03:21 GMT +318 November 2018
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    Pro-government supporters holding a Venezuela's flag attend a rally against U.S President Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela August 14, 2017

    Ecuador Expels Venezuelan Ambassador Over 'Offensive Remarks' - Foreign Ministry

    © REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
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    According to Quito, the envoy was expelled due to statements of Venezuelan Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, which were aimed at offending Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno.

    "The Republic of Ecuador will not tolerate any disrespect for its authorities. At the same time, Ecuador, faithful to its democratic and humanitarian principles, will continue to help Venezuelan citizens who enter the country by taking important economic and social measures to protect their rights," the ministry said in a statement.

    The news of expulsion came after Rodriguez said earlier in the day that Moreno is "a liar," addressing a speech by the Ecuadorean president on Venezuelan migrants given at the United Nations. According to the minister, Moreno was exaggerating the number of the Venezuelan migrants fleeing the country.

    READ MORE: Peru, Ecuador to Tighten Entry Rules for Venezuelans Amid Migration Spike

    In September, Lenin Moreno told the UN General Assembly that his country takes in an average of 6,000 Venezuelan refugees a day, adding that many children "coming with chickenpox, diphtheria, and polio" due to the lack of vaccination.

    Addressing the problem in August, the government of Ecuador introduced a state of emergency in three of the country’s provinces due to the influx of refugees from Venezuela.

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    Tags:
    refugees, expulsion, Jorge Rodriguez, Lenin Moreno, Ecuador, Venezuela
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