POLITICS

No Staff At Canadian Embassy In Caracas At Time Of 'Incident,' Global Affairs Says

A video shows smoke rising at the office in Caracas.

08/09/2017 16:50 EDT | Updated 08/09/2017 16:50 EDT
Rafael Hernández‏/Twitter
A screengrab of a video posted to Twitter shows smoke rising at the Canadian embassy in Caracas.

The federal government isn't sharing much information after a video reportedly showing smoke rising near the Canadian embassy in Caracas was posted online Tuesday.

Footage of the embassy was shared on Twitter by Rafael Hernández‏, a reporter with Spanish news channel NTN24.

"The safety and security of our employees is a top priority," a spokesperson for Global Affairs told HuffPost Canada on Wednesday. "Due to the security situation, no embassy staff in Caracas were operating in the embassy at the time of the incident."

Several users on social media accused the Bolivarian National Police of throwing a tear gas bomb at the Canadian embassy.

Global Affairs did not elaborate on the nature of the incident, and did not provide details on what happened.

Venezuela's political and economic situation has been chaotic for months. The most recent chapter in the country's turmoil began earlier in the month as a Constituent Assembly — which includes loyalists to President Nicolas Maduro — was inaugurated.

After the assembly took over the country's congress, which was previously controlled by the opposition, it now has the power to rewrite the country's constitution.

The Canadian government has denounced the assembly and called on Maduro to pull the plug on the political body.

In a statement released late last month, the Canadian government called the selection process for the assembly "undemocratic."

"This constituent assembly will further escalate tensions in the country by robbing the Venezuelan people of their fundamental democratic rights," Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the statement.

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