HAVANA TIMES – Venezuela has cancelled its decision to expel the ambassador of the European Union following a phone call between its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, both sides said on Thursday.
“[The] Venezuelan government decided to rescind the decision taken on June 29, 2020, by which Ambassador Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, head of the delegation of the European Union in Caracas, was declared persona non grata,” according to the joint statement.
Borrell and Arreaza “agreed on the need to maintain the framework of diplomatic relations, especially at times when cooperation between both parties can facilitate the path of political dialogue,” it added.
Venezuela had decided to expel Brilhante in response to sanctions issued against individuals from the South American country.
The European Council had added 11 Venezuelans to the sanctions list for “undermining democracy and rule of law,” bringing the total to 36. The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered Brilhante to leave the country within 72 hours, prompting the European Commission’s foreign affairs office to threaten additional measures.
The sanctioned individuals were accused of unduly stripping of parliamentary immunity several of its members, including its president Juan Guaido.
The EU considers Guaido the legitimate head of the National Assembly despite a Venezuelan Supreme Court decision confirming government ally Luis Parra as holding the post instead.
About 50 countries have recognized Guaido as the South American country’s interim president, but he has been unable to oust Maduro, who has presided over a massive economic and political crisis.