Venezuelan diplomats to be expelled from Brazil

A deadline for Venezuelan diplomats to leave Brazil is set to expire today. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro set today’s deadline

Evaristo Sa AFP Getty

Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty

A deadline for Venezuelan diplomats to leave Brazil is set to expire today.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro set today’s deadline as Brasilia does not recognise the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, instead favouring opposition leader Juan Guaido. Last year, Bolsonaro attempted to expel 34 diplomats but was unable due to pandemic-related health concerns. Relations between the two countries began to worsen in 2017 when then-Brazilian president Michel Temer pushed for Venezuela’s suspension from Mercosur, the South American trade bloc. Nevertheless, Caracas has recently expressed its intention to rebuild diplomatic relations with Brasilia, with Venezuelan authorities dispatching oxygen to Brazil amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Despite Brazil’s far-right president’s intentions to aid the re-establishment of democracy in Venezuela, it is unlikely that Brazil can or will confront the Venezuelan crisis. Bolsonaro is facing one of his presidency’s biggest crises following the resignation of several top Brazilian military leaders amid the country’s worsening pandemic state. This will have an immediate effect on Brazil’s internal divisions, which will impede a unified response to Venezuela’s deepening instability. Expect a continuation of the status quo in the short- to medium-term, considering diplomatic relations between both leaders will not improve as both will focus on their domestic troubles.

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