Venezuela on Thursday declared Spain’s ambassador to Caracas “persona non grata,” accusing Madrid of committing “continuous aggressions” against the Socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.
The declaration came a day after Venezuela recalled its own ambassador to Spain following the European Union’s adoption of sanctions against seven senior Venezuelan officials, including a freeze on their assets and a ban on traveling to the EU.
Venezuela “has decided to declare persona non grata the ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Venezuela… owing to its continuous aggressions and repeated acts of interference in the internal affairs of our country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Caracas accuses Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of being one of the masterminds behind the sanctions, saying he was acting on instructions from the United States. Among the targeted officials was Diosdado Cabello, one of the most powerful figures in the Venezuela leadership.
Diplomats like Spanish ambassador Jesus Silva who are censured by being declared persona non grata are normally required to leave the country where they have been serving.
Spain and Venezuela have suffered from tense diplomatic ties since the late Socialist leader Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. He was succeeded on his death in 2013 by Maduro.
The dismissed vice president of Catalonia on Tuesday asked that he be released from jail, having accepted he no longer holds authority in the Spanish region whose leaders want independence.
Oriol Junqueras has been in custody since November 2 while a judge investigates him and other former regional ministers, including the deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.
In a note presented by lawyers to the Supreme Court, Junqueras and three other axed ministers in the formerly semi-autonomous region admitted that they have been dismissed.
They “accept the application of Article 155”, the constitutional provision which allowed the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to suspend Catalonia’s regional authority on October 27.
That step followed Puigdemont’s declaration of independence, after a referendum on secession that took place on October 1, despite a court ban. Puigdemont is in self-imposed exile in Belgium.
According to the court note, Junqueras and his fellow detainees accept Madrid’s authority over Catalonia despite having “the deepest political and legal disagreement”.
“They do not give up their political beliefs in strictly peaceful and democratic ways and will work to reach an agreement that puts the decision on the future of Catalonia in the hands of citizens,” it added.
Rajoy dissolved the Catalan parliament and has announced elections to be held there on December 21 in a bid to “restore normality” to the regio
Former Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola and England’s former coach, Fabio Capello are amongst the high profiled candidates running eagerly for the position of Russia coach.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) revealed on Tuesday that the union is planning to discuss further with the contenders so as to determine who takes up the job as head coach of the National team.
Other top contenders for the position are Harry Redknapp who is the former boss of Tottenham Hotspur, former Liverpool boss, Rafael Benitez, Marcelo Bielsa and Marcelo Lippi.
Local media and football pundits tipped Capello and Guardiola who are the early front-runners as possible two contenders after the filtering must have been completed but also ruled the chances any Russian taking up the position as Valery Gazzayev, Anatoly Byshovets and Yuri Semin, who coached the national team in the past but were sacked or quit following a string of poor results were amongst the list as Russians.
Much against the will of the Russian Football Union the list of the candidates were released claiming it was due to intense media speculation about the job, which became vacant following Dutchman Dick Advocaat’s departure after Russia’s failure to get past the group phase at Euro 2012.
One name conspicuous by its absence was Manchester City’s Italian manager Roberto Mancini who agreed a new five-year contract with the English Premier League champions on Monday.
On Monday, Russian media, quoting RFU and Sports Ministry sources, said Mancini had agreed a four-year deal to become Russia’s new coach after officials found a “signed contract” in the safe of former RFU chief Sergei Fursenko.
Spanish football giant, Barcelona agreed to terminate the contract of Brazilian centre-back Henrique after failing to make any competitive appearance for the Spanish club.
The Club World Cup champions paid a reported €8 million for the once-capped Brazil international, a product of Coritiba’s youth system.
Though, Henrique still had 12 months before his contract with Barcelona ends, spent one whole season on loan at the Arena Palestra Italia and has now penned a four-year deal with the Sao Paulo-based side.
Henrique joined Barca from Palmeiras in 2008 but never made a single appearance for the Catalans, having first been farmed out to Bayer Leverkusen and then spending two seasons on loan at Racing Santander.
Spain manager, Vicente Del Bosque could not hide his joy seeing Chelsea striker; Fernando Torres as a target against South Korea as Spain walloped the Asian side 4-1 on Wednesday night.
The Striker headed in the first goal for Spain after which Kim Do-Heon secured an equaliser for South Korea before the first half ended.
Strikes from Xabi Alonso,Santi Cazorla and Alvaro Negredo sealed victory for Spain in the second half of a match played in Bern, Switzerland.
Del Bosque went into the game without the nine Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao players who were given time to rest after the Copa Del Rey final.
It is the first outing of the champions before they defend their European Championship title. They will be playing China in Seville on Sunday before heading to the tournament as one of the opponents of the Republic of Ireland in Group C.
Del Bosque said the squad is happy because there has been no injuries while training and two games have been played plus the fact that players have been relating well with each other.
On Torres’ goal, the manager said with his goal, he is now the fourth highest Spanish goal-scorer of all time which is why he is very pleased with his contribution.
He continued by confirming Torres as one of the players that offers combination play with his teammates adding speed and movement to it which provided the goal from the Spaniard and everyone is happy about this.