felipe calderon Calderón: 'deep hatred' for Venezuelan team.

Venezuela: Calderón is persona non grata

Ex-president calls it an honor, and calls Maduro a despot

The government of Venezuela struck back Tuesday at former Mexican president Felipe Calderón for remarks it considered offensive.

The country’s National Assembly agreed unanimously to label Calderón as a “persona non grata” for his comments via Twitter about the Venezuelan national soccer team during Copa América play on Sunday.

The ex-president lamented the “dirty play” by the Venezuelan team and suggested it was a sign they had been trained by President Nicolás Maduro. That set off a war of tweets with a state governor who went to Maduro’s defense.

Both government and opposition members of the assembly set aside their political rivalry this week to join forces in repudiating Calderón’s remarks.

Deputy Earle Herrera said the Venezuelan team was the victim of an “aggression . . . that came from the deepest of hatred.”

For his part, Calderón welcomed the move and expressed pleasure to be considered non grata by “a despot” such as the Venezuela president.

“I appreciate Nicolás Maduro for declaring me persona non grata,” he tweeted yesterday in response. “Coming from him it’s an honor for me. It would be a grave matter to be considered welcome by a despot.”

Cool relations between the two have been evident since January when Calderón paid a visit to Venezuela and met with opposition members. Maduro charged that his trip was paid for by drug traffickers and accused him of supporting a strike against the state.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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