Lula welcomes back banned Venezuelan leader Maduro

Image caption,

Nicolás Maduro (left) told Lula that Venezuela was open for Brazilian investors

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has visited Brazil for the first time since he was banned by former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in 2019.

Mr Maduro was received by the new president, fellow leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, ahead of a summit of Latin American leaders in Brasilia.

“What’s important about Maduro coming here is that it’s the beginning of Maduro’s return,” Lula said.

Mr Maduro talked of a “new era” in bilateral relations.

Lula said the region should tackle poverty.

A number of countries question the legitimacy of Mr Maduro, who is described by opponents as a dictator.

Greeting his guest in the Brazilian capital on Monday, Lula said his own return had come five months earlier, referring to the time when he again assumed power after beating Mr Bolsonaro in tight presidential elections.

Mr Maduro said Venezuela was open for Brazilian investors, stressing that the two countries “must be united, from now on and always”.

Since Mr Maduro was elected in 2013, he has grown increasingly authoritarian.

His crackdown on opposition activists ultimately led to the US imposing sanctions on his government and recognising opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president in 2019 after a contested election.

Last December, Venezuela’s opposition National Assembly voted to dissolve its parallel government and remove Mr Guaidó.

He was recognised by many Western countries, including the US, but failed to oust the left-wing president.

The vote showed how many opposition politicians in Venezuela had lost faith in Mr Guaidó.

The assembly also voted to appoint a commission to govern the country’s foreign assets, as they sought a united front ahead of elections scheduled for 2024.

Venezuela’s long-running political and humanitarian crisis has seen some seven million people flee the country since 2015.

Venezuela has been caught in a downward spiral for years with growing political discontent further fuelled by skyrocketing hyperinflation, power cuts and shortages of food and medicine.

Video caption,

What drives someone to cross South America on foot?

Source link

Leave a Comment