Brazil Steps Up Pressure To Push Maduro’s Diplomats Out

Brazil declared 29 Venezuelan diplomats loyal to President Nicolas Maduro personae non gratae, in the latest sign of support for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

In astatement, Brazil’s foreign ministry said it has informed all representatives of what it called “Venezuela’s illegitimate regime” that they are no longer welcome. The envoys will immediately lose diplomatic immunity and privileges, but won’t be forced to leave the country, the ministry said.

The decision transforms Maduro envoys into ordinary Venezuelan citizens in Brazil and as such, they will be prevented from issuing official documents and become subject to Brazilian law enforcement. It also forces the envoys to stop acting or introducing themselves as diplomats.

Tourists from neighboring countries can usually remain in Brazil for a maximum of 90 consecutive days, after which their stay becomes illegal, unless they obtain another status, like a work visa.

Last year Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela and provided Guaido’s envoy in Brasilia full ambassador status.

Read more: In U-Turn, Venezuela’s Maduro Allows Brazil to Repatriate Staff

Earlier this year, Brazil recalled its entire corps of foreign service officers and diplomats from Venezuela and set a May deadline for Maduro to reciprocally pull his from Brazil. The Brazilian Supreme Court, however, put the decision on hold on humanitarian and health grounds as Covid-19 raged in Latin America, without questioning the government’s right to declare foreigners personae non gratae.

The head of Maduro’s representation in Brazil didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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