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News > Latin America

Venezuela Condemns Panama Decision to Demand Traveler Visas

  • Foreign Minister of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela.

    Foreign Minister of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 August 2017

Arreaza accused the Panamanian president of taking orders from the United States.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has slammed Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela's announcement that effective on Oct. 1, Venezuelans traveling to the Central American country will be required to obtain a visa.

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"Venezuela receives with indignation (the) anti-integrationist measure of Panama. We will work on reciprocity and reserve (the right) to complementary measures," the Venezuelan diplomat posted on Twitter.

Varela, speaking a few days after a visit to Panama by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, said the visa requirement would remain in place until "democratic order" was restored in Venezuela.

Referring to Pence's Latin America tour last week in the United States' latest attempt to isolate Venezuela, Arreaza said, "The contribution of Venezuelans to the Panamanian economy is indisputable, but after the visit of Vp Pence, the order has been given."

Varela said the situation in Venezuela had deteriorated since the government decided to hold elections for the 545-member National Constituent Assembly, which was elected on July 30 by over eight million Venezuelans in an effort to bring peace to the Bolivarian country.

"Given the break in the democratic order in Venezuela, a situation that puts at risk our security, our economy ... and after a careful analysis, I've taken the decision to demand visas from Venezuelan citizens wanting to travel to Panama," Varela said in a brief televised message to the nation.

Arreaza countered by saying, "The Panamanian people can count on the friendship of the Venezuelan people. We will continue to share dreams of brotherhood on the basis of respect."

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