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Venezuela closes embassy in Ecuador to protest raid on Mexican embassy there

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his regularly scheduled morning press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ordered the closure of his country’s embassy and consulates in Ecuador on Tuesday in solidarity with Mexico in its protest over a raid by Ecuadorian authorities on the Mexican embassy in Quito.

Venezuela also “fully supports” Mexico's request to have the United Nations suspend Ecuador from the world body, Maduro said during a virtual meeting of the leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa ordered authorities to raid the Mexican diplomatic outpost April 5 to arrest the country's former Vice President Jorge Glas, a convicted criminal and fugitive who was holed up at the embassy since December. Mexico granted him asylum hours before the raid.

The extraordinarily unusual use of force drew immediate condemnation from governments around the world. Diplomatic premises are considered foreign soil and “inviolable” under the Vienna treatie s.

Noboa has said he authorized the raid “to protect national security." He argued that Glas was wanted for his criminal convictions for corruption and not political reasons, and accused Mexico of violating the Vienna treaties by granting asylum to someone convicted of “very serious crimes.”

Mexico expressed its outrage over the raid and has asked that the United Nations suspend Ecuador until it apologizes for the breach and agrees to reparations.

Maduro said he has ordered all diplomatic personnel back to Venezuela “until international law is expressly restored in Ecuador.”

“Venezuela fully supports Mexico’s proposal to expel Ecuador from the United Nations organization until it apologizes to the international community and restores the situation to its original legal status,” Maduro said.

Maduro said that Glas "must be returned to the Mexican embassy and have his political asylum recognized.”

The Associated Press

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