Spain has another ambassador in Venezuela two years later

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Spain has another ambassador in Venezuela two years later

Ramón Santos Martínez, until now responsible for Business at the Legation, will be the new diplomatic representative after the departure of Jesús Silva in 2020 due to disagreements with the government of Nicolás Maduro

The government of Spain on Tuesday distanced itself from so-called president and opposition leader Juan Guaidó by appointing Ramón Santos Martínez as the new ambassador to Venezuela, a position that had become vacant following the departure of Jesús Silva in 2020, when Moncloa opted to to lower relations with the government of Nicolás Maduro to the level of chargé d’affaires as a sign of his disagreement with the situation in the country.

The Council of Ministers has thus promoted the current chargé d’affaires in Venezuela, a position he has held since November 2021, to the category of Spain’s highest representative in the Bolivarian country. The measure, though anticipated for weeks, came hours before the Venezuelan opposition on Thursday ends the presidency in charge of Guaidó for failing to keep its promise to implement a democratic transition in Venezuela.

The appointment of a new ambassador to Venezuela by Spain, the European country that most supported the nomination of the opposition leader as leading president, has been interpreted as a consequence of the fall of the caretaker government. This collapse has been fostered by the new majority that is part of the Primero Justicia (PJ, centrist) parties, the social-democratic Acción Democrática (AD) and the social-Christian Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT).

However, diplomatic sources have justified Santos’ appointment at Europa Press on the basis that 160,000 Spaniards live in Venezuela and that there are important interests to defend. They also highlight the readiness of Pedro Sánchez’s executive to support the process of open dialogue in Mexico between Maduro’s executive and his opponents. “Spain wants to be as useful as possible,” the sources have had an impact, recalling that France has retained its ambassador to Caracas, while Portugal recently appointed its own ambassador to replace its business manager.

Santos Martínez, graduate in Law, Political Science and Sociology, with a Masters in Constitutional Law and Political Science, was already Ambassador of Spain in Panama (2015-2019), in Bolivia (2008-2012) and is assigned to the legations in Washington, Brussels-EU and Quito. At the State Department, his positions include Ambassador in Special Mission for the Ibero-American Summits and Multilateral Affairs of Ibero-America, Deputy Director General for Andean Community Countries, Deputy Director General for MERCOSUR and Chile countries, Deputy Director General for Cooperation with Countries in Central America and the Caribbean, and Chief of Staff of the Secretary General of AECID. He was also a special foreign envoy to Bolivia in December 2019.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, stated in an interview at the end of November that if the Venezuelan dialogue progressed “as we began to see”, the withdrawal of the Spanish ambassador to the country was a decision “entirely amenable to be turned back.” Yet there are other countries such as Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland or the Netherlands that still have a business manager in Caracas. The same is happening with the EU delegation in the Venezuelan capital after the expulsion of the European ambassador, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, from Caracas in February 2021 due to the sanctions imposed by the Twenty-seven on twenty Chavista deputies and officials.

Source: La Verdad

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