Canada is set to expel a Venezuelan diplomat and block the country’s ambassador from making a return after Caracas expelled the Canadian and Brazilian envoys on Dec. 23 for criticizing its human rights record.
As rallies surged across the country over the dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro this past year, many in the international community have criticized his administration for breaking down democracy, curating a failing economy and human rights violations.
Maduro has ignored an opposition party majority in the regular congress, and created an alternative constitutional assembly filled with allies to his presidency.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said Monday in a statement that the ambassador, who had already been withdrawn by Venezuela in protest over sanctions imposed by Ottawa in September, was no longer welcome in Canada.
In retaliation to Maduro regime declaring Canadian chargé d’affaires Craig Kowalik persona non grata, the Canadian foreign ministry also declared his Venezuelan counterpart persona non grata.
Freeland described Maduro’s actions regarding the Canadian envoy as “typical of the Maduro regime, which has consistently undermined all efforts to restore democracy and to help the Venezuelan people.”
“Canadians will not stand by as the Government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic and human rights, and denies them access to basic humanitarian assistance.”
More details to follow. Image 1 of Chrystia Freeland from the Winnipeg Free Press.