Argentine Vice-president Gabriela Michetti traveled to New York yesterday to represent Argentina at the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations. She was accompanied by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, Minister of Modernization Andrés Ibarra, and Secretary of Strategic Affairs Fulvio Pompeo.
Michetti will be subbing in for President Mauricio Macri, who won’t attend due to knee problems (being in the midst of a key political campaign could have also been an unofficial factor). It will be the first time an Argentine president doesn’t attend the Assembly since 2002.
The Vice-president’s will kick off her agenda with a meeting with United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres. She will then attend a meeting hosted by with US President Donald Trump to discuss several regional issues, including how to handle the situation in Venezuela. The presidents of Brazil, Columbia, and Panama will also partake in the meeting.
Both the United States and many Latin American countries, including Argentina, have condemned the actions taken by the Nicolás Maduro regime throughout the crisis the country is going through, and especially during the last month.
Namely, the creation of the Constitutional Assembly through a referendum which has the power to rewrite the country’s Constitution, which large parts of the international community deemed illegitimate considering the majority of the population that didn’t cast a vote, as well as the imprisonment of political opposition. And that’s just to name a few.
However, they have not exactly been on the same page when it comes to deciding how to respond.
Trump, as he tends to do, has threatened to use military force in Venezuela. During an August 11th speech, he reminded people that the United States has “many options for Venezuela,” including a “military option.” And if that was not enough, he said the exact same thing (using the exact same words) approximately 17 seconds later.
The Mercosur trade bloc, which consists of a number of South American countries, including Argentina, strongly rejected any uses of force, calling instead for the use of political pressures on Venezuela to resolve the conflict.
On Tuesday, Michetti will participate in the opening of the general debate, and on Wednesday, she will speak before the Assembly on Argentina’s behalf. She is expected to eat breakfast with Chile’s president, Michele Bachelet, on Thursday, following a meeting with Queen Máxima of The Netherlands.