The designated ambassador to Costa Rica appointed by Venezuela’s opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, on Wednesday took control of that country’s embassy, triggering criticism from the government of Carlos Alvarado for not waiting.
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has joined the United States, Canada, the Lima Group and a long list of governments in Latin America and Europe in recognizing Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s reelection illegitimate.
The Government of Costa Rica has recognized Maria Faria as the new ambassador in the country and on February 15 gave Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s representatives 60 days to leave the country.
On Wednesday morning, Faria took possession of the embassy located in Los Yoses, on San Jose’s east side. “We have come to the embassy to move forward with the transition process,” Faria’s office said in a statement, while supporters of Guaido and Nicolas Maduro clashed outside the embassy.
“Tic-toc, tic-toc,” chanted Guaido’s supporters, alluding to the short time they hope remains for Maduro’s government.
The office said Faria was working with a team of auditors and legal advisers to ensure an orderly transition. It was not immediately clear how her team obtained access to the embassy.
Despite recognizing Faria as Venezuela’s legitimate ambassador, Costa Rica’s vice-chancellor, Lorena Aguilar, criticized Faria for taking possession of the embassy before the deadline, described as “unacceptable” and that it would issue a diplomatic note.
“For the government of Costa Rica, such a procedure is unacceptable because it damages basic diplomatic norms of respect and trust in relations in the international community, and above all, in international law,” said Aguilar.
“We express our strong rejection with the performance of the diplomatic representative, Maria Faría, who has disrespected the diplomatic deadline of 60 days, given by the Government of Costa Rica to the government officials of Nicolás Maduro, to leave the country,” the vice chancellor continued.
The vice-chancellor argued that the Costa Rican authorities cannot intervene or remove the delegation of Guaidó from the diplomatic headquarters because although it is a building located on Costa Rican soil, it is under Venezuelan jurisdiction.
However, assured Aguilar, the three people who were part of the representation of Maduro “are well”, sheltered in the diplomatic house located in front of the Venezuelan embassy.
Despite the repudiation of what happened on Wednesday morning, the government of Costa Ricans maintains its recognition of Faría as the ambassador of Venezuela and Juan Guaidó as interim president of that country.
María Faría is expected to meet today (Thursday) with Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Manuel Ventura.
In Venezuela, Maduro’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, also criticized the move.
“What thieves, this morning a group of strangers entered the headquarters of the Venezuelan embassy in Costa Rica,” he wrote in a post on Twitter. “The government of that country must enforce the Diplomatic Relations Convention and guarantee the operation and safety of our personnel and facilities.”