Canada suspends operations at its Venezuela embassy

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Canada has announced that it is shutting its embassy in the Venezuelan capital Caracas temporarily.

The reason, it says, is that President Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuelan government has “taken steps to limit the ability of foreign embassies to function”.

Canada is one of more than 50 nations that recognise opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s acting president.

Canadians in Venezuela will now have to travel to neighbouring Colombia for consular assistance.

‘No choice’

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her government had been “left with no choice” because Canadian diplomats’ visas were expiring at the end of the month.

She said the visa could not be renewed as Canada was “no longer in a position to obtain diplomatic accreditation under the Maduro regime”.

In March, the US withdrew all its diplomatic staff from Venezuela citing the “deteriorating situation” in the Latin American country.

In a statement, Ms Freeland said Canada was “also evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats appointed by the Maduro regime to Canada”.

She said that Canada would “continue to stand up for the rights of the Venezuelan people and for a full return to democracy in Venezuela”.

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