Ecuador expels Venezuelan envoy for insult to president

October 18, 2018 - 1:08 pm

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Officials in Ecuador say they're expelling Venezuela's ambassador because an official from the neighboring country called its president a "liar."

The Foreign Ministry office announced its decision Thursday, saying Venezuela's Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez called Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno a "liar" for alleging that 140 buses leave Venezuela every day carrying migrants to Ecuador.

The rising tensions come as masses of Venezuelans flee a historic crisis that's led to shortages of food and medicine and crumbling services like electricity and running water.

Officials in Ecuador say they won't tolerate disrespect from Venezuela and have vowed to continue assisting migrants entering the country.

Many in the international community, including the United States, blame Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro for causing the crisis.

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