Venezuela, Ecuador freeze ties with Brazil
Venezuela and Ecuador have announced that they are severing diplomatic ties with Brazil in response to the removal of Dilma Rousseff as the Latin American country’s president.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Caracas described Rousseff’s impeachment and ouster as a “parliamentary coup”, and said it “permanently” withdrew the Venezuelan ambassador “in order to safeguard international law and solidarity with the people of Brazil.”
Ecuador also recalled its envoy to Brazil and released a statement condemning the Brazilian Senate’s decision.
“Given these exceptional facts, the government of Ecuador has decided to call for consultations the charge d’affaires to the Republic of Brazil,” read the statement.
“These unfortunate events, unacceptable in the 21st century, pose a serious risk to the stability of our region and constitute a grave setback in the consolidation of democracy,” the Ecuadorian government added.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement expressed hope that “under President Temer’s leadership, Brazil and the UN will continue their traditional close partnership.”
‘Coup against democracy’
Meanwhile, Michel Temer has been sworn in as the country’s president and is set to serve until the end of Rousseff’s term, which would have ended on January 1, 2019.
“Today we inaugurate a new era of two years and four months,” he told his ministers at a televised cabinet meeting.
Temer also stressed that Brazil needs to guarantee political stability if it wants to attract foreign investments to the country.
Earlier, Brazil’s Senate voted to remove Rousseff from office over her conviction of breaking fiscal rules in her management of the 2014 federal budget. Rousseff has denied the charges.
“They (Brazil’s Senate) have just impeached the first elected woman president of Brazil. There was no constitutional reason to do it. A coup was not done just to me, [but it was against] the party (Workers Party) and our party allies who have supported me,” she said.
“This was just the beginning of a coup that will indiscriminately beat back any progressive political organization – progressive and democratic,” she added.
Rousseff impeachment: A timeline
October 2015: Brazil’s top finance court says Russeff’s government borrowed billions illegally to offset the 2014 budget shortfall. An investigation opens into the allegations.
December 2015: Brazil’s National Congress approves to open an impeachment against the president.
April 2016: The lower house of Congress overwhelmingly votes to send the impeachment motion to the upper house, known as the Senate.
April 2016: Rousseff rejects the allegations and accuses her opponents of launching a “coup d’etat” against her.
May 2016: The Senate votes in favor of her impeachment. She is suspended.
June 2016: A team of independent auditors concludes there is no evidence that Rousseff participated in budget manipulation.
August 2016: The Senate votes to hold a final impeachment trial for Rousseff as Olympics games are underway in the South American country.