18:55 GMT23 January 2021
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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – Argentina has implemented measures to counter the Venezuelan government, agreed upon by the Lima Group, including the introduction of an entry ban for high-ranked Venezuelan officials, the Argentinian Foreign Ministry said.

    On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for his second term in office. The Lima Group has refused to recognize the results of the May elections which saw Maduro securing the term. The Organization of American States (OAS) has said it does not recognize Maduro’s powers. Meanwhile, Paraguay cut off diplomatic ties with Venezuela.

    "The Argentinian government said it informed the Venezuelan government on the suspension of the validity of the visa liberalization agreement for the holders of diplomatic and service passports of this country; banned high-ranked members of the Venezuelan regime from entering the country," the ministry said in a statement.

    Moreover, the Argentinian authorities will inform the financial and banking sectors about risks related to carrying out transactions with Venezuelan state-run companies or entities controlled by the Venezuelan authorities, according to the statement.

    "Condemning the undermining of the constitutional order and the rule of law in Venezuela, the Argentinian Republic announces its full recognition of the [Venezuelan opposition-controlled] National Assembly as the only democratically elected authority in the country," the statement pointed out.

    READ MORE: Argentina to Bring Allegations of Venezuelan Human Rights Abuses to ICC — Macri

    The Argentinian embassy in Venezuela will still be operating in order to protect the interests of the Argentinian citizens and companies in the country.

    The Foreign Ministry also noted that Buenos Aires had provided assistance to over 130,000 Venezuelan refugees.


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