April 12, 2019 / 11:27 PM / 12 days ago

Argentina credentials representative of Venezuelan opposition leader, leaves Unasur bloc

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina reiterated its support for Venezuela’s opposition leader on Friday by issuing diplomatic credentials to a new delegate and officially announcing its withdrawal from the regional UNASUR bloc, which has been criticized over its lack of action on Venezuela.

Diplomatic credentials were delivered by the Argentine Foreign Ministry to Elisa Trotta Gamus, who will represent Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Argentina, according to a government statement.

Representatives from the Argentine Foreign Ministry and the Venezuelan embassy in Argentina did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Argentina, which already has a diplomatic mission from the government of President Nicolas Maduro, recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president in January.

Argentina also announced on Friday it was the latest country to withdraw from the regional Unasur bloc, which was launched by Venezuela’s late socialist leader Hugo Chavez but has splintered over his country’s crisis under his embattled successor, Maduro.

In March, the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru signed a declaration in Santiago to create a new regional bloc of nations.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Sandra Maler

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