Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Spain kicks out Venezuela ambassador in tit-for-tat move

Spain kicks out Venezuela ambassador in tit-for-tat move Spain kicks out Venezuela ambassador in tit-for-tat move
Melinda Barton | 27 January, 2018, 15:21

"This demonstrates the fear felt by Maduro of the people", opposition lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez said on Thursday. On Monday, the European Union announced economic and travel sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials.

Foreign sanctions against Maduro's government, including a United States prohibition on investors dealing with any new Venezuelan debt, have exacerbated food and medicine shortages. In an attempt to rein in inflation, the government of President Nicolas Maduro has refused to loosen foreign-exchange controls and price caps that have exacerbated the short supply of all sorts of products, from food to medicine.

The letter says the issues are evidence of the Maduro regime's efforts to "promote instability in the Western Hemisphere".

"This lawless environment threatens the stability and security of the region, including the United States, by providing fertile ground for drug cartels and USA -designated foreign terrorist organizations, such as the FARC and ELN, to operate", the senators wrote. And a 14-member regional group that includes Canada, Mexico and Peru said an election held under the present conditions would lack legitimacy.

The US said this week that the vote will "deepen, not help resolve, national tensions", and Vice President Mike Pence called Maduro a "dictator". "Let's get over with this, win the presidential poll and put an end to the imperialist threat".

If opposition hardliners campaign for a boycott of the election, that would complicate plans by the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition to hold a primary election to choose its best candidate.

Its most popular leaders are nearly all sidelined from politics - jailed, in exile, or barred from holding office. He was succeeded on his death in 2013 by Maduro.

"The majority of Venezuelans loathe his government and his circle".

The nation's most popular anti-Maduro leaders, such as Leopoldo López, leader of the Popular Will party, and Henrique Capriles, head of the Justice First party, who were both previously excluded from the election are now scrambling to figure out their response, according to Reuters.

The opposition could succumb to in-fighting about what conditions to accept in the vote.

"We need to demand free and transparent elections, so that Venezuelans can really express their views and start building a future", said Mr Macri.