Brazil has declared Gerardo Maldonado, Venezuela’s top diplomat in the country, persona non grata in a tit-for-tat move that comes just days after Caracas expelled the Brazilian ambassador.
“Venezuela: God and Christ gave us the victory. Lets go to the streets to take our freedom” says Oscar Pérez, an ex-inspector of the CICPC, the national police force in a new video diffused by himself with a group of rebellious officials. In the video he calls on the population and the national security agencies to join them in the fight and rebel against the regime of Nicolás Maduro.
It is paradoxical how a country with the largest oil reserves in the world has a shortage of gasoline. Of course, Venezuela does not produce gasoline as such, but sells crude oil and imports gasoline, so with the sanctions imposed by various nations and the very crisis that PDVSA (State Company) suffers - which according to the unions works approximately 13% of its capacity- complicate the problem.
When it comes to getting medical treatments, temporary work, migration for a short time, buying food or making more money, Cúcuta has been the better option, if not the perfect one, it is the most practical, for many Venezuelans.
The Brazilian foreign ministry has no plans to send a new ambassador to Venezuela, after Ruy Pereira was declared “persona non grata” by the government of Nicolás Maduro. With the ousting of ambassador Ruy Pereira the embassy will be the responsibility of the highest ranking diplomatic in Caracas, who is the business attaché. He is the second most senior and who has spent more time in Venezuela behind the ambassador.
Canada has announced it is expelling Venezuela's ambassador to Ottawa, Wilmer Barrientos Fernández, and its charge d'affaires, Ángel Herrera. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the move was in retaliation for the expulsion of its most senior diplomat from Caracas over the weekend.
Officials in Venezuela took the first step on Saturday toward expelling top diplomats from Brazil and Canada who have been accused of meddling in the country’s politics. National constituent assembly president Delcy Rodriguez declared both Brazil’s ambassador and Canada’s charge d’affaires as persona non grata, a move which does away with their diplomatic credentials.
The National Constituent Assembly (ANC in Spanish) recommended to the Public Prosecutor and the Judicial Branch to release more than 80 political prisoners. At the moment, 13 of them have been released with precautionary measures.
Venezuela’s foreign minister blamed the United States for his country’s spiraling debt crisis, saying Washington’s “permanent attack” had left the economy crippled. Jorge Arreaza lashed out at Donald Trump, US and European sanctions, and American interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs at the Venezuelan embassy in Beijing during a three-day official visit.
Venezuela's economy shrank a massive 16.5% in 2016, according to an official government filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The oil-rich but impoverished country attributed the collapse to a contraction of 9.9% in the oil sector and 16.1% in the non-oil economy.