Mexico City, Mexico, August 29, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed his solidarity with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and issued a scathing denunciation of the lawfare campaign against the former Argentine president and current vice-president.
“I want to express my absolute solidarity in the midst of this fierce combat you are waging against the enemies of your country,” wrote Maduro in a letter dated Wednesday.
The letter came shortly after Argentine prosecutor Diego Luciani announced he was seeking 12 years of imprisonment and the political disqualification of public office for life for Fernández de Kirchner over her alleged involvement in a corruption scheme during her time as president (2007-2015).
Fernández de Kirchner previously said she was facing a “media-judicial firing squad” and has denounced the prosecution as a “farce”. The former president added that it followed a trend of politically driven lawfare campaigns in Latin America that do not seek justice but rather “to displace, to stigmatize, to override popular governments.”
Lawfare is a term used to describe politically motivated judicial processes that seek to marginalize political actors and has been used to describe the prosecution against Ecuador’s Rafael Correa and Brazil’s Lula da Silva, which prevented them from participating in electoral contests in recent years.
Maduro backed this characterization of the prosecution, praising Fernández’s response to the lawfare campaign, saying she “exposed those who have staged a truly and truly abominable charade.”
The Argentine vice president, dubbed CFK by some, also received expressions of solidarity with various other political leaders in the region. The presidents of Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia published a joint statement where they affirmed their backing for the Argentine vice-president.
“This persecution aims to remove Cristina Fernández de Kirchner from public, political and electoral life, as well as to bury the values and ideals she represents, with the ultimate goal of implementing a neoliberal model,” read the communiqué.
In his own letter, the Venezuelan president linked the persecution of Fernández to the recent wave of leftist and progressive victories in elections throughout the region that has raised the prospects of a renewed push for regional integration.
“It is no coincidence that this new right-wing offensive against you is unleashed precisely now, when renewed projects of unity and sovereignty in Our America have begun to take shape. This pseudo-legal atrocity occurs when you are more needed than ever to contribute to the battle of ideas and lead popular mobilization against neoliberal dogmas,” wrote Maduro.
Fernández de Kircher is accused of having favored firms owned by a businessman seen as close to her family for public works projects. The allegations have not yet been proven in court.
Her conviction and sentencing, to be decided by a judge, is due to come within months. However, she is widely expected to appeal to higher courts if found guilty, which could delay the final verdict for years. The verdict could affect the chances of the ruling party in the upcoming Argentine presidential election in 2023.
Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) has long enjoyed close relations with Argentina’s Peronist movement, where Fernández de Kirchner continues to hold a lot of sway. However, the bilateral relationship between Caracas and Buenos Aires has come under some strain after judicial authorities in the South American nation seized a Venezuelan cargo jet in June at the behest of the US Justice Department.
The fate of the seized plane is set to be decided on September 5 and the Venezuelan government has committed to taking all actions necessary to secure the return of the cargo jet. The 19-person crew has also appealed against its prohibition to leave the country.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia have continued to proceed swiftly, with each country’s respective ambassador designate arriving in their host country on Sunday.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro, considered the country’s first lefist president, has followed through on his commitment to improve relations with Venezuela following years of right-wing rule that resulted in a break in diplomatic relations in 2019.
Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Mérida.