Venezuela says it's expelling the ambassador from Spain, accusing the European country of meddling in its affairs.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza said in a statement Thursday that Venezuela considers Spanish ambassador Jesus Silva Fernandez a persona non grata.

Spain was a colonial power in Latin American and remains a major trading partner. Many Venezuelans have fled to Spain during the Venezuela's deepening crisis.

Spain also is among European Union nations that imposed economic and travel sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials this week.

Venezuela is in a deepening political and economic crisis under socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has drawn criticism by the international community, including the United States.

Venezuela last month expelled top diplomats from Canada and Brazil.