Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Brazil

Newsline: Brazil considers removing ambassador from Venezuela as reciprocal measure

Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly is working to expel Brazilian and Canadian diplomats. Brazil’s has threatened to take reciprocal measures against Venezuela. The Brazilian government says it has not yet been notified of Venezuelas decision. The ministry of foreign affairs already issued a statement saying that if the decision was confirmed it would reciprocate, meaning the Venezuelan Ambassador to Brazil, Alberto Padilla, could also be expelled.



Newsline: Venezuela expels top Brazil and Canada diplomats

Venezuela has expelled the Brazilian ambassador to Caracas, Ruy Pereira, and Canadian charge d’affaires Craib Kowalik. The move was announced by the head of Venezuela’s powerful Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez. Ms Rodriguez accused Brazil of violating the rule of law and Canada of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Both countries have strongly criticised the move. The decision to expel Ambassador Pereira may have been triggered by Brazil’s recent complaint that President Nicolás Maduro was “constantly harassing the opposition”.


Newsline: US diplomat in Brazil shot in the foot during attempted robbery

An American diplomat stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro was shot in the foot during an attempted robbery about 90 miles outside the city, reported the Associated Press, citing Brazilian police. The consulate official, identified by the AP as vice consul Stephanie Bohlen, was attacked while driving on a coastal road in Angra dos Reis, according to police. Bohlen was driving with a man identified as her partner. He was not hit. Bohlen was initially transported to a local hospital but she was then transferred to a hospital in Rio for surgery, the AP reported. A State Department spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that a consulate official was involved in an incident involving gunfire, but declined to provide further information.



Newsline: War crimes suits against Sri Lankan ambassador in Brazil

Human rights groups in South America are alleging war crimes violations in lawsuits filed against a former Sri Lankan general who is now his Asian nation’s ambassador to Brazil and five other countries in Latin America. The suits against Jagath Jayasuriya are based on his role as a commander in the final phase of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009. They allege Jayasuriya oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, disappeared and tortured thousands of people. Jayasuriya has diplomatic immunity in the countries where he is ambassador: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Suriname. But the groups pursuing the suits hope they will compel regional governments to expel him. Carlos Castresana Fernandez, the lawyer coordinating the effort, told The Associated Press on Monday night that suits were filed Monday in Brazil and Colombia. Petitions also will be filed in Argentina, Chile and Peru in the coming days, he said, adding that authorities in Suriname refused to accept the suit.



Newsline: Brazilian diplomat dies after car crash in Guyana

A Brazilian vice consul has died following a car crash in the South American country of Guyana. Police say Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira died Saturday following a head-on crash in the southwest border town of Lethem on a main highway leading to Brazil. Police said two other people from Guyana involved in the crash were hospitalized with serious injuries. Authorities say they do not yet know what caused the crash. They said Oliveira died after being taken to a hospital in neighboring Brazil.



Newsline: Israel slams ‘diplomatic dwarf’ Brazil for recalling envoy to protest Gaza operation

Israel denounced Brazil for recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations in protest over the IDF’s operation in the Gaza Strip, calling it an economic power but an irrelevant diplomatic power. “This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.” A statement put out by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry announcing the recall of its ambassador said Brazil considered the “escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine” as unacceptable. “We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip.” Foreign Ministry officials were bracing for other Latin American countries to follow suit, noting that Brazil often sets the tone in South America. In 2010, once Brazil recognized a Palestinian state, a number of other South American countries did the same.



Newsline: Strike hits Brazilian consulates in US, Europe

Employees at Brazil’s consulates began a two-day strike Tuesday that affected visa services in major cities in the United States and Europe just weeks before the World Cup. Local employees at Brazilian diplomatic offices said they hoped to pressure the government to increase their pay and other compensation, arguing the government has frozen their salaries in the past years. Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said the Tuesday-Wednesday strike was only slowing operations at nine consulates and one embassy, but did not say which ones. The Association of Local Employees at Brazilian Foreign Missions said strikes or protests were hitting 17 cities in North America and Europe, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, London, Paris and Rome. Some consulates posted a message on their websites saying they were responding only to emergency requests made by Brazilian nationals. Brazil’s consulates have been issuing for free a special category of visa for tourists visiting Brazil for soccer’s World Cup that begins June 12. Applicants need to have tickets for a match. Marcia Ramos, a representative of the association, said it has 1,800 members in more than 50 Brazilian diplomatic offices around the world, but she said it wasn’t yet clear how many were participating in the strike. “Our demand is simple: They need to replace the lost wages they have not raised in recent years,” Ramos said in an email. The foreign ministry said its contracts with local employees adhere to the laws of the countries where consulates are located, arguing there is no way to negotiate collectively.