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French police fire tear gas at protesters in Paris

10 March 2016 13:30


Venezuela has withdrawn its top diplomat from the United States in response to Washington’s renewal of sanctions on several Venezuelan officials.

President Nicolas Maduro announced the decision to recall Maximilien Arvelaiz in an address on Wednesday, lashing out at US President Barack Obama who slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials in March of 2015.

The renewal “is a stain for Obama because he had plenty of opportunities to rectify the situation but imposed arrogance,” Maduro said.

“Enough arrogance, double standards, condescension and intrigue.”

Venezuela and the US have had stormy ties since late Hugo Chavez became Venezuela’s president in 1999. They have been without ambassadors in each other’s capitals since 2010.

Arvelaiz was proposed as ambassador to the US a year and a half ago, but Washington did not approve him.

Maduro said he is acting in response to Obama’s announcement last week that he would renew classifying Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to US national security.

“Don’t they want good relations with us? I think not,” Maduro said.

The Venezuelan president has said the opposition wants to oust him with help from the United States.

The opposition announced Tuesday it would make use of all means to oust Maduro.

Maduro’s government has called the plan a US-backed attempt to bring about a coup d’état in the oil-rich country.

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