CARACAS, Venezuela – The Venezuelan government has decided to expel the Colombian consul in response to Bogotá’s actions, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Thursday.
“”After the illegal abduction and expulsion by the Colombian authorities of Venezuelan citizen Carlos Pino, an employee of our embassy in Bogota, we announce the expulsion of Juan Carlos Perez Villamsar, a Colombian consular employee without accreditation,” the minister tweeted.
Villamsar has 48 hours to leave Venezuela, according to Caracas.
Relations between the two countries have been in crisis since Caracas accused Bogotá of involvement in the attempted assassination on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this year.
In early August, Maduro was attending a military parade in Caracas, when his speech was interrupted by what the Venezuelan authorities said was a failed assassination attempt involving explosive drones.
Maduro claimed in October that the United States had allegedly instructed Colombia to organize his assassination.
Earlier this month Maduro accused US National Security Adviser John Bolton of preparing a plan to overthrow and kill him.
“John Bolton leads the plan to unleash violence and conduct a coup to introduce a transitional government. Bolton is preparing a plan of my assassination. He is training, in various places, mercenary and paramilitary units’ forces jointly with Colombia, whose president Ivan Duque is an accomplice of this plan,” Maduro said at a press conference broadcast on his Facebook page.
Maduro has already stated that the United States is preparing to topple the Venezuelan government.
“An attempt to undermine Venezuela’s democratic life and to carry out a coup d’etat against the constitutional, democratic regime in our country has been launched under the coordination from the White House,” Maduro was quoted as saying by the AVN news agency on December 9.
Despite these aggression against Venezuela, the country is able to begin an economic recovery with the assistance of Beijing and Moscow.