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Mexico's Vicente Fox banned from Venezuela

Posted July 17

Venezuelan authorities have declared former Mexican President Vicente Fox a "persona non grata" and banned him from ever returning to the country.

Fox was in Venezuela, along with other former Latin American presidents, to act as an observer in Sunday's non-binding referendum called by the opposition on government plans to reform the constitution.

In a series of tweets, the Venezuelan foreign minister, Samuel Moncada, says Fox abused the goodwill of the Venezuelan people and came to the country to "promote violence and the intervention by foreign world powers."

"As a preventative measure to protect our people, Se-or Fox will never again be able to come back to Venezuela," Moncada wrote.

Nearly 7.2 million people took part in the unofficial vote, with the overwhelming majority coming out against Maduro's plan.

The referendum asked voters three yes-no questions. More than 98% of voters chose to reject the proposed constitutional assembly; request the military defend the existing constitution; and support fresh elections before Maduro's term ends in 2019.

Th oil-producing nation is in the grip of social unrest, which has paralyzed the country amid violent protests seeking government reform.

The government condemned the referendum as illegal, and has called for a July 30 vote to elect a special assembly to rewrite the 1999 constitution.


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