President Nicolas Maduro expelled the European Union’s ambassador to Venezuela in response the EU’s sanction of high-ranking officials in Maduro’s government.
Maduro announced the move in a televised address after the EU Council sanctioned 11 members of Maduro’s inner circle for undermining the powers of the National Assembly and rule of law in the country. The EU envoy, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, was given 72 hours to leave the country.
The Venezuelan strongman’s remarks comes with the country mired in the seventh year of a crushing recession, worsened by the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil production.
“The supremacist EU published a resolution sanctioning Venezuelans who are defending the Constitution,” Maduro said, referring to the sanctions on three members of the pro-government National Assembly board, among others.
Maduro also lashed out against Spain’s ambassador to Caracas, Jesus Silva, whom Maduro accused of participating in the failed April 2019 bid to overthrow him led by Leopoldo Lopez and the botched raid in May that aimed to capture Maduro.
Maduro characterized Silva’s actions as colluding with Lopez’s “criminal acts.” Venezuela will consider diplomatic actions related to Silva’s situation in the country, Maduro added.
— With assistance by Alex Vasquez
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