efe-epaLima

The Peruvian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that it has decided to expel the Venezuelan ambassador in Lima.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday released a statement saying that the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had decided to expel ambassador Diego Alfredo Molero Bellavia after condemning of the breakdown in democratic order in Venezuela, adding that the ambassador now had five days to leave the country.

The expulsion comes after Venezuela issued what Peru called an "unacceptable" response to the Lima Declaration signed on Tuesday by 17 Latin American and Caribbean foreign ministers, which denounced the newly established National Constituent Assembly, a body that Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro convened and which is comprised of government supporters tasked with restructuring the state and rewriting the constitution.

The opposition did not participate in the Assembly's election last month, dismissing the process as fraudulent and accusing the president of attempting to cling on to power.

Later on Friday, the Venezuelan government responded to the expulsion of its ambassador to Peru, announcing that "by virtue of the measure adopted, we have the regrettable obligation to expel the Charge d'Affaires of Peru in Venezuela, who will have five days to leave our country".

Peru's ambassador to Caracas had already been recalled in March amid a diplomatic row over comments the Peruvian president had made on a visit to Washington DC, in which he criticised Venezuela.

Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump has said that he would not rule out a "military option" to deal with the Venezuelan crisis, after blacklisting and imposing further sanctions on Maduro in the wake of the National Constituent Assembly election on July 30.