Foreign Minister arrives in Washington and highlights Chile's commitment to human rights and the situation in Venezuela
Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero arrived in Washington on Sunday to participate in the 48th OAS General Assembly, to be held Monday and Tuesday in the U.S. capital.
In the run-up to the meeting, the Foreign Minister delivered a letter from President Sebastián Piñera to the secretary general of the hemispheric organization, Luis Almagro. In the letter, the President stressed the need for the Panel of Independent Experts convened by the Secretary General to submit to the International Criminal Court its report, which establishes possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela.
On this subject, Minister Ampuero stated that "Chile cannot remain silent in the face of the tragedy in Venezuela, as President Piñera has said".
He added that this letter shows the leadership of Chile and the President in this debate. Something that was addressed in a conversation between the Foreign Minister and Secretary Almagro yesterday: "he stressed that he is the first President to express so clearly his support for what this Panel of Experts is doing", said the head of Chilean diplomacy, who added that the situation in Venezuela will undoubtedly be the main topic of the General Assembly.
The Minister said that another of the issues of the meeting of the hemispheric organization will be the situation in Nicaragua, where violent protests, dozens of wounded and dead, have taken place. "We have called on the Nicaraguan government to be careful in dealing with those who express critical opinions," said Foreign Minister Ampuero.
In addition, the minister reiterated his comments on the trial with Bolivia over the Silala River at the Hague Court. This, after La Paz asked for two additional months to deliver its Counter-Memorial to the international tribunal.
"The delay is from Bolivia, Chile complied by delivering its demand in 2016, in 2017 its memorial and now Bolivia had to deliver its Counter-Memorial. They were unable to elaborate their arguments and requested a two-month extension," explained the minister, who added that Chile had agreed to extend the deadline "because of good neighbourly practice and because it is only two months".
"Bolivia raised this issue in 1999, they have been at it for almost 20 years and still have problems to ensure their approach, this shows their difficulties, which are very serious," he said.
In the afternoon, the minister met with the executive director of the Cuba Decide movement, Rosa María Payá, with whom he discussed the situation in that country.
Later, he held a relaxed meeting with young Chileans studying in Washington.