Causes and background: US diplomats must leave Venezuela in 72 hours

In strict compliance with its functions and powers, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, announced on January 23 the breakdown of diplomatic and political relations with the government of the United States, due to the interventionist attitude sustained by Washington on Caracas.

“They are leaving Venezuela, enough of interventionism”, emphasized the Venezuelan president from the Miraflores Palace, during a day marked by the self-proclaimed deputy – of the National Assembly in contempt – Juan Guaidó as “interim president” of the South American country supported and recognized by the administration of Donald Trump, which is accused of promoting a coup against the bolivarian government.

In this context, and before a crowd of supporters who gathered themselves to ratify their commitment, the head of state proceeded to sign the diplomatic note through which a period of 72 hours was established for US diplomatic and consular staff to leave the oil nation.

“Here there is dignity, here is a people willing to defend this land”, he said in his harangue.

In the following days, diplomatic representatives of Venezuela and the United States returned to their respective countries according to the term granted.

Caracas and Washington maintain negotiations

In spite of this situation, in which a coup plot led by the United States government in Venezuela was forged -according to various spokesmen of the Venezuelan Executive- both governments agreed to hold negotiations for the establishment of an Interests Office in each capital, from which migratory procedures and other topics of bilateral interest could be attended, with strict adherence to international law for cases of rupture of relations between countries.

For this purpose, a period of 30 days was established to reach the agreement and the remaining staff of each mission, who during the agreed period continued to be covered by diplomatic prerogatives, was authorized to stay and must concentrate their activities exclusively in the offices that corresponded to the extinct embassies, before the rupture of relations.

During this period, US interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela intensified, prompting a firm response in Caracas.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan government announced the decision to close talks with the United States government on a possible agreement for the mutual establishment of interest offices after the breakdown of diplomatic relations.

“Once the original 30-day term has expired and the subsequent extension of 15 additional days, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has decided not to grant a new extension for the permanence of the US diplomatic agents still present in the country, for which reason On March 11, 2019, the US government has been required to leave the national territory of the remaining personnel of its former embassy in Caracas, within the next 72 hours, counted from 00:00 on the 12th. March 2019”, highlights the Official Statement.

The People’s Power Minister for Foreign Relations, Jorge Arreaza, informed that on Monday the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry summoned the United States diplomatic representative in the South American country, James Story, to inform him of the sovereign decision of the national Government not to extend the presence of the US diplomatic staff in Venezuela.

“Playing in an advanced position and making believe that Washington withdraws its personnel is nothing more than an arrogant and defeatist reaction that shows a lot of frustration. As they were informed yesterday, the decision of President Nicolás Maduro must be fulfilled in the next 72 hours”, remarked the Venezuelan Foreign Minister through his Twitter account @jaarreaza.

The Venezuelan Government ratified, however, its inalterable disposition to maintain channels of communication and dialogue with the Government of the United States, “as long as these are developed within the framework of a relationship of equality and mutual respect”.


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