EU condemns Venezuela's expulsion of Spanish ambassador

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EU condemns Venezuela's expulsion of Spanish ambassador
FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2017 file photo, Venezuela's National Assembly President Julio Borges, right, speaks with Mexican Ambassador Sylvia Sevilla, from left, British Ambassador Nicolas Harrocks and Spanish Ambassador Jesus Silva, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela's foreign minister said in a statement Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, that it is stripping Silva of his diplomatic credentials, accusing the European country of meddling in its affairs. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has condemned Venezuela’s decision to order Spain’s ambassador out of the country in response to the EU slapping sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials.

European Commission spokeswoman Catherine Ray said Friday that the EU expresses “full solidarity with Spain and we call for the decision to be (reversed) as it goes against the need to keep diplomatic channels open.”

She said the decision to impose travel bans and asset freezes on the seven, accused of human rights abuses or breaching the rule of law, was taken unanimously by all 28 EU member countries.

In response, President Nicolas Maduro also called Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain back to Caracas for consultation.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has tweeted that “we won’t accept aggressions from governments subordinated to U.S. imperialism.”