President Nicolas Maduro gave three days to the head of the European Union delegation in Caracas on Monday, June 29, to leave Venezuela, in reaction to the sanctions adopted the same day by the EU against eleven Venezuelan officials. The Socialist President announced the expulsion of the EU representative, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, during a speech at the Presidential Palace in Miraflores.
“Who are they to try to impose themselves by threat? Who are they ? That’s enough ! That’s why I decided to give the European Union Ambassador 72 hours to leave our country. “, said Nicolas Maduro. “We will resolve this in 72 hours (…) We will provide her with a plane to go, but we will put our affairs in order with the European Union”, he continued. Venezuela has indeed suspended commercial flights due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
The standoff between Europe and Venezuela therefore hardened on Monday, with sanctions adopted against 11 Venezuelan representatives, including Luis Parra, Maduro’s ally designated by the Supreme Court as President of the National Assembly, Juan José Mendoza, President of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, and General José Ornelas, who heads the National Defense Council.
The EU accuses them of being “Particularly responsible for actions against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, in particular by depriving several of its members of parliamentary immunity”. Luis Parra thus tried to replace Juan Guaido in May as President of the Parliament. He is recognized as interim president of Venezuela by some fifty countries. “The alleged election of Luis Parra was not legitimate because it did not respect legal procedures and democratic constitutional principles”said the European Union.
Venezuela was the first Latin American country in 2017 to be subject to EU sanctions. No comments were immediately obtained from an EU spokesperson in Caracas.