Mario Abdo Benítez, president of Paraguay, announced on Thursday the rupture of diplomatic relations with Venezuela after threats from the Venezuelan president in response to the repudiation of his new mandate by the Lima Group, of which Paraguay is a member.
The same day that Nicolás Maduro was sworn in as president of the Superior Court of Justice - regardless of the fact that the ceremony must be before the National Assembly, according to the constitution of the country - for the presidential term 2019-2025 despite criticism of the international community, Abdo Benítez announced that his country will close the embassy in Caracas and withdraw all its diplomatic personnel. Likewise, the Paraguayan chancellery announced that a reasonable period will be given for the withdrawal of the Venezuelan authorities present in the southern country.
Maduro had warned the countries of the Lima Group on Wednesday that if they did not rectify the communique signed on January 4 by its members -with the exception of Mexico- in which they denounced him once again as an illegitimate ruler and demanded the call for new elections, would take the most urgent and crude diplomatic measures against them.
Maduro assumes the position unconstitutionally, according to the National Assembly of Venezuela, with an opposition majority, considering that the elections in which he was elected on May 20 did not provide sufficient democratic guarantees. This position of repudiation was joined by a large part of the international community, among which are the great powers of Latin America, the European Union and the United States.
Paraguayan chancellery's official statemant (in Spanish):
Caracas gave the Lima Group a period of 48 hours to rectify its position, for which Abdo Benítez responded by withdrawing all diplomatic personnel present in Venezuela and expelling the Venezuelan diplomatic staff in Paraguay, according to an official statement from the Paraguayan chancellery.