Venezuela Expels EU Envoy After New Sanctions Imposed by The Bloc

Published June 30th, 2020 - 06:16 GMT
MADURO. In this file photo on September 30, 2019, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference in Caracas. Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP
MADURO. In this file photo on September 30, 2019, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference in Caracas. Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP
Highlights
Venezuela had earlier warned the EU to stop meddling in its internal affairs.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has expelled the European Union (EU)’s envoy to the country following a move by the bloc to impose new sanctions against several Venezuelan officials.

The EU on Monday placed financial sanctions on 11 Venezuelan officials, saying they were responsible for measures taken against opposition figures in Venezuela, including what the bloc called “politically-motivated” prosecutions.

Hours after the sanctions announcement, Maduro gave the EU envoy, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the Latin American country.

“A plane can be loaned to her to leave,” he said in an address on state television.

Earlier this month, the bloc had condemned the January election of Luis Parra as speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly as “illegitimate,” saying opposition figure Juan Guaido remained the rightful congressional speaker.

Parra, who was approved by Venezuela’s Supreme Court as speaker in May, was among the 11 individuals targeted with the new sanctions. So were his two deputies, Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega.

The European Council had also earlier condemned a decision by the Supreme Court to reshuffle the composition of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) on June 16.

 

Venezuela had earlier warned the EU to stop meddling in its internal affairs.

The new sanctions brought the total number of Venezuelan officials targeted by the EU to 36.

Venezuela has been in political turmoil since January last year, when Guaido unilaterally declared himself “interim president” of the country. He later launched an abortive coup with the backing of Washington and a number of rogue soldiers.

European governments have also backed Guaido, in what is generally seen as an attempt to unseat the democratically-elected, leftist government of Maduro.

Recently, a group of mercenaries on speedboats launched an incursion into Venezuela to kidnap Maduro. The Venezuelan military foiled that attempt. Guaido was later revealed to have signed the contract for the incursion with the mercenaries.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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