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Venezuela’s National Assembly asks government to expel EU ambassador

New Europe - Zoe Didili

Venezuela’s National Assembly has called on the government to expel the European Union’s ambassador to Caracas, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, after the bloc adopted fresh sanctions against 19 Venezuelan officials.

The 2015 National Assembly (NA) on Tuesday urged President Nicolas Maduro to call Brilhante Pedrosa persona non grata and to close the EU office in Caracas. The country’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza would meet with the EU ambassador on Wednesday, along with ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from other EU countries, including from France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Earlier in the week, the Union’s foreign affairs ministers decided to add 19 leading Venezuelan officials to their sanctions list, due to their “role in acts and decisions undermining democracy and the rule of law in the country, or as a result of serious human rights violations.”

The officials are targeted for undermining the oppositions’ electoral rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, and for serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedom, according to a statement issued on Monday.

In January, the EU’s heads of state and government had stated they were ready to adopt additional targeted restrictive measures following the outcome of December’s elections in the country.

The EU move brings to 55 the total number of individuals subject to sanctions.

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