Maduro orders European Union envoy to leave Venezuela over sanctions

Elias Hubbard
June 30, 2020

Venezualan President Nicolas Maduro has expelled the European Union ambassador to the country, giving the diplomat 72 hours to pack up and leave, after Brussels imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials, including on members of parliament.

Maduro's decision to banish Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa comes after the European Council chose to spap a flurry of punitive sanctions on about a dozen of high-ranking Venezuelan officials.

"Who are they to try to impose themselves with threats?" said Maduro.

"I have chose to give the European Union Ambassador to Caracas 72 hours to leave our country".

The EU subjected 11 officials to financial sanctions, citing their actions against the democratic functioning of Venezuela's National Assembly.

The relationship between Caracas and Europe have long turned sour, as the block still sees Guaido as the head of the National Assembly despite him being ousted as result of the election in January, which the US-backed opposition leader denounced as a parliamentary 'coup.

Parra, though, declared himself National Assembly president in January while security forces loyal to Maduro prevented Guaido from entering the building for a re-election vote he was widely expected to win. The legislature has 167 seats.

But the Supreme Court, which is loyal to Maduro, ratified Parra in May.

The president chastized the bloc for supporting Guaido.

Mr Parra was among those named in Monday's sanctions, along with Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega, who were named as vice-presidents of the assembly in the May court ruling.

Also on the European Union sanctions list were Juan Jose Mendoza, president of the Supreme Court's constitutional chamber, and General Jose Ornelas, head of the National Defense Council.

The EU said the new list took the number of Venezuelan officials under sanctions to 36.

Venezuela is a once-wealthy oil nation experiencing a declining economic and political crisis that's driven roughly 5 million people from the country amid shortages of basic goods, soaring inflation and broken hospitals.

Guaido is recognized as his country's interim president by more than 50 nations, including the United States and much of the EU. However, Maduro remains in power with control over the military and worldwide support from allies including China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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