Two Venezuelan union leaders detained and deported from Ezeiza airport
Wills Rangel and Jacobo Torres were travelling to Buenos Aires for a global meeting of labour union leaders. However, they were reportedly forbidden from entering Argentina, detained on a plane and sent back to Venezuela.
Two high-ranking Venezuelan union members were detained and deported from Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International Airport Monday, sparking anger from fellow union leaders in Argentina.
The duo had been invited to participate in a congress of unions here for talks. The two men were identified by officials as Wills Rangel and Jacobo Torres, the secretary general and secretary of international relations of the Central Bolivarian Socialist of Workers, respectively.
"Our colleagues that suffered this outrage weren't given any judicial due process and they followed all the migratory norms. For that, we hold the Argentine government responsible for this arbitrary action that contradicts the most elemental respect of a State of the Law," read a communiqué from the Core of Argentine Workers (CTA).
The two union workers were on a list of more than 400 Venezuelan officials and allies that Argentina has prohibited from entering the country, according to local press reports.
According to Argentina's Foreign Ministry, this tool is being used to "promote the return to democracy in Venezuela, affecting exclusively those Venezuelans tied to the dictatorial regime of [President Nicolás] Maduro."
Hugo Godoy, leader of CTA union grouping, told Radio 10 that the Venezuelans could not be contacted "from 1am the morning to 5am in the morning at the Ezeiza airport," adding that they were "forbidden from entering the country, put on a plane and returned to their place of origin," without explanation.
Delegates from France, Spain, Cuba and Brazil, among others, will be in Buenos Aires to participate in the Extraordinary Congress of the CTA on Monday, said Godoy.
Outgoing President Mauricio Macri, who will leave government on December 10, has been one of the biggest supporters in Latin America of the National Assembly chief and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised as Venezuela's rightful leader by around 50 countries, including Argentina and the United States.