Canada expels venezuelan diplomats

Photo: Adrian Wyld, The canadian Press
The canadian minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland

Ottawa — The ambassador of Venezuela is no longer welcome in Canada, announced Monday the minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, in response to the expulsion of a canadian diplomat in Caracas.

This new development comes after months of sanctions and criticism of Canada to Venezuela, which has prompted the government of Nicolas Maduro to expel the chargé d’affaires, canadian — who runs the embassy in the absence of an ambassador. The canadian diplomat Craig Kowalik has been declared persona non grata in Venezuela, which withdrew its diplomatic accreditation and forbade him to return to the country.

The president of the constituent Assembly of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, has accused Mr. Kowalik has meddled in the political venezuelan and have it published on Twitter comments “rude and vulgar” towards the countries of South America.

The canadian minister of foreign Affairs, Ms. Freeland, has decided to return the favor in Venezuela by declaring to turn persona non grata the chargé d’affaires of the venezuelan, Angel Herrera.

In a press release issued on Christmas day, the minister explained that these measures had been taken in response to this gesture, “typical” of the regime Maduro, ” which continues to undermine all efforts to restore democracy and to help the venezuelan people “.

The ambassador of venezuela in Canada had already been recalled to his country in protest of the government of Maduro against the canadian sanctions, targeting officials venezuelans. It is no longer welcome in Canada, ” said Ms. Freeland Monday.

A regime is undemocratic

The minister said, “Canadians will not remain with arms crossed” in the face of such affronts to democracy. She has also accused the regime Maduro to deny his people access to humanitarian assistance essential.

“We will continue to work with our partners in the region […] to put pressure on the regime Maduro, a regime to be undemocratic, and to restore the rights of the venezuelan people “, she added.

Venezuela suffered a serious economic crisis since the death of the leader Hugo Chavez, a socialist revolutionary who led the country from 1999 to 2013.

The dramatic fall in oil prices since 2014 and the devaluation of the venezuelan currency led to a record-level inflation and caused shortages of food, medicines and other articles of first necessity.

Canada has already imposed sanctions against 40 key members of the government of Nicolas Maduro since the month of September. Ms. Freeland has accused these officials of being corrupt and involved in violations of human rights.

Economic sanctions have also been imposed by the Group of Lima, which brings together Canada and eleven Latin American countries.

Representatives of the canadian government were not available to give an interview about it on Monday.