MONTEVIDEO – Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica (2010-2015) has said that the inconsistency in United States policies could be a reason for the new Tabare Vazquez-led government to refuse more ex-convicts from U.S.’ Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, as refugees in the country.
In a statement Monday to Efe, Mujica referred to the declarations made by Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa where the latter said that Montevideo would not accept any more former U.S. inmates from Guantanamo.
“What is certain is that no more prisoners are going to come from Guantanamo. That is absolute,” said Nin Novoa.
The new announcement Monday is in contrast to Mujica’s acceptance of six former Guantanamo detainees as refugees in the country in December 2014, while he was the country’s president.
“There was no agreement to accept more (former inmates),” he said, adding that the new government could have its own reasons for the decision which, in his opinion, was “the inconsistency in North American policy.”
The former president made these statements while taking part in a people’s march in Montevideo for “peace in Latin-America” and also in “solidarity with the people of Venezuela.”
Additionally, Mujica supported a signature campaign urging U.S. President Barack Obama to repeal the decree declaring Venezuela a “national threat,” which soured relations between Caracas and Washington.
Six former Guantanamo detainees – four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestine –, who were never charged with a crime and considered low risk cases, arrived in Uruguay on Dec. 7.
The move was a result of Mujica’s commitment to collaborate with Obama in the closing down of the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison, where U.S. is known to detain its terror suspects.
We have offered our hospitality to human beings who were suffering in Guantanamo for “inescapable humanitarian reasons,” Mujica had said two days before the arrival of the refugees, a move severely criticized by the opposition.