News Alerts

24 Jan 2019 | 01:34 AM UTC

Venezuela: Venezuela cuts diplomatic relations with US January 23 /update 1

Venezuela News Alert

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro breaks diplomatic ties with the US on January 23, demands departure of diplomats within 72 hours; protests expected to continue in coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/23/2019, 12:30 AM until 1/28/2019, 12:29 AM (America/Caracas). COUNTRY/REGION Caracas, Northern Venezuela

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Event

President Nicolás Maduro announced that Venezuela would cut diplomatic relations with the US on Wednesday, January 23, following the US recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó. All US diplomatic personnel were given 72 hours to leave the country. The US Embassy in Caracas stated that it would remain open on Thursday, January 24, for emergency services from 08:00 to 15:00 (local time). All visa appointments were canceled.

Thousands of people attended protests in the capital of Caracas on Wednesday and were met by security personnel. At least four people were reportedly killed in related clashes. Internet disruptions affecting social media platforms and mobile services were also reported on Wednesday around 14:00. Protests are expected to continue in Caracas and other cities in the coming days; a heightened security presence is also likely. Clashes between security forces and protesters are possible.

Context

Venezuela experienced several months of violent anti-government protests in 2017, coinciding with ongoing political, economic, social, and health crises. At least 125 people died during these demonstrations. Significant unrest also broke out in 2014 following the last presidential elections and again in early 2016. All told, hundreds of people have been killed during protests - many by security forces who have repeatedly been accused of excessive use of force - with thousands more wounded and arrested.

Maduro has faced mounting international pressure following attempts to marginalize opposition leaders, including creating a new pro-government legislative body and an election condemned by the UN, EU, and many western states, which saw him winning with nearly 70 percent of the vote. Maduro was inaugurated for a second term on January 10, 2019, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. Many foreign governments responded by withdrawing their foreign missions and the Organization of American States (OAS) declared it would not recognize Maduro as Venezuela's head of state.

Advice

Venezuela experienced several months of violent anti-government protests in 2017, coinciding with ongoing political, economic, social, and health crises. At least 125 people died during these demonstrations. Significant unrest also broke out in 2014 following the last presidential elections and again in early 2016. All told, hundreds of people have been killed during protests - many by security forces who have repeatedly been accused of excessive use of force - with thousands more wounded and arrested.

 

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