Spain Appoints New Ambassador to Venezuela
Spain announced on Wednesday the appointment of a new ambassador to Venezuela, signaling a thaw in relations two years after it vacated the post in protest of what it claimed was an absence of free elections.
- Spain announced on Wednesday the appointment of a new ambassador to Venezuela, signaling a thaw in relations two years after it vacated the post in protest of what it claimed was an absence of free elections.
- Ramón Santos Martínez, a former ambassador to Bolivia and Panama who headed the Spanish legation to Caracas since Nov. 2021 as charge d'affaires, was chosen to fill the position previously held by Jesús Silva.
- A spokesperson to the Spanish foreign ministry said that this appointment comes as the PM Pedro Sánchez's government wants to be able to influence "the opening of the Venezuelan political process," denying that Madrid had changed its understanding that the 2018 election was not free.
- Last week, Venezuela's opposition voted to remove the Madrid-recognized interim government led by Juan Guaidó as it seeks to form a united front ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
- Guaidó had been the leader of Venezuela's opposition abroad since declaring himself interim president in 2019, but has lost international support after failing to oust Maduro from power.
Sources: Al Jazeera, Ultimas Noticias, and Reuters.
- Narrative A, as provided by Reuters. While Madrid maintains its stance that Maduro's election in 2018 was illegitimate, the emergence of new circumstances has made it reasonable for Spain to raise its representation in Venezuela to the level of ambassador. This move will allow Madrid to support Caracas in holding a fully democratic presidential election in 2024.
- Narrative B, as provided by Ultimas Noticias. This appointment comes as no surprise given that several other Latin American governments had already returned to Caracas amid negotiations in Mexico – in fact, it had been expected for weeks. Besides, Santos Martínez has never caused any problems in the country, unlike his predecessor Silva, who was removed after being accused of helping fugitive Leopoldo López seek exile in Spain.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by HRF. The West has a moral responsibility to maintain pressure on Maduro and his illegitimate, authoritarian regime. Relieving pressure now will only serve to normalize a criminal organization holding the nation hostage as it carries out countless crimes against humanity.