This week the tension has escalated between Argentina and Venezuela. The reason: the president Nicholas Maduro has demanded that the plane of Venezuelan-Iranian origin that has been held at the Buenos Aires airport for more than two months be returned. In this way, a new chapter is added to the history of the aircraft that, week after week, spreads throughout the Latin American continent.
In a brave tone speech, Maduro called this week for different social movements to act with the aim of “recovering the plane.” He even came to request the help of the Peronist sector of Argentina. In this sense, he invited “the social, trade union and political movements of patriotic Argentina and Peronist Argentina” to fight for the “rescue” of the aircraft, as well as the “kidnapped pilots.”
It should be remembered that one of the pilots of the Venezuelan-Iranian plane is being investigated for possible links to terrorism, a theory that was confirmed by the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez. For this reason, he has not been allowed to leave Argentina until the investigation is complete.
In the same speech, which took place at the closing of the so-called “Congress of the new era” in the city of Caracas, Maduro called on his followers to fight for two specific issues. “We have two objectives: to recover the gold that they intend to steal from us in London and to recover the plane and the crew of Conviasa -the company of the controversial plane- that is kidnapped and they intend to rob us in Argentina,” he harangued.
His mention of London has to do with the resolution of the London High Court, which ruled in favor of the ad hoc direction of the Central Bank of Venezuela, which was appointed by the opposition leader Juan Guaidoregarding access to the country’s gold, which is currently in custody at the Bank of England.
Without directly naming President Alberto Fernández, Maduro also criticized in his speech the lack of action by the Argentine authorities. In this sense, he launched an accusation: “They have kidnapped the pilots who have not committed any crime, neither in Argentina nor in Venezuela, nor anywhere in the world.” And he continued: “Two months have passed since the kidnapping of the Venezuelan and Iranian pilots in Argentina. And nobody does anything in Argentina.
Against Alberto Fernandez
Although in his speech Nicolás Maduro preferred not to directly mention his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernández, hours later from his government they did not hesitate to blame the president for retaining the controversial plane in local territory. In fact, the deputy and vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, directly targeted the Argentine administration.
The Venezuelan legislator even dared to go further, to the point of pointing out that “the plane has been hijacked by Argentina, hijacked by the government of President Fernández with every intention of seizing a property that belongs to all Venezuelans and the Venezuelans».
In addition, Cabello assured this week that “the Argentine government is on the side of those who have run over the Venezuelan people.” And he added: “From here we demand the return to the government of Mr. Fernández and that he return that plane and all the crew to our territory as soon as possible.”
The plane, whose controversy spreads day by day, covering an increasing number of countries, has been held at the Ezeiza international airport in the city of Buenos Aires since the beginning of June, after having made a suspicious trip Paraguay and having been prohibited from entering Uruguay.
So far, the scandal involves Argentina, Venezuela, Iran, Paraguay, Uruguay and Mexico, among other countries. For the moment, and despite the magnitude of the problem, President Fernández has not responded to the accusations made by Venezuela.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism