The government of Venezuela gave the European Union’s envoy to Caracas 72 hours to leave the country after EU blacklisted 11 Venezuelan officials and lawmakers, President Nicolas Maduro announced.
"I decided to give the EU envoy to Caracas 72 hours to leave the country, and I demand that EU show respect. Enough of European colonialism and persecution with regard to Venezuela," the president said in a speech, aired by Venezolana de Television, TASS reports.
"She has already been provided with an aircraft to fly away. Later we will start gradually solving issues with the European Union. If they don’t like us, if they don’t respect Venezuela, they are free to leave," Maduro said.
Moreover, the Venezuelan president announced that Venezuelan authorities were considering the possibility of "taking diplomatic measures" against the ambassador of Spain. He said the building of the country’s embassy housed talks about an invasion into the South American country.
"Venezuela reserves the right to take diplomatic measures against the ambassador of Spain for his role in the invasion," Maduro said, adding that more news would follow in the coming hours.
On Monday, the European Union imposed sanctions on 11 Venezuelan officials and lawmakers for hindering the opposition led by Juan Guaido and "undermining democracy" in the country. The officials will be prohibited from entering the EU and their accounts in European banks will be frozen.