After Canada, Brazil expels Venezuela’s top diplomat

December 27, 2017 11:00 am
Venezuela’s chargé d’affaires in , Gerardo Antonio Delgado Maldonado (L) (file photo)
Following in Canada’s footsteps, Brazil has decided to expel the top Venezuelan diplomat in the South American country in retaliation for a similar move by Venezuela.
Venezuela over the weekend expelled Brazilian Ambassador to Caracas Ruy Pereira and Canadian chargé d’affaires Craib Kowalik over accusations of meddling in its domestic affairs.
Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday that the government would likewise declare Venezuela’s chargé d’affaires, Gerardo Antonio Delgado Maldonado, persona non grata, stripping him of his diplomatic status.
On Monday, Canada made a retaliatory decision of its own to revoke the credentials of Venezuela’s Ambassador to Canada Wilmer Barrientos Fernandez and its chargé d’affaires, Angel Herrera.
Venezuela’s government has in recent months faced political tensions and unrest. At least 125 people from both the government and the opposition camps have been killed and hundreds injured in the unrest.
Tensions recently spiked when Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly said the opposition parties that had boycotted recent mayoral elections would have to reapply for legal status, potentially blocking them from presidential elections next year.
That decision has been criticized by Western countries.
The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro faces mounting criticism over its handling of the economy — which has caused acute shortages of foodstuffs and medicine — and is accused of engaging in autocratic rule.
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