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Brazil Kicks Out Venezuela's Top Diplomat Amid Tensions


FILE - The silhouettes of anti-government protesters are seen through a Venezuelan flag in Caracas, Venezuela, July 10, 2017.

Authorities in Brazil say they are stripping Venezuela's top diplomat of his credentials and kicking him out in a dispute between the neighboring South American countries.

Brazil's ministry of foreign affairs said Tuesday it considers Venezuelan charge d'affaires Gerardo Antonio Delgado Maldonado a persona non grata.

Venezuela is in a deepening political and economic crisis under the rule of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, drawing international criticism from several nations, including Brazil and Canada.

The president of Venezuela's national constituent assembly accused diplomats from the two countries of meddling in Venezuelan affairs.

Delcy Rodriguez took the first step Saturday toward ejecting diplomats from both countries, declaring them persona non grata.

Canada already responded by barring Venezuela's top diplomat, saying the Venezuelan government is undemocratic and is guilty of human rights abuses.

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