The dish is burning between Canada and Venezuela. Following the ousting of Canadian diplomat Craig Kowalik of Caracas on Saturday, December 23 by the President of the Constituent Assembly, it is the turn of the Canadian Foreign Ministry to respond. The Venezuelan ambassador and a chargé d’affaires are now persona non grata.
In a press release, the Foreign Minister explained that the Venezuelan ambassador was no longer welcome in Ottawa. Ditto for his charge d’affaires. Chrystia Freeland believes that the Maduro regime “continues to undermine all efforts to restore democracy and help the Venezuelan people.”
For several months, Canada has sought to play an active role in supporting Venezuelan opposition and contributing to the release of political prisoners. Last September, for example, some 40 representatives of the Maduro government were banned from Canadian territory.
The assets of these officials, whom the minister accuses of being corrupted and involved in human rights abuses, have been frozen. In October, Canada, a member of the Lima Group, welcomed representatives from eleven Latin American countries that form this coalition. Here again, the situation in Venezuela and the means to be deployed to restore democracy were at the top of the discussions.
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