March 26, 2015 / 5:28 AM / 3 years ago

Costa Rica fires ambassador in Venezuela after vocal support of Maduro

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Costa Rica fired its ambassador in Venezuela after the diplomat gave an interview in which he defended the Venezuelan government, the Central American country said on Wednesday.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis had said that the government did not share the opinion of ambassador Federico Picado, whose interview with local newspaper La Nacion was published last weekend.

“The content of the statements and the possibility of giving an interview was not previously discussed,” as is the rule, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said in a news conference.

In the interview, Picado, who had been in Caracas for two months, asserted that a shortage of basic products was due to “political factors” and “big business” trying to destabilize the country and hurt the government’s credibility.

Picado also defended the decree powers that Venezuelan’s parliament granted Maduro after U.S. President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security earlier this month.

Reporting by Enrique Pretel; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Michael Perry

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