Caracas, Venezuela (nsnbc) – The Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, on Wednesday, recalled Spain’s Ambassador to Venezuela. The two countries are engaged in a diplomatic row since the Spanish parliament, on April 14, called on Venezuela to release members of opposition parties who have been incarcerated on charges of having played a role in violence against the government and in plotting a coup d’état.
The call for the release of the controversial Venezuelan opposition leaders was led by Rajoy’s Popular Party that is expected to face strong opposition in elections scheduled later this year.
The parliamentary resolution called for the release of, among others the Caracas Metropolitan District Mayor Antonio Ledezma, the former Mayor of Caracas Chacao Municipality Mayor Leopoldo Lopez as well as the former Mayor of San Cristobal City, Daniel Ceballos.
Rajoy and the Popular Party touted the arrests and detention of leading opposition figures as crackdown against opposition and “anti-democratic”.
Antonio Ledezma has been arrested for his alleged role in an attempted coup d’état in February 2015. The so-called “Blue Coup” involved plans to bomb Venezuela’s Presidential Palace and other key locations and to assassinate or arrest key government officials.
Only days before the attempted coup, the retired Venezuelan General Angel Vivas released a series of videos, calling on the people to form armed resistance cells and to prepare for a fight to the death.
Meanwhile, leading opposition figures who are known for their ties to CIA and Pentagon fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID, among others, released a statement in which they called for the establishment of a “transitional government”.
Among the signatories were the currently jailed leader of the Popular Will Party, Leopoldo Lopez, former National Assembly Legislator, Maria Corina Machado and current Mayor of the Metropolitan Capital District of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez accused the Spanish government of having crossed a “red line” with its resolution and recall of its Ambassador for consultations on Wednesday. Rodriguez added that Venezuela would not take orders from a defeated empire.
Responding to the Spanish resolution and the withdrawal of the Ambassador, the Venezuelan parliament adopted a resolution, declaring the former Spanish President Felipe Gonzalez as “persona non grata” and as unwelcome in Venezuela. Gonzalez planned to arrive in Venezuela in May as part of Leopoldo Lopez’ legal team.
Author: Christof Lehmann
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