Fri, 23 Apr 2021

CARACAS, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government on Wednesday declared the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Caracas Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa persona non grata and gave her 72 hours to leave the country.

"We have presented Mrs. Isabel Brilhante, who in recent years was the head of the European Union delegation in Venezuela, with the declaration of persona 'non grata'," Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said.

"We are doing that because the circumstances demand it," he added, after meeting with Brilhante at the ministry's headquarters.

According to Arreaza, the decision came after the EU issued "55 decisions, what in the European Union or in the U.S. they call sanctions," against Venezuela.

He described the actions of the European bloc as "interference," noting the United Nations Charter only allows for coercive measures against countries at the approval of the UN Security Council.

The Venezuelan minister called on European authorities to carry out "a process of reflective analysis so they may abandon these interfering, arrogant attitudes."

"Hopefully Europe will play a role of rapprochement, of bridge-building, of respect," he said.

Arreaza said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had been "generous" in February 2019, when he allowed ambassadors from European countries that did not recognize his mandate to stay in the country.

The "persona non grata" declaration came a few days after the EU decided to sanction 19 Venezuelan government officials.

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