CARACAS/SANTIAGO – Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro says he will not attend the presidential transfer in Chile on March 11 because he will be touring Asia for the date, where he hopes to introduce ‘the world’s first sovereign’ cryptocurrency, the Petro.
“Well, unfortunately, I will not be able to go to Chile (…) I have a tour of Asia and I am going to fulfill my agenda in Asia, with several agreements, very important elements such as the Petro,” said the Venezuelan president in an interview with former Chilean presidential candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami, which was broadcast on the Telesur channel.
No dejo ninguna pregunta sin responder. Fue una entrevista franca, necesaria para poder desmentir ante nuestro Pueblo y el mundo lo que se dice de Venezuela y ponerlo en contexto. A las 20:00 horas por @VTVcanal8 y @teleSURtv. pic.twitter.com/u0tbjapUzG
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 24, 2018
The “Latin American Youth Network for Democracy,” the Christian Democrat Party (PDC) and fourteen former Chilean ministers had refused to invite Maduro to the presidential transfer ceremony.
A similar situation has happened with the Summit of the Americas to be held next April in Peru, a country that withdrew the invitation to Maduro to attend this meeting, something that supports the so-called Lima Group, composed of 14 countries in the Americas.
Peru’s Foreign Minister Cayetana Alvojín stated that the invitation to Maduro was withdrawn “in accordance with the provisions of the Quebec Declaration adopted at the Third Summit of the Americas in 2001.” It states that “any alteration or unconstitutional rupture of a democratic order in a State of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of the Government of that State in the Summits of the Americas process.”
In that sense, Maduro commented in the interview that on his attendance to the Summit “there is a lot of controversy”, but that he is “sure that the Peruvian people” will give him his love. “I have seen the Peruvian people, I know the Peruvian people and the Peruvian people will give us their solidarity, I am more than sure,” he added.
Asked what he would say to his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump if he meets him at the Summit of the Americas, Maduro said that “if the opportunity were given” he would shake his hand to greet him with respect and to “open a door of understanding.”
In addition, he said that he would let him know that “Venezuela is a country with which you can have relations of respect, of communication.”
“I would say with respect: President Donald Trump let’s understand each other, let’s communicate, let’s respect each other,” Maduro added.
Earlier this month, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz had invited the Socialist president to the presidential inauguration of President-elect Sebastian Piñera.