Venezuela tells EU ambassador to leave country

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President Maduro's announcement got here after the EU introduced sanctions on 11 officers

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has ordered the European Union's ambassador to leave the country inside 72 hours.

Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa's expulsion got here hours after the EU positioned sanctions on 11 Venezuelan officers.

They have been sanctioned for performing in opposition to the nationwide meeting headed by opposition chief Juan Guaidó.

Mr Guaidó declared himself interim president final yr however has failed to take away Mr Maduro.

The opposition chief has the backing of the EU and the US.

In his announcement on Monday broadcast on state tv, talking of the EU, Mr Maduro mentioned: "If they can't respect Venezuela, then they should leave it."

He added: "A plane can be loaned for her [Pedrosa] to leave. "Venezuela's air area is at the moment closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Earlier on Monday, the European Council mentioned the 11 officers have been added to the sanctions record "because of their role in acts and decisions undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela".

There at the moment are 36 Venezuelan officers who’ve been positioned below EU sanctions, it mentioned.

Those newly-added to the record embrace Luis Parra, who in January declared that he, not Mr Guaidó, was the rightful speaker of the meeting.

Mr Guaidó declared himself interim president final yr, arguing that Mr Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. His place on the head of the opposition-led National Assembly was the idea of his declare to be Venezuela's reputable head of state.

He is acknowledged as such by greater than 50 nations, together with the US, the UK and most in Latin America and the EU

Speaking on Monday, Mr Maduro mentioned the EU "recognizes a puppet as president".

Some 4 million folks have fled Venezuela since 2015, in accordance to the United Nations, amid a extreme years-long political and financial disaster. The oil-rich country suffers from excessive unemployment and shortages of meals and medication, and a whole bunch of 1000’s of persons are mentioned to be in want of humanitarian help.

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Media captionIn January, Juan Guaidó tried to climb over a fence to enter the National Assembly constructing

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