Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Venezuela

Newsline: Venezuela reopens Miami consulate

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the reopening of the country’s consulate in Miami, home to a sizeable anti-government community, before presidential elections on April 22, reversing a move by his predecessor Hugo Chavez. Speaking at the country’s Supreme Court late Wednesday, Maduro said he had received a request from Miami’s Venezuelan community to open the consulate so they could vote in the hastily arranged election, announced last week. “I have given the instruction to the foreign minister to proceed immediately to open the Miami consulate so that all Venezuelans can enroll in the electoral registry,” Maduro said.



Newsline: Unpaid staff forced to move into Venezuelan consulate in London

The collapse of the Venezuelan economy has reached its diplomatic mission in London, with three officials and their families having to move into a cultural centre in Fitzrovia because they cannot pay rent. Venezuelan media have published an apparently leaked letter written by the ambassador to London, Rocío Maneiro, to the foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, complaining that salaries had not been paid since September, and explaining that the staff had found it “impossible” to cover their rent.


Newsline: Spain to expel Venezuela’s ambassador as ‘persona non grata’

The Spanish government has declared Venezuela’s ambassador in Spain ‘persona non grata’ following an equivalent move by the Venezuelan government on Thursday, government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said on Friday. The Venezuelan ambassador must leave Spain within the next 72 hours according to diplomatic protocol, de Vigo said during a news conference following the weekly cabinet meeting. “The principle of reciprocity in diplomacy implies that we give the same treatment that they’ve given to the Spanish ambassador; declare them ‘persona non grata’ and give them 72 hours to leave the country,” he said. Venezuela said on Thursday it was expelling the Spanish ambassador from Caracas in response to Spanish “aggressions”. On Friday, the European Union condemned Venezuela for expelling the Spanish ambassador and called for the decision to be reversed and diplomatic relations to remain in place.


Newsline: Venezuela expels Spanish ambassador after EU sanctions

Venezuela has expelled the Spanish ambassador to Caracas, Jesús Silva Fernández, accusing him of interfering in its internal affairs. Spain has rejected the allegations and said it would reciprocate. The announcement comes after the European Union imposed a travel ban and froze the assets of seven senior Venezuelan officials. President Nicolás Maduro has accused Spain of pushing for the EU sanctions and plotting to oust him.


Newsline: U.S. embassy in Venezuela to begin issuing visas again

For the first time in more than 18 months, Venezuelans trying to go to the United States for business or pleasure can apply for a visa in Venezuela. In a statement on its website, the U.S. embassy in Caracas said it will begin accepting applications for B-1 and B-2 visas — used for temporary business and tourism travel — starting Jan. 17. Visa services in the South American country have been suspended since May 2016, when Washington and Caracas both ejected diplomats and the embassy said it didn’t have the staff to process visas. An embassy spokesperson said the consular office was now almost fully staffed.


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”.