Venezuela recalls ambassador due to Spanish 'interference'

Diplomatic ties to be "reviewed" after Spanish leader tweeted support for jailed anti-government protester.

Venezuela recalls ambassador due to Spanish 'interference'

World Bulletin/News Desk

Venezuela recalled its ambassador to Spain following the Spanish prime minister’s show of support for a Venezuelan opposition figure imprisoned for demonstrating against the Venezuelan government.

Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted his support for Leopoldo Lopez after meeting with Lopez’s wife in Madrid.

“With liliantintori, interested in leopoldolopez, prisoner in Venezuela. His freedom and right to demonstrate are necessary,” the tweet read.

President Nicolas Maduro railed against Rajoy on Venezuelan state television "[Rajoy] thinks he's a king, the owner of the Americas," he reportedly said, adding that the prime minister should “respect Venezuela,” and was “creating a disaster in Spain."

In a short statement released Tuesday, Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the recall of the ambassador and a “comprehensive review of diplomatic relations” with Rajoy’s “interfering statements.”

Lopez has been in jail in Venezuela since February, when he was charged with spearheading mass anti-government protests. More than 40 people were killed during the demonstrations, which continued for three months.

The protests began over Venezuela’s high levels of violence, but quickly grew to include complaints over high inflation, shortages of food and other goods, and government repression. Critics say that Lopez’s imprisonment is part of a larger move on the part of Maduro to squash dissent against his administration.

Diplomatic ties were nearly broken between Venezuela and Spain in 2007, when former King Juan Carlos told former President Hugo Chavez to “shut up” during a regional summit.

 

Last Mod: 30 Ekim 2014, 10:21
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