09:34 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Caracas, Bogota Mutually Expel Diplomatic Staff - Venezuelan FM

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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan government has decided to expel one Colombian diplomatic worker in response to Bogota requiring a Venezuelan diplomatic employee to leave the country, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Thursday.

    "After the illegal abduction and expulsion by the Colombian authorities of Venezuelan citizen Carlos Pino, an employee of our embassy in Bogota, we announce the expulsion of Juan Carlos Perez Villamsar, a Colombian consular employee without accreditation," the minister tweeted.

    Villamsar has 48 hours to leave Venezuela, according to Caracas. The relations between the two states dampened after Caracas accused Bogota of involvement in the attack on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this year.

    Venezuela's neighbors along with other countries, including the United States, have expressed their doubts over the legitimacy and fairness of the vote, which resulted in Maduro getting re-elected for his second term.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Mulls Upgrading Russia-Supplied Ground, Air Systems — Defense Minister

    The Lima Group, which comprises Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, subsequently decided to downgrade the level of their diplomatic relations with Caracas.


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