President Nicolas Maduro accuses the French Ambassador of interference

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The head of state criticizes the French ambassador for welcoming the opponent Juan Guaido at the airport, upon his return to the country after an international tour.

President Nicolas Maduro accused the French Ambassador to Venezuela, Romain Nadal, of having interfered “once again, gravely in the internal affairs of the country”. He accuses him of having welcomed opponent Juan Guaido at the airport on his return from an international tour. Nicolas Maduro added to foreign press correspondents that the Venezuelan foreign ministry was “studying the answer” to give to this case, without ruling out the possibility of the diplomat’s expulsion.

The President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido on his return to Venezuela, Tuesday February 11, 2020 at Maiquetia airport.
The President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido on his return to Venezuela, Tuesday February 11, 2020 at Maiquetia airport. (CRISTIAN HERNANDEZ / AFP)

This scenario already occurred in March 2019, when Allemage’s ambassador to Venezuela, Daniel Kriener, was declared “persona non grata” for having welcomed the opponent at Caracas international airport. “The answers cannot be automatic and repetitive, what we did a year ago, will not necessarily be what we will do today … even if it can be”, warned the socialist head of state, in an allusion to the case of Daniel Kriener, who had finally returned to his post in July 2019.

President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido, recognized as acting president by nearly 60 countries, returned on Tuesday from a 23-day tour during which he notably met French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and American President Donald Trump. Several members of the diplomatic corps were waiting for him upon his arrival at the airport. The Venezuelan President asked his head of diplomacy, Jorge Arreaza, present at the press conference, “to study closely the response to be given to these embassy officials”. Cases will be studied “one by one”.

Nicolas Maduro also questioned the reaction of the French authorities if the Venezuelan ambassador to France were to participate in the demonstrations of “yellow vests”, the social protest movement that appeared in France in 2018.

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