Spain appoints ambassador to Venezuela after two years without a representative

Spain appoints ambassador to Venezuela after two years without a representative

December 27, 2022, 5:44 PM

December 27, 2022, 5:44 PM

The Spanish government appointed an ambassador to Venezuela on Tuesday, after two years without a diplomatic representative of that level due to bilateral diplomatic tensions with the government of Nicolás Maduro.

“D. Ramón Santos Martínez is appointed ambassador of Spain in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”, announced the government of the socialist Pedro Sánchez in a statement at the end of the Council of Ministers.

Madrid did not recognize the legitimacy of the Maduro government since the legislative elections of December 2020and joined fifty countries to support opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who in 2019 proclaimed himself interim president invoking his status as leader of Parliament.

It was at the end of December 2020 when the Spanish government decided to terminate the work of its ambassador in Caracas at the time, Jesús Silva, without naming a successor.

The latter had been accused by Caracas of facilitating the exile to Spain of the Venezuelan political opponent Leopoldo López.

The new ambassador named on Tuesday, Ramón Santos Martínez, had held the position of Chargé d’Affaires in Venezuela since November 2021, the highest diplomatic representation in the country since the position of ambassador became vacant.

Santos Martínez was also the ambassador of Spain in Panama (2015-2019) and in Bolivia (2008-2012), and was assigned to the Spanish embassies in Washington, Brussels-EU and Quito.

The former ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Venezuela, the Portuguese Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, left the country in March 2021 after being declared “persona non grata” by the government.

In the case of Spain, the resumption in November 2022 of negotiations between the Venezuelan government and opposition, under the auspices of Mexico and Colombia, was hailed as a “very important step” towards reconciliation and paved the way for the appointment of an ambassador.

“The Government of Spain welcomes the resumption of the negotiation process in Mexico between the government and the Venezuelan opposition,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement at the time.

In this way, “a very important step is taken in the reconciliation of the country”, added the ministry, which put its “capacity for dialogue at the service of the parties” to help “create the necessary conditions for the negotiations to be successful”. .

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