The Venezuelan government is unhappy with Spain after exports of anti-riot and police gear to the country have been suspended.
Spain’s former colony has questioned the “moral authority” of the Spanish government after Madrid ordered the suspension.
Following weeks of violence, civil unrest and protests in Venezuela, Spain‘s Conservative PP government decided to suspend sales of the gear last month.
Spain’s Foreign Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, said on Saturday in Athens:
“It is not logical to add fuel to the fire when there is a conflict. It’s a way of saying that the climate of violence should be replaced by a climate of dialogue.”
The decision, and the explanatory remark, has resulted in something of a diplomatic situation.
In Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro’s government responded that it:
“categorically rejects the unfortunate remarks” by García Margallo, “whose government doesn’t have the moral authority to offer advice on violence or dialogue when the world has witnessed how Spanish people have risen up to protest at policies that are both exclusionary and in violation of human rights”.
The ongoing Venezuelan clashes between security forces and anti-government demonstrators have seen 39 people killed and hundreds injured.
People in the country are unhappy with soaring crime, rising inflation and food shortages.