EU envoy in Venezuela leaves country

Photo: AP Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa (C).

The chief EU diplomat in Venezuela left the country on Tuesday, a week after the government of Nicolás Maduro ordered her expulsion following the EU’s decision to impose sanctions on several Venezuelan officials accused of undermining democracy or violating human rights, AP reported.

Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa tweeted a photograph of Caracas showing the mountain range that flanks the Venezuelan capital to the north and the message “infinite thanks to all Venezuelans for their affection.” “I carry you all in so many beautiful memories. My heart stays here,” she wrote.

The Venezuelan government’s action against Brilhante Pedrosa came after the EU’s foreign ministers sanctioned 19 Venezuelan officials, freezing their assets and banning them from traveling to the bloc, citing the deteriorating situation Venezuela faces after December 2020 elections. The main opposition parties boycotted those elections.

The move marked the second time in almost eight months that Brilhante Pedrosa was declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Venezuela. Both cases were related to the EU sanctions against officials and allies of Maduro. Last June, Brilhante Pedrosa was able to remain in Venezuela after the EU high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza agreed on the need to maintain diplomatic relations.

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