Caracas will stop providing services in its consulates in Canada, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Sunday. The move comes in a response to similar actions made earlier by Ottawa.
“Venezuela will stop providing consular services in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. All diplomatic functions will be concentrated in the Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa. We hope that Canada will soon restore its sovereignty in foreign policy”, Arreaza wrote on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Ottawa decided to temporarily suspend operations at the country’s embassy in Venezuela.
The foreign minister added that Canada would continue to provide consular assistance to Canadians in Venezuela through the embassy in Colombia.
Last week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Freeland discussed ongoing efforts to support the rebuilding of democracy in Venezuela and support for the opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The situation in Venezuela remains tense since January when opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself interim president.
Washington and other countries including Canada, endorsed Guaido and called on President Nicolas Maduro to step down. The United States has also seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil assets.
Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup to install Guaido as its puppet and take control of Venezuela’s natural resources.
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for the constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.
Recently Washington has increased its pressure campaign to oust Maduro and replace him with Guaido. The Trump administration has blocked some Venezuelan oil assets and imposed sanctions on the state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA, delivering a heavy blow to the country’s oil-dependent economy.Palestinians, Israeli Opposition Slam Friedman As He Backs Israel’s Partial Annexation of West Bank