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Caracas summons ambassadors over 'meddling'

Venezuela summons four European ambassadors in diplomatic protest over 'interfering in its affairs'

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Caracas summons ambassadors over 'meddling'

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Venezuela has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint with four European countries accusing them of meddling in its affairs.

Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza was responding to widespread criticism of President Nicolas Maduro around Europe.

“We want to have the best relations, not only with Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom; with all the countries on planet earth, but they should be founded in respect towards our sovereignty, in respect for Venezuelan democracy, and to the functioning of its institutions.”

Caracas has also been criticised over preventing activist Lilian Tintori and wife of detained political leader Leopoldo Lopez, from traveling to Paris and other European capitals. The authorities said she had to appear in court over a stash of cash found in her car. Tintori said the money ( 200 million bolivares) was to pay for medical expenses for her 100-year-old grandmother.

However, other opposition figures have made it to the French capital. They include the president and vice president of Venezuela’s opposition-governed congress who met Maduro-critic France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Congress President Julio Borges said afterward the meeting, “The support of the world’s democracies and the protests by people in the streets are two forces which will help make the outcome a democratic one.”

Maduro’s government has been criticised by the United Nations, Washington and other governments for failing to allow the entry of foreign aid to ease a severe economic crisis, while it overrides Venezuela’s opposition-led congress and jails hundreds of opponents.

“I stressed the urgency of opening up the door to humanitarian aid in Venezuela,” congress President Julio Borges said, adding that Macron had been eager to help.

The two men are set to visit other EU capitals including Madrid London and Berlin later this week.