Venezuela on Wednesday declared German ambassador in Caracas persona non grata for meddling in its internal affairs and ordered he leave the country in 48 hours.
The expulsion of Daniel Martin Kriener “is due to his repeated acts of interference in the country’s internal affairs,” Venezuela’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Kriener was reportedly among a handful of ambassadors who went to the airport on Monday to greet Juan Guaido on his return from a tour of Latin American countries that support Venezuela’s right-wing opposition movement.
Guaido declared himself “interim president” in January. The United States immediately recognized Guaido’s temporary presidency. Germany followed suit early February.
The Venezuelan government believed that Washington’s approval of Guaido as the country’s interim leader aimed to oust the current administration, and open up its vast oil reserves as well as gold deposits to U.S. corporations.
“Venezuela is irrevocably free and independent, which is why actions by diplomatic representatives that implicate meddling in matters that are the exclusive realm of the Venezuelan people and state authorities are not and will not be allowed,” the ministry said.
European countries should “adopt a constructive balanced attitude” toward Venezuela’s political crisis, instead of “encouraging the path of coups and violence (and) facilitate a peaceful and negotiated solution between the Venezuelan camps,” it added.