Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced the decision to close the embassy and all consulates in the United States and recalled all diplomats home.

Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, January 24, during a session as head of Constitutional State at the Opening of the Judicial Year 2019

“I have decided to return all the diplomatic and consular staff of our country and close all consulates in the US. They arrive on Saturday (…),” Maduro said from the seat of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), where he attended as head of Constitutional State at the Opening of the Judicial Year 2019 and broadcast by Venezuela Television (VTV).

Maduro recalled that the decision is firmly maintained within the framework of national law and international law, for which the consular and diplomatic personnel of the U.S. has been expelled from Venezuela and they have 72 hours so they can leave the country.

“But they are now trying to say: we do not recognized Maduro’s government and we are staying. But what do you think? It is a childish reaction. Do they think they already have a colonial enclave in Venezuela and decide what they want?”, Maduro complained.

“They have until Sunday to leave Venezuela. I ratify this,” said Maduro.

Finally, he called on the officials of the U.S. State Department to soundness and rationality. to respect and comply with International Law and withdraw from Venezuela, as has been the order issued by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic.

Meanwhile, Sputnik News reports that Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia said that Caracas is not going to take any actions against US diplomats in Venezuela, who are going to lose their diplomatic immunity after the 72 hours given by Maduro to leave the country to avoid reciprocal reaction from Washington. The Venezuelan Ambassador added that the US diplomats can stay if they want.

“The Americans are waiting even for a small excuse that could be created inside the embassy or around the US diplomats to provoke another action that is even tougher against our country. So we will not do anything. The [US] embassy, if they want, by all means, stay there. But we do not have political and diplomatic relations,” Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said in an interview with the state owners Russia 24 television.


Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.