Canada suspended operations at its embassy in Venezuela on Sunday, saying President Nicolas Maduro’s regime has made it impossible for diplomats to continue working.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canadian diplomats’ visas are set to expire at the end of June and cannot be renewed. Freeland says Ottawa is now evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats in Canada.
The Canadian government has been a vocal critic of Maduro, calling him a dictator who stole an election. Instead, Canada has backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader at the beginning of this year.
Freeland says that through its work with the Lima Group — a bloc that includes Canada and more than a dozen Latin American countries — the government will continue to advocate for democracy in the South American nation.