CARACAS, Venezuela (ViaNews) – During his proclamation as President of the Venezuelan Republic of Venezuela for the period 2019-2025 and right after winning the elections held last Sunday, Nicolás Maduro Moros issued a nationwide radio and television broadcast declaration.
“I have declared persona non grata the chargé d´affaires, Mr. Todd Robinson, and Mr. Brian Naranjo, head of the political section of the embassy of the United States of America. They shall leave the country in 48 hours” … “to put a stop to their conspiracy”
Mr. Maduro said they were conspiring against Venezuela, in violation of international and diplomatic laws, and the proofs to such accusations are to be presented over the next days.
24 hours earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order which bans U.S. companies and individuals from buying debt from the Venezuelan government. This Includes critical state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and Venezuelan owned U.S. established Citgo Petroleum Corporation, owner of more than 3.000 gasoline stations in U.S. territory.
Maduro said the diplomats were conspiring in three different areas: military, economic, and political.
Mr. Robinson, a few minutes after being declared persona non grata, called the press from Mérida and said: “I will be honest with you, I have seen the information in the social networks about the declaration of President Maduro. We reject these accusations against me and against Brian Naranjo” … “I will not answer further questions”.
Mr. Todd Robinson was supposed to attend at least two meetings at Mérida, some 850 kilometers away from Caracas and near the Colombian border.
One meeting is scheduled for 5 PM today with small industries and merchants, hosted by the Mérida Chamber of Commerce. Next day’s meeting with students, on the premises of the Los Andes University.
Maduro won the elections with 67.7% of the voters. Mérida was one of the states with the least votes for Maduro, as well as Táchira, also very near Colombian border and influence.