CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela's second most powerful official rebuked Argentine President-Elect Mauricio Macri on Wednesday for "offending" a brother nation by calling for his country's suspension from a regional trade bloc over rights accusations.
The win by conservative Macri on Sunday was a disappointment to Venezuela's ruling Socialists. He used his first news conference afterwards to reiterate his position that President Nicolas Maduro's government should exit Mercosur.
"Mr. Macri won the elections, & he suddenly thought he'd won the elections in Venezuela," satirized Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuela's National Assembly & vice-president of the Socialist Party, on his weekly TV program.
"It's sad, no? Someone wins an election & the first thing he does is offend & try to injure a brother people … Leave the Venezuelan people alone, don't mess with us … You have too much work in Argentina to bother with Venezuela's affairs."
Macri has said Venezuela should be suspended from the trade bloc because of accusations of rights abuses including the jailing of political opponents.
Venezuela's opposition hailed his victory as a blow for leftists in Latin America & a satisfactory omen for their own duel with the Socialist Party in an upcoming Dec. 6 legislative vote.
(Reporting by Eyanir Chinea; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Sandra Maler)