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32 Monday, November 4, 2019 07:15

Venezuela expels El Salvador's diplomats in 'reciprocal' move


Venezuelas President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a news conference at the foreign ministry in Caracas [File: Ariana Cubillos/AP] Venezuela ordered El Salvadors diplomats to leave the country in reprisal for President Nayib Bukeles expulsion of officials representing the government in Caracas.

El Salvador does not recognise Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as legitimate and said on Saturday it would receive a new diplomatic corps representing opposition leader, Juan Guaido.More:El Salvador expels Venezuelan diplomatsUS extends protected status for Salvadorans by a year Sanctions, Venezuela, and US intentionsGuaido, who presides over the opposition-controlled National Assembly in January invoked the South American countrys constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro stole the 2018 election.

He has been recognised by dozens of countries, including the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. In response, the Venezuelan foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday it declared each of the Salvadoran diplomatic staff in Caracas persona non grata and gave them 48 hours to leave.Salvadoran authorities are breathing oxygen into the failing US strategy of intervention and economic blockade against the people of Venezuela, the ministry said.

Bukele is officially assuming the sad role of a pawn of US foreign policy.#COMMUNIQUÉ | In accordance with the principle of reciprocity, Venezuela expels diplomatic personnel from El Salvador in Caracas. Bukele officially assumes the sad role of pawn of U.S. foreign policy by giving oxygen to its strategy of aggression against the Venezuelan people pic.

twitter.com/Oa3ywfxGcg— Cancillería Venezuela 🇻🇪 (@CancilleriaVE) November 3, 2019The Salvadoran move came less than a week after the US government extended temporary protections for Salvadorans living in the US by an extra year.The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was provided to citizens of the Central American country following two devastating earthquakes in 2001 that killed 8,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

US Ambassador Ronald Johnson reacted warmly to El Salvadors decision.We applaud the government of President Nayib Bukele for ensuring that El Salvador is on the right side of history, he said on Twitter.Maduro calls Guaido a US puppet seeking to remove him in a coup, and blames US sanctions for a hyperinflationary economic collapse that has led to a humanitarian crisis in the once-prosperous OPEC nation, prompting millions to emigrate.

While most of Venezuelas neighbours recognise Guaido and have called on Maduro to step down, the Venezuelan leader has remained in power thanks to the backing of the armed forces and allies, including Russia, China and Cuba.

UpFront Will there be a US military intervention in Venezuela? SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies .

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News Code: 375827  |  aljazeera
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