“This measure is taken a day after illegal detention of Roberto Marrero, chief of the cabinet of [self-proclaimed] President [Juan] Guaido. This move is undermining the peace process in the country,” the statement noted.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry stressed that the decision had not affected consular employees of the Venezuelan Embassy.
According to the statement, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela accepted credentials from Fabiola Zavarce, who is an envoy of Guaido.
“That is why the foreign ministry started to revoke credentials of former Ambassador Duran Centeno,” the statement added.
This comes after on Thursday, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service of Venezuela (SEBIN) detained Marrero and Sergio Vergara, two close associates of Guaido. Two rifles and a grenade were subsequently found in Marrero's house. Vergara was released later on Thursday while Marrero is still in custody.
The United States immediately recognised Guaido, after which some 50 other countries, including Panama, followed suit. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states have, in the meantime, voiced their support for the legitimate government of Maduro. Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognise Guaido, declaring themselves neutral and promoting crisis settlement via dialogue.