Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L) & Argentina's President Alberto Fernández (R)

Argentina withdraws from lawsuit against Maduro

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Argentina on Wednesday (May 26) withdrew from a joint lawsuit against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The lawsuit had been filed by the Lima Group of Latin American nations including Argentina – at that time governed by right-leaning President Mauricio Macri– in 2018, for the Venezuelan regime to be investigated for alleged human rights violations.

The Lima Group was established in the Peruvian capital in 2017, with  the aim to establish a peaceful exit to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. The signatory states were Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, then joined by Guyana, Haiti, Saint Lucia and Bolivia.

The administration of Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández decided to pull out from that bloc on March 24, 2021, taking the same line as Mexico and Bolivia. The government explained that the decision was made due to differences with the treatment that that bloc gave to the crisis in Venezuela, which “has led nowhere.”

“On March 24, we officially announced the withdrawal from the Lima Group. As a consequence of that, on March 25 we got off a complaint that we had made as to the Lima Group because we no longer belong,” said sources from the chancellery who released the news just on Wednesday (May 26) despite a letter sent to the ICC on March 25.

“The prosecution’s investigation is continuing, it is not up to us,” the sources added. Argentina’s withdrawal is in no way a result “of the actions that the Prosecutor’s Office carries out regarding the situation in Venezuela following the provisions of the Rome Statute, respecting judicial independence.
The Venezuelan authorities cannot ignore, however, that producing the conditions for a dialogue that is productive is primarily their responsibility,” said Argentina.

Macri was a strident critic of Maduro, but his successor, the left-leaning Alberto Fernandez, has since backed off that stance.

With reporting by Mercopress