Venezuelan leader wants Brazilian, Canadian diplomats out

A powerful official in Venezuela has taken the first step toward expelling top diplomats from Brazil and Canada who have been accused of meddling in the country's politics.

Venezuela's national constituent assembly president Delcy Rodriguez declared both Brazil's ambassador and Canada's chargé d'affaires as persona non grata on Saturday, a move which does away with their diplomatic credentials.

Ambassador Ruy Pereira and Chargé d'Affaires Craig Kowalik have been critical of President Nicolas Maduro's ruling party for consolidating power and isolating the country's opposition parties.

Rodriguez says Kowalik has a history of tweeting "rude and vulgar" comments about Venezuela.

The move comes days after the government sparred with new U.S. envoy Todd Robinson, who has criticized a measure that effectively blocks three opposition parties from next year's presidential elections.