- The operation, coordinated by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, also relocated a group of 12 Brazilians in Venezuela.
- There is a "synchronized movement," in which diplomats from the Venezuelan dictatorship also leave Brazil, according to news sources.
- By this action, Brazil officially closes its foreign representation in Venezuela, repatriating its last diplomats and embassy and consulate staff, along with their families.
The Brazilian government announced on Friday that in the midst of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, it will repatriate 38 officials from its diplomatic corps in Venezuela, according to a joint statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense.
“Members of the Brazilian diplomatic mission and consular institutions in Venezuela, including diplomats and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, military and civilian attachés and their families, a total of 38 people, will return to Brazil this Friday on a Brazilian Air Force flight from Caracas,” they said.
The operation, coordinated by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, also relocated a group of 12 Brazilians in Venezuela. Last month, the Bolsonaro government decided to recall four diplomats from the embassy, and seven other officials, from two Brazilian consulates in Venezuela.
There is a “synchronized movement,” in which diplomats from the Venezuelan dictatorship also leave Brazil, according to news sources. This is another gesture by Bolsonaro against the regime of Nicolas Maduro, after the Brazilian president has repeatedly recognized the legitimacy of the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as President of Venezuela.
By this action, Brazil officially closes its foreign representation in Venezuela, repatriating its last diplomats and embassy and consulate staff, along with their families. Brazilians living in Venezuela will be able to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of their country by telephone.
On March 5, the Government of Jair Bolsonaro ordered the recall of “all” their Brazilian diplomats and officials in Venezuela, in the face of tightening relations with the leadership of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. Then, Brasilia announced the departure of four diplomats, including the head of the embassy, Rodolfo Braga, and Consul General Elsa Moreira Marcelino de Castro, as well as a dozen officials working in their consulates.
Brazil supports the U.S. proposal to overcome the crisis in Venezuela, which includes the departure of Maduro, as well as the leader of the opposition, Guaido, recognized by nearly 60 countries as a temporary leader. With the arrival of Bolsonaro in power in January 2019, Brazil became a close ally of Donald Trump’s government, and shares his vision of Venezuela, a country with which its border is porous.
In response to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, Bolsonaro ordered a “partial” closure of the borders with Venezuela on March 17 for fear of the further spread of the disease. Subsequently, Brazil closed all its borders, although not including the transit of goods, the entry of Brazilians, foreign residents, and humanitarian missions, among other exceptions. “This is not a complete closure. The movement of goods will continue,” Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia about the measures.
The decision to allow the trade flow is due to the fact that the economy of the state of Roraima, geographically remote from the rest of Brazil, is heavily dependent on its economic ties with Venezuela. “If you close the (commodity) traffic with Venezuela, Roraima’s economy will collapse.” The same is true for Venezuela, which has part of the commodity needs with Brazil. “It has no possibility to take radical measures. It will not work,” the president added.