The Venezuelan government on Wednesday announced the expulsion of the European Union’s ambassador to Caracas in response to the bloc’s imposition of fresh sanctions against the top officials of the South American nation.
In a national press release, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told the reporters that Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, the head of the European Union’s delegation in Venezuela, was provided 72 hours to leave the country and has been declared persona non grata through a decree issued by President Nicolás Maduro.
“Today, by decision of President Nicolas Maduro, we have delivered in Isabel Brilhante’s hands, who in recent years was the head of the European Union delegation in Venezuela, the declaration as ‘person non grata’,” Arreaza said on Wednesday.
According to Arreaza, the EU’s move of issuing new round of sanctions against several Venezuelan officials is “disrespect for public international law” and a violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
“We do it because there are already 55 decisions, of what they call sanctions in the European Union or in the US system, as if they had a moral authority, which they do not have, nor legal, to impose any punishments on citizens of any other country,” he added.
EU’s sanctions came after 19 of Venezuela’s senior officials were alleged of undermining democracy or violating human rights, citing the ongoing unrest and deteriorating condition of the South American nation following the 2020 elections.
In response to Venezuela’s move, EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said that the bloc “profoundly regrets” the decision of the South American nation, saying that its order to expel the EU ambassador would only cause “international isolation of Venezuela.” She then urged the country to retract its decision.
“Venezuela will only overcome its ongoing crisis through negotiation and dialogue, to which the EU is fully committed but which this decision undermines directly,” Massrali said in a statement.