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Spain ambassador to Venezuela recalled

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Spain ambassador to Venezuela recalled
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo: AFP
14:01 CEST+02:00
Spain recalled its ambassador to Caracas on Wednesday after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused Madrid of "terrorism", as a row between the two countries intensified.

"Given the level of verbal irritation that I have seen from president Maduro, I have decided to recall our ambassador to Caracas for consultation," said Foreign Minister José Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

"The adjectives used by the authorities - never by the Venezuelan people - are absolutely intolerable," he added.

Maduro accused the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of "supporting terrorism" in Venezuela and of being behind "an international conspiracy to overthrow the government".

He said Rajoy belongs to a "group of corrupt (leaders), bandits and thieves".

Spain and Venezuela summoned each other's ambassadors April 15th as accusations flew back and forth across the Atlantic of a Venezuelan opposition crackdown and Spanish "racism" and "meddling".

The spat erupted after Spanish lawmakers passed a motion on April 14th calling on Venezuela, a former colony of Spain, to release jailed opposition leaders.

Maduro condemned the measure as "an act of aggression by corrupt Spanish elites" and called Rajoy "a racist".

Tensions rose over Spain's support for jailed opposition figures Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas, and Leopoldo Lopez, a political leader.

Lopez is accused of playing a role in the student demonstrations against the government that left 43 people dead last year.

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