WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Venezuela to close its embassy, all consulates in U.S.
Venezuela will close its embassy and all consulates in the United States, President Nicolas Maduro said today, one day after he broke off diplomatic relations in response to U.S. recognition of his main rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, as interim president.
Washington led a chorus of Western Hemisphere countries, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, that immediately recognized Mr. Guaido. Meanwhile, Russia accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against military intervention.
Read more and keep up with the latest developments here.
The latest in the Canada-China tensions
For weeks, China has condemned Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. officials. Two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor – have been detained in apparent retaliation and another sentenced to death after a brief retrial on drug charges.
But comments made this week by Canadian Ambassador John McCallum, who said Ms. Meng has “some strong arguments that she can make” to fight extradition, found a welcome audience in China.
Mr. McCallum has raised eyebrows in Canada, however, for those comments (for subscribers). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dismissing calls to remove him as ambassador to China, saying such a change wouldn’t help Mr. Kovrig or Mr. Spavor get home sooner.