Spain today ordered Venezuela’s ambassador to leave in a tit-for-tat move, escalating a row a day after its top diplomat was kicked out by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

“The government responds proportionally, and therefore has decided in the principle of reciprocity, to declare ‘persona non grata’ Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain,” government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told a news conference.

Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain, Mario Isea, was on Wednesday summoned for consultations by his government and is not in Spain, he added.

Venezuela on Thursday declared Spain’s ambassador to Caracas, Jesus Silva, persona non grata and accused Madrid of masterminding recent European Union sanctions on seven of Maduro’s key allies.

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