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Canada Kicks Out Venezuela Ambassador In Tit-For-Tat Row

Ottawa (December 26, 2017): Canada on Monday ordered Venezuela’s ambassador and charge d´affaires to leave, escalating a row two days after its top diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Venezuela was kicked out by President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

“In response to this move by the Maduro regime, I am announcing that the Venezuelan ambassador to Canada… is no longer welcome in Canada. I am also declaring the Venezuelan charge d´affaires persona non grata,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

She noted that Venezuela´s ambassador, Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernandez, “had already been withdrawn by the Venezuelan government to protest Canadian sanctions against Venezuelan officials implicated in corruption and gross human rights abuses.”

The tit-for-tat response follows Venezuela’s announcement on Saturday that Canada’s charge d´affaires in the embassy in Caracas, Craig Kowalik, and Brazilian ambassador Ruy Pereira were no longer welcome. Kowalik was accused of “nagging, constant rude and offensive interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs,” according to Delcy Rodriguez, a Venezuelan official who heads a powerful body of Maduro loyalists known as the Constituent Assembly.

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