the recent parlamentary coup in Brazil against democratically elected Dilma Rousseff Venezuela,  Bolivia and Ecuador decided to recall their ambasasadors. 

“I hope that at the very least in the case of Ecuador and Bolivia, they chose another route to relate with us. In regards to Venezuela, I consider it a hopeless case, in referring to Nicolás Maduro’s government,” expressed Serra.

As a result of Venezuela's, Bolivia's and Ecuador’s reaction to the parlamentary coup, Brazil also recalled its ambassadors in each country.

Recently, Venezuela also froze all its diplomatic relations with Brazil in a sign of solidarity with the illegitimately destituted Brazilian President Rousseff and the Brazilian people.