The Argentine Forum for Democracy in the Region (Fader), led by Deputy Waldo Ezequiel Wolff, filed a criminal complaint against Daniel Ortega, from Nicaragua; Nicolas Maduro, from Venezuela and Miguel Diaz-Canel, from Cuba; to be investigated for crimes against humanity committed in their countries.
The lawsuit was filed before a Federal Court on the occasion of the possible visit of these three leaders to Buenos Aires to participate in the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) scheduled for January 24.
The Argentine Forum for Democracy was born in August 2020, to “give support to Venezuelan, Cuban and Nicaraguan citizens fleeing autocracies in their countries”.
The lawsuit is based on “numerous reports from prestigious international human rights organizations, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and Human Rights Watch, which monitor the political persecution of civil organizations and individuals,” by these three heads of state.
The activist Elisa Trotta Gamus recalled that the Argentine federal justice is empowered to investigate these crimes against humanity since the Argentine Constitution recognizes the principle of universal jurisdiction.
In the same vein, deputy Karina Banfi agreed to ensure that “Argentina will not become a country that opens its doors to dictators. We must accompany the victims in the search for truth, justice and non-repetition of these horrible crimes committed by the dictatorships of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua”.
The Forum highlights in its arguments that seven million Venezuelans have had to leave their country since the Chavista dictatorship took hold; and that many of them have been political prisoners and have suffered harassment and torture. “The same has happened in Cuba, a country where free elections have never been held since the Castro dictatorship took power in 1959,” they emphasized.
In the case of Nicaragua, they point out that more than 350 citizens were murdered in recent years, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and half of the social organizations that provide assistance in the country’s neighborhoods have been closed.
The possible participation of the leaders of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba in the Celac summit, which will be held in Buenos Aires, has been repudiated by the Argentine opposition, which described them as “dictators” and called for their rejection in Congress.
This Wednesday the Block of National Deputies of the Radical Civic Union (UCR), through a statement, rejected the presence in Argentina of Maduro, Diaz Canel and Ortega. “Their presence is a provocation to our country, to the democracies of Latin America, and above all to the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Cuban citizens who, fleeing from repression and hunger, sought to start a different life in Argentina,” they said.
The legislators also assured that “Kirchnerism has spent several years squandering a long Argentine tradition in defense of human rights and democracy, which had placed our country in a place of international recognition in this matter.”
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times.