Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for South America

Newsline: Venezuelan Envoy Slams Guaido’s Plans to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has made a grave mistake in relation to the Arab world by announcing his readiness to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem, Venezuelan Ambassador to Amman Omar Vielma Osuna said. “An illegitimate government headed by Guaido is now formed. And they have committed an unforgivable mistake by saying that they would open an embassy in Jerusalem. The Arab world revolted against this idea,” the ambassador said. (https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903151073258802-venezuela-embassy-jerusalem/) According to Osuna, Venezuela’s new economic model is aimed at showing the United States that Caracas, together with its partners in the Arab world, is able to stand up to the US economy. “The new economic model of Venezuela implies working with gold, metals and other products, so we want to change the economic policies in the world and show the world that we, together with our colleagues in the Arab region, can resist the US economy,” the ambassador added. Last month, Guaido announced plans to restore ties with Israel and did not rule relocating the embassy as a move to normalize bilateral relations frozen by Caracas in 2009 over Gaza killings.


Newsline: U.S. studies ‘protecting power’ for embassy in Venezuela

The United States is in talks with other countries about naming a protecting power for the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela after deciding to withdraw its remaining diplomats amid deteriorating conditions in the country, U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams said on Mar. 12. (https://www.reuters.com/article/venezuela-politics-usa/us-studies-protecting-power-for-embassy-in-venezuela-new-sanctions-official-idUSS0N20201B) Abrams told reporters at the State Department the United States planned “very significant” additional sanctions, including against financial institutions, over the situation in Venezuela in the coming days.

Newsline: Ireland opens its first Embassy in Colombia

Colombia took the first step when it opened its first Embassy in Dublin last year, and in January, Ireland reciprocated, with its first-ever diplomatic representation in the country. Ireland’s presence in Colombia dates to back to Simón Bolívar and the Independence campaign when 1,000 Irish volunteers left Europe in the 19th century under the command of the Cock-born General Daniel Florence O’Leary (1801- 1854). “We have a very long history with Colombia,” says Ambassador Milton, recalling one of Bolívar’s closest confidants and well-known figure in Colombian history. (https://thecitypaperbogota.com/news/republic-of-ireland-opens-its-first-embassy-in-colombia/21887) The opening of an Irish Embassy in Bogotá was, therefore, the Ambassador explains, “in the offing for some time” and a decision that comes as Ireland expands its missions’ network across Latin America.

Newsline: U.S. Pulls Remaining Staffers Out Of Its Embassy In Venezuela

The United States is withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, because of worsening conditions in the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late Monday. The move is a setback for the Trump administration, which had vowed to keep diplomats in the country to legitimize the opposition challenger to President Nicolás Maduro, who cut diplomatic ties with the United States in January. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/world/americas/venezuela-embassy-usa.html) Mr. Pompeo said the move reflected the “deteriorating situation” in the country and the belief that the presence of American diplomats “has become a constraint on U.S. policy.” The last phrase could be read as hinting at some form of military intervention. Top administration officials have said since the start of the political standoff in January that “all options are on the table.” On Tuesday morning, Mr. Pompeo told a Houston television station: “The people there have done great work. But it was time for them to come back. Their security is always paramount. And it’s just gotten very difficult.” Because of backing from the military, Mr. Maduro has held onto power despite the hopes and expectations of opposition leaders and the Trump administration.

Newsline: Eleven Venezuela diplomats in U.S. defected

Eleven Venezuelan diplomats in the United States have defected from President Nicolas Maduro’s government since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month. Gustavo Marcano, senior aide to the Venezuelan opposition’s envoy to Washington, told reporters that bank accounts for Venezuelan embassies and consulates in the United States had been frozen. Maduro broke off diplomatic relations and ordered Venezuela’s embassy and consulates in the United States closed after the Trump administration recognized Guaido, who invoked Venezuela’s constitution to declare himself president, arguing that Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was a sham. Marcano said officials loyal to Maduro had “dismantled” the consulates’ systems before returning to Venezuela. The opposition was working to restore services, he said. Carlos Vecchio, the opposition’s envoy to the United States, said that those who defected from Maduro’s government would continue to be employed under Guaido’s interim government. The opposition does not yet have the keys to the embassy, he added. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-usa/eleven-venezuela-diplomats-in-u-s-defect-since-last-month-opposition-idUSKCN1QA2I3) The 11 defections are out of a total of 56 Venezuelan diplomats in the country and include seven officials who work at consulates, three affiliated with the embassy and one official from the United Nations.

Venezuela’s government expelled the German ambassador

Ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled Mar.6 two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Caracas airport. The government declared Kriener persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country, accusing him of meddling in internal affairs, although it did not give specific details. “Venezuela considers it unacceptable that a foreign diplomat carries out in its territory a public role closer to that of a political leader aligned with the conspiratorial agenda of extremist sectors of the Venezuelan opposition,” the government said in a statement. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-germany/venezuela-expels-german-ambassador-for-meddling-in-internal-affairs-idUSKCN1QN224) A German foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Venezuela had expelled the ambassador and that the ministry was consulting with its allies on how to respond.

Newsline: Senior Iranian Diplomat In Russia To Coordinate Positions On Venezuela

Iranian foreign minister’s aide Mohsen Baharvand arrived on Mar. 5 in Russia to coordinate the positions of the two countries on the crisis in Venezuela, the Iranian Embassy in Russia said. (https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/senior-iranian-diplomat-arrives-in-russia-to-564876.html) “A delegation, headed by Mohsen Baharvand, the minister’s aide and the director of the Foreign Ministry Department for the Americas, has arrived in Moscow to coordinate Russian and Iranian positions on Venezuela,” the embassy said in its Telegram channel, adding that the Iranian diplomat would meet Russian officials.