Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for South America

Newsline: Guaido Allies Leave Venezuela Embassy in Brazil After Stand-Off

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido left the country’s embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday evening, ending a nearly 13-hour stand-off with diplomats loyal to President Nicolas Maduro. Freddy Meregote, the embassy’s charge d’affaires representing Maduro’s government, said the “attack” from the “enemies of the revolution” in Venezuela was repelled.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-13/guaido-backers-enter-venezuela-embassy-in-brazil-in-bold-move) Guaido’s top representative in Brazil, Maria Teresa Alexandrian, said in a statement that the decision to stand down was taken for safety reasons. She added that talks with Brazil‘s government were under way with the aim of ensuring access the embassy as soon as possible. A representative from Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spent hours on site, speaking with both sides. It was not clear what was agreed that allowed Maduro diplomats to regain full control of the embassy.

Newsline: Brazil’s Bolsonaro vows order after Guaido backers enter Venezuelan embassy

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his government was working to avoid violence after supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido gained access to the country’s embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday. The move led to a standoff with backers of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and scuffles outside the embassy, creating a diplomatic embarrassment as the BRICS summit of major emerging economies kicked off in the Brazilian capital. Tensions at the embassy highlight the stark differences between Bolsonaro, who has recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, and Maduro’s Chinese and Russian allies, who are joining presidents from India and South Africa in Brasilia this week. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the embassy in Brasilia had been “invaded by force at dawn” and said on Twitter that Brazil should respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-brazil/guaido-backers-enter-venezuela-embassy-in-brasilia-sparking-standoff-idUSKBN1XN1SJ) Guaido’s envoy in Brazil, María Teresa Belandria Expósito, said in a statement that her personnel had gained access when a group of embassy workers opened the doors voluntarily. Bolsonaro repudiated “the interference of external actors” in a Twitter post about the incident, without specifying to whom he was referring. He gave assurances that public order would be maintained in accordance with the Vienna Convention. The right-wing Brazilian president’s security advisors said in a statement he had not “incentivized the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy.”

Newsline: Armed protesters force their way into Venezuela’s Embassy in Bolivia, diplomats flee

A group of masked men reportedly broke into Venezuela’s Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, forcing its staff to run for their lives. Venezuela’s ambassador in Bolivia claimed the attackers wanted to butcher those inside. “We are fine, but the embassy was taken. They want to massacre us,” Venezuela’s ambassador to Bolivia, Crisbeylee González, said in an audio message obtained by RT Spanish. “Please, I need you to report,” she added. (https://www.rt.com/news/473107-bolivia-embassy-venezuela-attack/0 The diplomat said the thugs who forced their way into the diplomatic compound were wearing hoodies and were armed with dynamite and shields, as cited by Agencia Boliviana de Información (ABI), Bolivia’s state news agency. The reported attack took place shortly after former Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation on Sunday. The socialist leader said he decided to step down so the protesters would stop the violent attacks on his allies among government officials and indigenous population, his core supporters.

Newsline: El Salvador orders expulsion of Venezuelan diplomats

El Salvador has ordered the expulsion of Venezuelan government diplomats, joining the U.S. and more than 50 other countries that have said opposition leader Juan Guaidó is Venezuela’s rightful president. The Salvadoran government said late Saturday in a statement that the diplomats, who are loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, had 48 hours to leave the country. It said the decision is in line with comments by President Nayib Bukele “not recognizing Maduro’s government as legitimate.” (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/el-salvador-orders-expulsion-venezuelan-diplomats-66723472) Venezuela responded in kind Sunday, ordering Salvadoran diplomats to leave Caracas within two days. Ronald Johnson, the U.S. ambassador in El Salvador, welcomed the decision to expel pro-Maduro diplomats. El Salvador’s opposition FMLN party criticized the government’s move, accused “foreign interests of being behind it and expressed solidarity with Venezuela and “its legitimate President Nicolás Maduro.”

Newsline: Brazil president confirms career diplomat tapped for embassy in Washington

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed the nomination of Nestor Foster to be ambassador in Washington after backtracking on appointing his son, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro. “He’s a well-liked person, an exemplary figure, he has everything to be successful,” Bolsonaro told reporters before he left Tokyo for Beijing, the next stop on a tour of Asia and the Middle East. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-brazil-diplomacy/brazil-president-confirms-foster-tapped-for-embassy-in-washington-idUSKBN1X31UX) Foster is currently Brazil’s charge d’affaires at the U.S. embassy.

Newsline: Son of Brazil’s president gives up bid for ambassador in Washington

Brazilian lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, said he will no longer pursue an appointment as the country’s ambassador in Washington after his father said the nomination was being reconsidered. “I’ll stay in Brazil to defend conservative principles, to make the tsunami that was the 2018 election a permanent wave,” Eduardo Bolsonaro told reporters. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-politics/son-of-brazils-president-gives-up-bid-for-ambassador-in-washington-idUSKBN1X21SX) The 35-year-old lawmaker said he would relinquish his chance at the diplomatic post to defend the government’s agenda.

Newsline: Mexico offers protection to six people at its embassy in Ecuador

The Mexican embassy in Ecuador’s capital Quito has offered protection and shelter to six people, including legislators and their spouses, Mexico’s foreign ministry said. The embassy offered protection and shelter to opposition legislator Gabriela Rivadeneira, a member of the party of former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, whose allies have been accused of stirring up unrest by President Lenin Moreno. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecuador-protests-mexico/mexico-offers-protection-to-six-people-at-its-embassy-in-ecuador-idUSKBN1WU02D) Moreno on Monday scrapped a law to cut expensive fuel subsidies after days of violent protests against the IMF-backed measure, returning fuel prices to prior levels until a new measure can be found.