President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that United States Chargé d’Affaires Todd Robinson and head of political affairs Brian Naranjo have 48 hours to leave Venezuela. Maduro said the decision to expel the two diplomats is aimed at defending Venezuela’s sovereignty and in rejection of Washington’s interventionist policies against the country and its people.
“I have declared him (Todd Robinson) persona non grata, and I announce the exit of the United States Chargé d’Affaires in 48 hours,” Maduro said of Todd Robinson during the official proclamation of his re-election. He accused Robinson of being involved in “a military conspiracy” against Venezuela.
“Neither with conspiracies nor with sanctions will you hold Venezuela back,” Maduro said at the National Electoral Council’s (CNE) headquarters in downtown Caracas.
On Tuesday, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro also named Carlos Ron Martinez as the new vice-minister of foreign relations for North America, according to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.
Ron Martinez had previously served in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C., in charge of Venezuelan business affairs in the United States since March 2017.
Posting on Twitter on Tuesday, Arreaza said: “Announcement: President Nicolas Maduro has decided to name comrade Carlos Ron Martinez as Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations for North America, who has always worked with dignity, respect and commitment to diplomacy, as the Chief of Business in Washington.”
The announcements came just days after Maduro won a second presidential term of six years, with over 60 percent of the vote.
The United States quickly moved to condemn the elections and imposed a new round of heavier sanctions against Venezuela.
Brief compilation prepared and edited by Venezuelanalysis.