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Spain kicks out Venezuela ambassador in tit-for-tat move

29 January, 2018, 10:58 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Venezuela Declares Spanish Envoy Persona Non Grata

"With the declaration of "persona non grata" to Ambassador Silva Fernandez, Venezuela - under the regime of Nicolas Maduro - is turning its back on what is a historical relationship from the very genesis of our homeland, forgetting that one of our roots is Hispanic", the Spanish government said in a statement.

Spain on Friday told the Venezuelan ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours as a diplomatic spat between the two countries escalated.

Speaking at a press conference, Spanish government spokesperson Inigo Mendez de Vigo said Venezuelan ambassador Mario Isea was now overseas, but wouldn't be welcome back in Madrid.

"We have led in the European Union efforts to identify effective pressure mechanisms to get effective negotiations under way in Venezuela", he added.

Venezuela on Wednesday called its ambassador to Madrid, Mario Isea, home for consultations amid the "meddling and colonialist attack" by the Spanish government.

Venezuela alleged the Spanish diplomat was responsible for interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs.

On the same day, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced he was planning to run for the second presidential term.

"What does Mariano Rajoy want?"

The move was taken three days after the European Union announced its new round of sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials, including travel bans and the freezing of assets, connected with the political crisis under President Nicolas Maduro.

The move came a day after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy defended the sanctions, saying in a radio interview they were "well deserved" given the "brutal decisions" and "the understanding of democracy that Mr Maduro has".

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