Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday Venezuela’s ambassador is no longer welcome in Canada, and declared the country’s charge d’affaires persona non grata.
In making the announcement, Freeland said President Nicolas Maduro has consistently undermined all efforts to restore democracy and to help the Venezuelan people.
“Canadians will not stand by as the government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic and human rights, and denies them access to basic humanitarian assistance,” Freeland said in written statement.
Freeland’s announcement follows an announcement Saturday by the president of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, who both Brazil’s ambassador and Canada’s chargé d’affaires, Craig Kowalik, as persona non grata for what she said was meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
Canada, Brazil and the United States have been increasingly critical of Maduro, who has threatened to ban opposition parties from participating in future elections.
Venezuela withdrew its ambassador to Canada in October to protest Canadian sanctions against the Maduro regime imposed in September.
With files from CP, AP, CBC, Toronto Star