(CNN) — The questioned president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, said that in Argentina “nobody does anything” with respect to the Venezuelan-flagged plane that has been held in the country since June.
Speaking from Caracas, Maduro said on Monday that his government has two objectives: “Recover the gold that they intend to steal from us in London and recover the Conviasa plane and crew that is kidnapped and they intend to steal from us in Argentina.”
With the former, Maduro is referring to the London High Court ruling in favor of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó in the dispute over more than $1 billion in Venezuelan gold reserves stored in the Bank of England.
Regarding the plane, the president asked for “support for the social, trade union and political movements of patriotic Argentina, of Peronist Argentina, for Venezuela, for the rescue of the plane, for the release of the kidnapped pilots, I ask for the support of Argentina”.
CNN contacted the Argentine government to obtain a comment on what Maduro said, but limited himself to saying that “it is a cause that the Justice has, we cannot comment on that.”
Maduro, shouting, said that his government is going to “articulate a great campaign” for the “rescue of gold in London and for the rescue and release of our pilots and the Conviasa plane that belongs to Venezuela and we are not going to let steal”.
Days ago, the United States asked Argentina to seize the plane for being linked to an Iranian association that it classifies as terrorist, something that Venezuela rejects.
Earlier, also this Monday, the Chavista deputy Diosdado Cabello had a more direct message for the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández. “He has someone who gives him orders, because that is carrying out an order from imperialism. Then a court order comes from Miami,” said Cabello.
“The plane is from Venezuela and is hijacked by the government of President Fernandez. He is solely responsible for what happens to that plane and the Venezuelan crew,” added the legislator.
The retained plane, a Boeing 747 Dreamliner with Venezuelan registration YV3531, has remained at the Ezeiza International Airport, in the province of Buenos Aires, since June 8.
It belongs to the Venezuelan public company Emtrasur and was recently acquired from the Iranian airline Mahan Air, according to Aníbal Fernández, Minister of Security of Argentina, in a radio interview with Perfil. The plane was sold to a Venezuelan company a year ago, Amir Hossein Zol-Anvari, manager of Mahan’s public relations office, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
“The arrest of the plane whose ownership was transferred a year ago is due to political objectives – added Hossein – and the crew has been working for the Venezuelan company and the issue has nothing to do with Mahan Air.”