Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Spain

Newsline: Spain summons North Korean ambassador, orders Pyongyang’s embassy to reduce staff

Spain told the North Korean Embassy to reduce its staff in the country in protest Pyongyang’s repeated missile launches and nuclear weapons tests. North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs “create a serious threat to peace in the region and to global security,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “The embassy of the DPRK had been warned by the foreign ministry that the continuation of these actions would have consequences on bilateral relations,” it added. “Today the DPRK ambassador has been summoned and the position of the Spanish government has been reiterated and he was informed of the decision to reduce the number of diplomatic staff at his representation in Madrid.” The North Korean Embassy, which opened in 2014, is staffed by an ambassador and two diplomats, a foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP. “One of the two diplomats will have to leave by Sept. 30,” she said.



Newsline: New York City increases security at Spanish consulate after Barcelona attack

The NYPD’s counter-terrorism unit is increasing security at locations in the city that are affiliated with Spain after a terror attack in Barcelona left at least 12 people dead and wounded at least 80. Spanish officials said a van plowed into pedestrians in the city Thursday in the historic district of Las Ramblas. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the van attack around 3:40 p.m. NYC time. NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism James Waters said the unit has placed officers at the Spanish consulate and other locations affiliated with Spain.


Newsline: UK Foreign Office advises tourists to stay inside after Barcelona terror attack

The Foreign Office has warned Britons in Barcelona to stay away from the Las Ramblas area of the city after this afternoon’s terror attack. Witnesses heard a “loud crash” followed by people screaming after a van ploughed into crowds of people on the wide tree-lined boulevard which is popular with tourists. The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack by police – local media says at least two people are dead and several more are injured. Updated travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London has warned tourists in the city to stay inside and to stay away from the Las Ramblas area. People who are already in the area have been asked to follow the the advice of police and security services. A spokesman said representatives of the FCO are in contact with Spanish authorities. The travel advice page for Spain on the FCO website now reads: “The British Embassy in Madrid and Consulate General in Barcelona are in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking further information following reports of an incident in central Barcelona.


Newsline: Bombs Explode at Spanish Embassy in Caracas

The Spanish embassy in Venezuela has been hit by explosive devices lobbed by two people on a motorcycle. Prosecutors reported the incident Thursday, describing the explosives as gasoline bombs. There are no reports of casualties. It appeared that the building sustained no damage. The first meeting of the 545 delegates elected to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution is scheduled for Friday at the legislative palace in Caracas, setting the stage for a possible showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and the political opposition, which says the election of the constituent assembly was not fair.


Newsline: Malia Obama wasn’t fired by the Spanish Embassy for smoking marijuana

It’s summer internship season and everyone loves a juicy story on a former first daughter’s internship cut short due to drug busts. At least fake news sites seem to. Don’t be fooled, though. A story that Malia Obama was fired from an internship at the U.S. embassy to Spain is fake news. A June 29, 2017, post on FreedomCrossroads.us says that the eldest daughter of former President Barack Obama was caught smoking marijuana during her internship at the Spanish embassy and sent home. “She was caught, by Embassy Security — aka the U.S. Marines — on the roof of the building burning a doobie and playing with the Ambassador’s carrier pigeons,” the story said. “Ambassador Bedard is an avid hobbyist.” Obama did intern at the embassy, in 2016, not this year. And there were no reports of her dismissal. This summer, Obama traveled with her family to Bali and Jakarta and is continuing an internship at the Weinstein Company movie studio she began in the spring.


Newsline: Libya’s ambassador to Spain dies

The Libyan ambassador to Spain, Mohammed Al-Faqih Saleh, died in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on Saturday. According to sources, the Libyan ambassador died of cancer after a long battle against the disease. Mohammed Al-Faqih Saleh started his job as Libya’s ambassador to Spain in 2012.


Newsline: Protesters Besiege Venezuela’s Embassy in Spain

Right-wing protesters surrounded Venezuela’s embassy in Madrid, Spain during a community event, preventing people from leaving the building. Mario Isea, Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain, told teleSUR that after hours of being held up in the building, local police evicted the violent protesters. The roughly 100 people attending the event, a commemoration of victims of right-wing violence in Venezuela, were then able to leave the building. “From the early hours of the day, a violent picket was installed in front of the embassy and we warned the Spanish Government to be responsible for the security of the embassy and the diplomats,” said Isea, who added that he requested for the Spanish government to evict protesters from the area hours in advance. He added that several Spanish policemen were present when protesters began encircling the building, but that they did little to address the situation. In response to the far-right protest, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez demanded that the Spanish government “guarantee the integrity of our diplomats.” Since early April, the Venezuelan opposition has led almost daily protests against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro. Protests have resulted in the deaths of over three dozen people.