Maduro expels European Union mission from Venezuela
The European Union deputies only had a couple of days to leave the country.
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On Sunday, Dec. 5, observers from the European Union mission will have to leave Venezuela after the government of Nicolás Maduro did not renew their days within seven days as planned from the beginning of the delegation's visit.
"The mission was scheduled to leave within seven days, but the Chavista government has not renewed the visa of its members," an official source told the newspaper, El País.
The source also pointed out that the delegation did not receive any reason as to why their trip was interrupted.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to give any statement on what happened, although the Ministry itself denied the extension of the visas to the members of the observation mission.
An official press release from the EU EOM stated that: "the proclamation of the candidates was carried out and now the EU EOM members will effectively leave Caracas on Dec. 5. The EOM will return to Venezuela in early 2022 to present its final report and recommendations, according to our methodology and as foreseen in the Administrative Arrangement."
In addition, Maduro called the observers "spies" on Nov. 28. "They were not international observers, they were spies of the European Union," said the president during a recent speech.
The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, responded that the observers "are neither spies nor electoral police."
"Sending this mission was a controversial decision, however, I am convinced that it will contribute to help find a solution to the Venezuelan crisis through political dialogue," he added.
The first visa granted to the European Union deputies and diplomats was due to expire on Nov. 30 and they had agreed with the Venezuelan authorities to extend it until Dec. 10. In the end, the extension was not completed and the government has given them a maximum of five days to leave the country. The heads of the mission will return at the end of January to deliver Maduro a final report of their observation.