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    Brazil, Canada expel Venezuelan diplomats

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    Brazil, Canada expel Venezuelan diplomats

    Dec. 26 (UPI) — Brazil and Canada each expelled Venezuelan diplomats after their own diplomats were expelled from Venezuela.

    Brazil declared Gerardo Delgado, Venezuela’s most senior diplomat in the country, as persona non grata after Venezuela expelled Brazil’s ambassador to Caracas, Ruy Pereira.

    Venezuela defended its decision to expel Pereira stating Brazil had acted illegally in impeaching its former president, Dilma Rousseff .

    The Brazilian government said the move showed “once again the authoritarian nature of President Maduro’s administration.”

    Brazil’s relationship with Venezuela has deteriorated since President Michel Temer took office after Rousseff’s dismissal which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described as “a right-wing coup.”

    “Diplomatic relations with Brazil will not be restored until the government reinstates the constitutional order it has effectively broken,” Delcy Rodriguez, head of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly said.

    Venezuela also declared Canada’s charge d’affaires, Craig Kowalik, persona non grata on Saturday, prompting Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to respond by expelling Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernandez,Venezuela’s ambassador to the country.

    Angel Herrera, the Venezuelan charge d’affaires, was also stripped of his diplomatic credentials and ordered out of Canada.

    Kowalik was expelled after Rodriguez accused him of meddling in Venezuela’s internal politics and tweeting “rude and vulgar” comments about the country.

    Freeland said the move was “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,” she added.

    Both Canada and Brazil have become critical of Maduro stating his socialist government is harassing the opposition and violating human rights.

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