LATIN-AMERICA NATIONAL

Chile appoints first ambassador to Venezuela since 2018

Chile’s president designated a former senator as the new ambassador to Venezuela on May 25. The move signals a renewed relationship between the two countries. It was a step in hopes of advancing political freedom in Venezuela.

President Gabriel Boric assigned former senator Jaime Gazmuri as the new Chilean ambassador to Venezuela on May 25. Foreign Affairs Minister Alberto van Klaveren said the appointment came at a time when Chile is undergoing “an entirely different moment” with Venezuela.

Chile has never broken its diplomatic relations with Venezuela despite all the differences in the past, Klaveren said. Venezuela has always had an ambassador in Chile, and Chile is always interested in having a good working relation with Venezuela, as both countries have common interest in various topics, he said.

“One of the topics is migration, and in addition, Venezuela is entering a political process that we think is interesting,” Klaveren told Cooperativa.

“Not having an ambassador in Venezuela was a disadvantage for us, and we saw that in the case of the Venezuelan migrants’ return flights, which required many high-level contacts,” Klaveren said.

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The Foreign Affairs Minister said he attended an international conference in Colombia in April, where officials spoke about Venezuela’s political process. The international community sought out dialogue between Venezuela’s government and the opposition, a dialogue that would allow the country to have free elections and to be more transparent. With such measures, certain sanctions that have been affecting the economy could be lifted, he said.

The new appointment is given under the consideration that Latin American countries are in distinct relationships with Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro’s administration, Klaveren said.

“We believe that a person like Jaime Gazmuri, who is a politician of great trajectory, a moderate person who inspires confidence in all sectors, is the most appropriate person to take on this mission.”

Gazmuri served as a Senator for the Maule region from 1990 to 2010, where he joined the commissions of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Economy, Housing, Defense, Agriculture and Labor. He also served as the Chilean ambassador to Brazil from 2014 to 2018.

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