Venezuela: Deadline for EU delegate to leave Caracas ends today

Maduro defended that Brussels issued a resolution "in which the EU supremacist sanctions those Venezuelans who, forming part of state institutions, defend the Constitution".

EPA / Miguel Gutierrez

The deadline given by the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, for the European Union (EU) delegate in the country to leave Caracas ends today, July 2, for the time being, for the time being, any indication of a possible revocation of the decision.

On Monday, just hours after Brussels sanctioned 11 Caracas officials, Maduro decided to expel Portuguese diplomat Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, who has been in Venezuela since February 2018, giving him 72 hours to leave the country.

“Who are they to sanction, to try to impose themselves with the threat? Who are? Enough! That's why I decided to give the EU ambassador in Caracas 72 hours to leave our country and demand respect from the EU, ”said Maduro in a televised speech.

Maduro defended that Brussels issued a resolution "in which the EU supremacist sanctions those Venezuelans who, forming part of state institutions, defend the Constitution".

Those sanctioned are accused of "acting against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly (parliament) and of violating parliamentary immunity" of deputies, including the opposition leader and president of that body, Juan Guaidó.

The next day, the head of European diplomacy condemned the expulsion and guaranteed that "reciprocity" measures will be taken in response to Maduro's decision.

“We condemn and reject the expulsion of our ambassador in Caracas. We will take the necessary reciprocal measures, ”wrote the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, in his Twitter account.

The head of EU diplomacy reiterates that "only a solution negotiated between Venezuelans will allow the country to emerge from the deep crisis" in which it finds itself.

Later, and already in an EU statement, Borrell asked the Venezuelan authorities to revoke the decision, recalling that the measure will only bring about "greater international isolation" from Caracas.

“The EU strongly condemns the decision and deeply regrets the greater international isolation it will represent. We ask that this decision be revoked, ”said Borrell.

Between 2008 and 2011, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa served as consul general of Portugal in Caracas, a period that coincided with the strong political and economic impulse of bilateral relations, promoted by, at the time, President and leader of the Bolivarian revolution, Hugo Chávez ( 1954-2013), and the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Sócrates.

Portugal, in addition to the Governments of Colombia, Bolivia and Paraguay, also condemned the expulsion of Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, with the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an official note on Twitter, to express “firm repudiation” for Maduro's decision and to consider that the measure does not contribute to solving the political crisis in Venezuela.

“The expulsion of the EU ambassador by the Caracas regime deserves a firm repudiation. It is very wrong to think that it is with such gestures that the serious Venezuelan crisis is overcome ”, reads in the note, in which Maduro's performance is also criticized.

“The most obvious measure is the reciprocity in the declaration as 'persona non grata' of the Venezuelan ambassador to the European institutions. The decision is not yet taken, it implies consensus between Member States. President Maduro's gesture is excessive and goes in the opposite direction of the appeasement, commitment and dialogue that Venezuela needs ”, said Minister Augusto Santos Silva, in an interview with SIC Notícias.

Venezuela has, since January, two parliaments (National Assembly) partially recognized, one with an opposing majority, led by Juan Guaidó, and a pro-regime, led by Luís Parra.

The political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela has worsened since January 2019, when Juan Guaidó declared himself interim President of the country until he removed Nicolás Maduro from power, formed a transitional government and called for free elections.

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