Argentina has gone further than other Latin American states to snub Venezuela’s Chavista establishment over its violations of human rights and democracy, notes analyst Mac Margolis:
Recently elected President Mauricio Macri [left] has openly called for the country to free its political prisoners and condemned its questionable human-rights record. Though Macri, who’s nursing a fractured rib, didn’t attend [last week ‘s Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit], he dispatched Vice President Gabriela Michetti, who pulled few punches.
“Macri’s stance is the strongest criticism of Venezuela voiced by a sitting Latin American president yet,” said Javier Corrales, a political scientist at Amherst College:
Corrales noted that Macri’s denunciation came on top of a polite but growing thrum of criticism against Maduro, including an open letter from 26 former world leaders, a vote by Chile’s lower house to recall its ambassador in Venezuela, and a stern letter to the head of Venezuela’s electoral council by Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro.
Macri last week appointed a former International Monetary Fund official to head Argentina’s financial crimes agency, in a move that aims to bolster the country’s contribution to the global fight against money laundering and drug trafficking and to improve the agency’s relations with its counterpart in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported (HT: FPI).
Argentina’s new government is also pledging to finally get to the bottom of a case that cost the country about $3.5 million last year alone, and that took on a life of its own, swallowing up many who touched it, The New York Times reports:
For more than two decades, an investigation into the suicide bombing of a Jewish center here in 1994 that killed 85 people has faced setbacks and controversy. It caused an intractable rift between Argentina and Iran. A former president has been put on trial, accused of orchestrating a cover-up. And a prosecutor involved in the case died last year in murky circumstances….
President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December, has revamped the government department assigned to the bombing investigation and has vowed to introduce legislation that would allow for the trial of suspects in absentia. The question is whether those efforts, which face considerable legal hurdles and political opposition, will translate into lasting results in the long-running case.
The president wants to “re-establish the commitment of the Argentine state” to solving the attack, said Mario Cimadevilla, who has been appointed to head the investigative department.