The Venezuelan authorities have declared the German ambassador Daniel Kriener persona non grata over what it called “interference into its internal affairs.”
Germany’s envoy has become the first European diplomat to be expelled from the Latin American state amid the ongoing escalation of tensions between Caracas and Washington and its allies, supporting a self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, who challenges the rule of elected leader Nicolas Maduro.
“Venezuela considers its unacceptable that a foreign diplomat … plays a public role on its territory, which is more typical for a political leader, who clearly supports the conspiracy agenda of the extremist parts of the Venezuelan opposition,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement explaining its decision.
Kriener was granted a period of 48 hours to leave the territory of Venezuela, the statement said.
El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela hace del conocimiento público la decisión de declarar persona non grata al Embajador de la República Federal de Alemania, Daniel Kriener, ante sus recurrentes actos de injerencia en los asuntos internos del país. Comunicado: pic.twitter.com/qqo6FyKiM0
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) March 6, 2019
In mid-February, Venezuela also kicked out a team of “interventionist” European parliamentarians, who came to meet with Guaido. Caracas accused them of coming with “conspiratorial purposes” and sent them back upon arrival.
Later the same month, Maduro also broke relations with neighboring Columbia and expelled its diplomats as well. The US envoy and his deputy were sent out of Venezuela back in May 2018 after being accused of allegedly conspiring against the government. The move came after Washington denounced Maduro’s victory in Venezuela’s presidential elections and refused to recognize its results.