EU’s Borrell Condemns Expulsion Of Envoy From Venezuela
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday condemned the expulsion of the EU’s ambassador to Venezuela ordered by President Nicolas Maduro and said the bloc would reciprocate.
“We condemn and reject the expulsion of our ambassador in Caracas. We will take the usual necessary reciprocal measures,” Borrell tweeted.
Maduro gave Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa 72 hours on Monday to leave the country in response to European sanctions against 11 Venezuelans.
Relations have been tense since 2017, when Venezuela became the first Latin American country to be hit by EU sanctions, including an arms embargo.
Among the officials sanctioned Monday was Maduro-backed opposition legislator Luis Parra, who is contesting the leadership of the opposition-controlled National Assembly with its president Juan Guaido.
Guaido used his position as head of parliament to challenge Maduro’s authority in January 2019 by declaring himself acting president after the National Assembly deemed the socialist leader a usurper over his controversial re-election in 2018 in a poll widely branded fraudulent.
Guaido is recognized as his country’s interim president by more than 50 nations, including the United States and much of the EU.
“Only a negotiated solution between Venezuelans will allow the country to emerge from its deep crisis,” Borrell added in his tweet.