Guatemala's new President Alejandro Giammattei says his country was breaking off relations with Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro and would close its embassy in Caracas.

Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei takes part in a mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, after his swearing-in ceremony in Guatemala City, Guatemala January 14, 2020.
Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei takes part in a mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, after his swearing-in ceremony in Guatemala City, Guatemala January 14, 2020. (Reuters)

Guatemala's new president announced on Thursday that his government is breaking off diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Two days after his inauguration, President Alejandro Giammattei said he had ordered Guatemala's foreign secretary to recall the last person remaining in the country's embassy in Venezuela's capital and close the building.

"We have instructed the foreign minister that the only person left in the embassy in Venezuela should return and that we definitively end relations with the government of Venezuela," Giammattei said. "We are going to close the embassy."

Giammattei's announcement came after a meeting with the head of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro.

"It is an issue that concerns the entire continent," the new president said.

'Another joke in bad taste'

His inauguration was attended by Maria Romero, a representative of Juan Guiado, the Venezuelan opposition leader recognised as that country's rightful leader by the United States and more than 50 other nations inauguration.

In October, the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not allow Giammattei, then president-elect, to enter the country. He was sent back to Guatemala on another flight.

Jorge Arreaza, Maduro's Foreign Minister, accused Giammattei of "throwing himself at the feet of Donald Trump" and said the Guatemalan's presidency was destined to "become another joke in bad taste."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies