Venezuela has condemned "hostile" and "unacceptable" statements by French President Emmanuel Macron calling on the European Union (EU) to increase its sanctions against the Bolivarian nation.
In a statement released Saturday, government officials accused Macron of being "a faithful copy of the government of the United States, which stubbornly seeks to cause anxiety in the Venezuelan population and stoke activities in the South American country."
Venezuela also criticized Macron's intention to "question the legitimacy, suitability and transparency of the Venezuelan Public Powers and institutions," saying he should retreat from "the old intimidation practices that characterize... colonialist France."
The EU imposed sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials on January 22. Venezuela described the move as "patronizing," and issued a statement rejecting "the arrogant pretension of the European Union to (supervise) Venezuela as if it were a colony under its tutelage."
On January 25, Venezuela declared Spanish Ambassador to Caracas Jesus Silva Fernandez "persona non grata" in response to "the continuous aggressions" of Madrid, accusing President Mariano Rajoy of following "instructions issued from Washington."
Madrid responded Friday by declaring Venezuelan Ambassador Mario Isea persona non grata and giving him three days to leave Madrid.