Maduro gives EU ambassador 72 hours to leave Venezuela

1 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

CARACAS: Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Monday gave the head of the European Union mission in Caracas, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the country after the bloc announced sanctions against 11 Venezuelan officials, reports AFP.

“Who are they to try to impose themselves with threats?” said Maduro. “We will sort it out in 72 hours... she will be given a plane to leave, but we will arrange our things with the European Union.”

Venezuela’s airspace is currently closed to commercial airplanes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maduro also accused the EU of getting down on its “knees” to US President Donald Trump, who has taken a hard line against the leftist leader, and copying “erratic policies” against the Latin American nation.

Relations have been tense since 2017, when Venezuela became the first Latin American country to receive sanctions from the EU, 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.


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