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    Venezuela to Halt Consular Services in Canada - Caracas

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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Caracas will stop providing services in its consulates in Canada, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Sunday. The move comes in a response to similar actions made earlier by Ottawa.

    "Venezuela will stop providing consular services in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. All diplomatic functions will be concentrated in the Venezuelan Embassy in Ottawa. We hope that Canada will soon restore its sovereignty in foreign policy", Arreaza wrote on Twitter.

    READ MORE: Pro-Maduro Protesters Hold Rally in Caracas Amid US Sanctions (VIDEO)

    Earlier this week, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Ottawa decided to temporarily suspend operations at the country’s embassy in Venezuela.

    The foreign minister added that Canada would continue to provide consular assistance to Canadians in Venezuela through the embassy in Colombia.

    Last week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Freeland discussed ongoing efforts to support the rebuilding of democracy in Venezuela and support for the opposition leader Juan Guaido.

    The situation in Venezuela remains tense since January when opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself interim president.

    READ MORE: Canada Welcomes Cuba's Commitment to End Venezuela Crisis - Report

    Washington and other countries including Canada, endorsed Guaido and called on President Nicolas Maduro to step down. The United States has also seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil assets.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), during US President Donald Trump's news conference at the NATO summit of heads of state and government, Brussels
    © Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky
    Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup to install Guaido as its puppet and take control of Venezuela's natural resources.

    Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for the constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

    Recently Washington has increased its pressure campaign to oust Maduro and replace him with Guaido. The Trump administration has blocked some Venezuelan oil assets and imposed sanctions on the state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA, delivering a heavy blow to the country's oil-dependent economy.

    READ MORE: US Demands a Halt to Jet Fuel Trade with Venezuela, Threatens Offenders with Sanctions – Report

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