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LATIN AMERICA | 06-03-2020 13:24

Brazil cuts off dialogue with Venezuela, recalls ‘all’ diplomats

Brazilian diplomats called home after tensions escalated between President Jair Bolsonaro and Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro over Brasilia's support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

Brazil has recalled its entire corps of diplomats and foreign service officials from Venezuela while ordering the government of Nicolas Maduro to reciprocate with its representatives in Brazil, a government source told AFP on Thursday.

"No-one will remain in all of Venezuela," said the source after it was revealed earlier Thursday that four diplomats and 10 officials had been ordered home from the Brazilian embassy and its consulates in Venezuela.

It's the latest hardening of relations between Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and the government of socialist leader Maduro, who Bolsonaro has branded a "dictator."

Maduro, in return, has called Bolsonaro a "fascist."

Brazil is one of the more than 50 countries to have recognised the claim of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido to be his country's acting president. 

Guaidó made the proclamation early last year following the opposition-controlled National Assembly's branding of Maduro as a usurper over his 2018 re-election in a poll widely derided as rigged.

Brasilia has also recognised the ambassador to Brazil appointed by Guaidó, Maria Teresa Belandria.

The source didn't say when the recall would be completed but Brazilian press say it will be done within two months. However, the measure does not mean the Embassy will be closed, the source said.

There are an estimated 10,000 Brazilians living in Venezuela who could be affected by the measure.

Recently, Maduro accused Bolsonaro of dragging Brazil's military "into an armed conflict with Venezuela."

That was a reference to an attack by deserters on a military detachment in Venezuela's Bolivar state that borders Brazil, after which five Venezuelan military personnel claimed asylum in Brazil.

In November, around a dozen Guaidó supporters invaded Venezuela's embassy in Brasilia but left 13 hours later under pressure from Brazilian authorities.

- TIMES/AFP

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