El Salvador orders expulsion of Venezuelan diplomats

SAN SALVADOR, June 2, 2019 (Xinhua) — El Salvador’s new President Nayib Bukele delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 1, 2019. El Salvador’s new President Nayib Bukele took office on Saturday, calling for national unity and a collective effort to move the country forward. (Xinhua/Alexander Pena/IANS)

San Salvador, Nov 3 (IANS) The El Salvador government has ordered the expulsion of Venezuelan diplomats as it recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American country.

President Nayib Bukele in a statement on Saturday said that his government has given 48 hours to the entire diplomatic corps to leave, reports Efe news.

The statement posted on his Twitter account said Bukele’s government “recognizes the legitimacy of the interim president, Juan Guaido” and supports the call for free elections to be held as per the Venezuelan constitution.

“(El Salvador) will support free voting, supervised by the international community and that guarantees the will of the people of Venezuela,” it added.

Bukele said his government would welcome a future diplomatic team sent by Guaido, who in January assumed a rival presidency in Venezuela, alleging that incumbent Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate, and is seeking international actions to oust the president.

The Salvadorian President’s decision was hailed by US Ambassador Ronald Douglas Johnson

“We applaud the government of President (Bukele) for ensuring that El Salvador is on the right side of history by recognizing (Guaido) as the interim president of Venezuela,” Johnson tweeted.

Bukele’s statement said the move was consistent with El Salvador’s stand in the August 28 meeting of the leaders of the Organization of American States (OAS) in which 21 countries voted to support the report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Venezuela.

The UN report, the statement said, recognized that Maduro’s government was involved in “systematic violations of human rights against Venezuelans”.

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