The European Union on Wednesday asked the Venezuelan government to “reverse” the expulsion of its ambassador to Caracas, decided in retaliation for new European sanctions.

The EU asks to “reverse this decision which will accentuate the isolation of Venezuela”, told AFP a spokeswoman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

“Venezuela will overcome the current crisis only through negotiation and dialogue. The EU is ready to facilitate this, but such a decision will not help,” said spokesperson Nabila Massrali.

Venezuela decided Wednesday to expel EU ambassador to Caracas, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, of Portuguese nationality, in response to a new round of sanctions imposed on Monday, and gave her 72 hours to leave the country.

The Twenty-Seven countries of the Union sanctioned on Monday 19 senior officials of the Nicolas Maduro regime for their role in acts and decisions which, according to them, undermine democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela.

The decision, validated by the European Foreign Ministers, brings to 55 the total number of Venezuelan government officials and senior officials sanctioned by the EU (travel ban and asset freeze on Union territory).

The ambassador had already been declared persona non grata in July 2020 in retaliation for European sanctions. The government however reversed its decision.

Venezuela became in 2017 the first Latin American country to be sanctioned by the EU.

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