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Venezuela slams remarks by Foreign Minister Taro Kono as interference

Kyodo

The Venezuelan foreign minister slammed Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Wednesday over his remarks on the Latin American country’s democracy as meddling in domestic affairs.

The protest came after Kono said Tuesday during a press appearance in Peru with Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio that they had agreed to continue calling for Venezuela to restore democracy with the participation of a wide range of citizens.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told the country’s public broadcaster that he handed over a letter of protest to Kenji Okada, Japan’s ambassador to Venezuela.

Arreaza said Kono’s remarks are hostile and go against international law, adding that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will take proper action unless the comments are corrected.

Kono is on a Latin American tour with a goal of deepening bilateral ties with Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.

Peru has been leading efforts by a group of Latin American countries, known as the Lima Group, that have criticized Venezuela’s electoral process. Anti-U.S. leader Maduro won another term in the May presidential election amid allegations that the vote was not fair.

Earlier this month drones exploded during a televised speech by Maduro in a suspected assassination attempt.