The Government prevented access to the country to the deputy and first vice president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, María Iris Varela Rangel, who has cases of corruption and human rights violations in her country. She arrived at the Jorge Newbery airport and was expelled hours later for being included in a list of sanctioned Chavista leaders, according to official sources.
In a statement, the National Directorate of Migration (DNM) indicated that the Venezuelan official arrived at 1:05 a.m. on a flight from Brasilia. “This official is prohibited from entering and transiting through the national territory by virtue of the agreement signed by the previous management of the Foreign Ministry and these restrictions continue to date,” indicates the published text.
The ban arises from the list drawn up in 2019 -when Mauricio Macri was still governing- by the countries part of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), in which sanctions were established for various leaders close to the Government of Nicolás Maduro. According to the statement, Varela is at number 26 on the list.
At 3:09, according to the same text, authorities consulted the Foreign Ministry if there was any indication that the DNM had not been informed about the prohibition of entry and movement of the Venezuelan deputy. About two and a half hours later, the Foreign Ministry replied that “the agreement signed” in the previous government remains in force.
That is why Migrations proceeded to “perform the exit verification, once the passenger obtained a means to return.”
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARGENTINA AND VENEZUELA
During the government of Macri -one of the political leaders most critical of the Chavista government, which he calls a dictatorship-, Argentina ignored Maduro’s embassy in Buenos Aires in favor of Elisa Trotta, the diplomat sent as ambassador by the then opposition leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, self-proclaimed interim president in 2019.
“The Argentine authorities denied entry to the country to Iris Varela, one of the heads of the Maduro dictatorship, as she is sanctioned by the TIAR. Violating human rights has consequences. We warn that the false ‘deputies’ who accompanied her are also members of the regime,” Trotta said on Twitter.
Tensions between Argentina and Venezuela relaxed after the triumph of Alberto Fernández at the end of 2019, who after assuming the Presidency decided not to recognize Guaidó’s representative.
Varela, for example, decided above judges and prosecutors the freedom of thousands of prisoners
While Vice President Cristina Fernández maintained a close relationship during her time as president (2007-2015) with both the late Hugo Chávez and Maduro.
On April 18, the current Argentine head of state generated controversy by considering that many of Venezuela’s problems “have been dissipating over time,” thanks in part to the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the agreements reached within the framework of the International Contact Group on Venezuela.
It was at that moment that Fernández announced that the country would regain its full diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation.
HE CALLED IT “PHOSPHORITE”
But, who is Iris Varela? Hugo Chávez, for example, called her “phosphor” and “Santa Iris de los Despossessed.” Leader of the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and former Minister of the Penitentiary Service, the lawyer -graduated from the Catholic University of Táchira- and Venezuelan politician is currently a deputy and First Vice President of the National Assembly of Venezuela.
His political life began when he was young: he was just 13 years old when he joined the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV). She later became the national director and coordinator for the Táchira state of the Movimiento V República, a party founded by Hugo Chávez, with which she won the 1998 presidential elections.
She was elected as constituent to the National Constituent Assembly in 1999, whose main objective was the drafting of a new constitution that would refound the State. From then on, she was elected deputy to the new National Assembly for the state of Táchira in three consecutive periods: 2000-2005, 2006-2011 and finally 2011-2016.
In July 2011, she was appointed Minister of People’s Power for the Penitentiary Service. Two years later, on April 21, 2013, on national television, she was reaffirmed as Minister of Penitentiary Services for the Nicolás Maduro regime, but she was relieved in June 2017 to enter the National Constituent Assembly.
Since Hugo Chávez named her Minister of Penitentiary Affairs, Varela imposed her own law and decided, above judges and prosecutors, the freedom, benefits and transfer of thousands of prisoners, including drug traffickers. From the National Assembly, she continues to impose the fate of the prisoners in Venezuela.