The takeover of the Venezuela Embassy in San Jose came to an end Thursday, when Juan Guaido’s appointee, Maria Faria, handed over the keys of diplomatic mission to a notary, with the intention of giving them to the officials appointed by Nicolás Maduro who still have more than a month before having to leave Costa Rica.
The handing over of the keys was made at 9:55 pm Thursday, within the embassy located in Los Yoses, San José, in the presence of the media.
In a statement, Guaidó said that “we comply with the request to return the property to its registry owner in the care of two Costa Rican notaries public.”
“We promise to wait until the 60 days have elapsed, given by the Costa Rican government to the officials who represent Nicolás Maduro, to leave the country and from that date the government of President Juan Guaidó will assume the protection of the Venezuelan state assets in Costa Rican territory,” Faria said, along with several representatives.
Faria added that the notaries will attest to the perfect conditions in which the property is delivered to them.
“To the community of Venezuelans in Costa Rica, we tell you that the efforts of this mission continue in faithful compliance with the laws governing diplomatic relations and with or without it, we will work hard to restore soon the rights that have been violated,” said Faria.
The representatives of opposition legislator and self proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó took the diplomatic headquarters at dawn on Wednesday and left it on Thursday after the pressure exerted by the Government of Costa Rica, which deplored the act to indicate that “we extended our hand they took our arm,” president Carlos Alvarado said.
The decision of Faria to end the embassy takeover followed an afternoon meeting with Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Manuel Ventura.
“I told her very clearly that the president (Alvarado) considered that, in some way, this had betrayed the trust that Costa Rica had had with her and the openness, willingness and, above all, good faith, that Costa Rica had always had, with them,” said the Foreign Minister.
Thursday morning, Alvarado said: “A representative of any country has to follow the rules set by Costa Rica … We gave a period (the Maduro people) 60 days … in our conversation with the ambassador, it was clear that as well as they could install a temporary enclosure or embassy in another space and our spirit was always to support the institutional part, but to have a serene process. That was what yesterday did not happen and the reason for our reaction because there are rules in Costa Rica, and the rules have to be respected,” said the president.
Following the January 23, 2019 proclamation of Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, Costa Rica followed the lead of the United States, Canada, the Lima Group and other countries in Latin America and Europe to recognize Guaido as the leader of that country.
The Alvarado government last week gave Maduro’s people 60 days to abandon the country, a term that expires on April 16, after recognizing Faría as the Venezuelan ambassador.
However, Faría, did not wait for the conclusion of the deadline and on Wednesday entered the embassy located in Los Yoses, on the east side of San Jose, causing the reaction of Costa Rican authorities.
Despite what happened, she will continue to be recognized as the representative of Venezuela in Costa Rica, the Alvarado government assures.
Reports say the Faria had told minister Ventura that she had received reports of anomalies within the embassy, but was not specify what they were during the hour-long meeting Thursday afternoon.
Faria left the Foreign Ministry without giving statements to the press.