Peru expels Venezuelan ambassador
CARACAS, VENEZUELA — The Peruvian government expelled Venezuela’s ambassador Friday as regional pressure built on President Nicolas Maduro’s government for allegedly trampling his country’s constitutional order.
Peru gave Ambassador Diego Molero, a former Venezuelan defence minister, five days to leave the country. As part of what it said was a firm commitment “to help restore Venezuela’s democracy,” Peru’s administration also refused to accept a diplomatic protest made by Maduro over Peru hosting foreign ministers from 17 regional nations who refused to recognize the new, loyalist-packed special assembly that is to rewrite the constitution.
The diplomatic action by Peru, which was the strongest yet from a Latin American government, came as the Trump administration weighed putting economic sanctions on Venezuela to punish Maduro for what Washington calls an illegitimate power grab.
On Thursday, Trump said he discussed Venezuela, along with North Korea and Afghanistan, in a security briefing with top national security aides and Vice-President Mike Pence. Pence is travelling to Colombia on Sunday to begin a regional trip that may include discussions on how to deal with Maduro.
“We had some very good meetings, some very good ideas, very good thoughts, and a lot of decisions were made,” Trump said after the briefing, without providing any details.
Maduro has tried to deflect the pressure from Washington, and on Thursday said he wants to meet with Trump, perhaps next month at the UN General Assembly.