Venezuela closes its embassy in Ecuador to protest the police raid on Mexican Embassy there

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People wait to enter the Venezuelan embassy where Ecuadorian police stand guard in Quito, Ecuador on April 16. (AP)

MEXICO CITY, April 17, (AP): Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ordered the closure of his country’s embassy and consulates in Ecuador on Tuesday in solidarity with Mexico in its protest over a raid by Ecuadorian authorities on the Mexican Embassy in Quito.
Maduro and other presidents participating in a virtual meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States expressed their support for Mexico’s request to have the United Nations suspend Ecuador from the world body over the April 5 raid. But Maduro was the only one to announce the closure of diplomatic outposts and recall of personnel.
“The condemnation has been unanimous, total, absolute,” Maduro said, referring to the excoriation Ecuador’s move has drawn. “No one today in this world comes out to defend this barbaric act.”
Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa ordered authorities to raid the Mexican Embassy to arrest the country’s former Vice President Jorge Glas, a convicted criminal and fugitive who had been living there since December. Mexico granted him asylum hours before police found Glas in a bedroom and dragged him out.
The extraordinarily unusual use of force drew immediate condemnation from governments around the world because diplomatic premises are considered foreign soil and “inviolable” under the Vienna treaties.
Noboa, who did not participate in Tuesday’s meeting, said last week that he authorized the raid “to protect national security.” His government has argued that Glas was wanted for his criminal convictions for corruption and not political reasons and has accused Mexico of violating the Vienna treaties by granting him asylum.
Mexico severed diplomatic relations with Ecuador immediately after the raid and recalled its diplomatic mission. It hoped to use the CELAC meeting to rally a unified front for its case both at the U.N. and before the International Court of Justice.
Honduras President Xiomara Castro, who currently leads CELAC, opened Tuesday’s meeting by reading a proposed statement condemning Ecuador’s actions. She then presented a video of Ecuadorian authorities breaking into Mexico’s Embassy, along with dramatic music.

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