The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the Organization of American States President Luis Almagro for “insulting” former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
Almagro, who has been in favor of intervention in Venezuela against the government of Nicolas Maduro, openly called for a military intervention in the country last week. Zapatero criticized the OAS president on Friday over his comments and rejected the notion of any other path for peace than dialogue and talks, which has previously been sponsored and promoted.
The former Spanish leader visited Venezuela Tuesday to meet with the Maduro administration in order to "see how the situation is (regarding) favorable scenarios of possible dialogues in the immediate future" between the Maduro government and opposition parties.
He has been invested in these negotiations for the past three years. He was one of the main negotiators of an internationally mediated dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition in the Dominican Republic. The dialogue ended in February when the opposition party walked away just as an agreement was being reached.
Zapatero, who has been playing a crucial role in the negotiations between the Venezuelan government and opposition, slammed Almagro for ignoring the basic rules of the United Nations.
In response to Zapatero’s criticism, Almagro insulted the former Spanish Prime Minister calling him “stupid” and accusing him of lacking in-depth knowledge about the situation in Venezuela.
"My advice is just advice: do not be an imbecile. It's an important piece of advice, and well, I think it can do you a lot of good," Almagro said.
The comments from Almagro drew sharp criticism from Spanish Foreign Minister Joseph Borrell on Sunday who said that the ministry will present a diplomatic protest against the OAS for the comment.
"The former Prime Minister Zapatero does not represent the Spanish government. We have not commissioned any negotiation, and his mediation work is done strictly on a personal basis and his goodwill," said Borrell, adding, however, that his "government cannot be quiet in the face of very serious insults to a person who holds a relevant institutional role".