The U.S. has expelled the Chargé d’Affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC and the Deputy Consul-General of the Venezuelan Consulate in Houston.
The U.S gave the Venezuelan envoys 48 hours to leave the country, in a retaliatory move against Venezuela’s expulsion of U.S. envoys by President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday.
Mr Maduro had ordered the expulsion of the top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela following a new round of sanctions imposed by Washington over his re-election.
The Venezuelan leader had also given Charge d’affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy, Brian Naranjo, 48 hours to leave the country.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Heather Nauert, the U.S. Department of State described Mr Maduro’s action as “unjustified diplomatic actions”.
“The Department of State, in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Article 23 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, declared the Chargé d’Affaires of the Venezuelan embassy and the Deputy Consul General of the Venezuelan consulate in Houston, personae non grata.
“They have been directed to leave the United States within 48 hours.
“This action is to reciprocate the Maduro regime’s decision to declare the Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, personae non grata.
“The accusations behind the Maduro regime’s decision are unjustified; our Embassy officers have carried out their official duties responsibly and consistent with diplomatic practice and applicable provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“We reject any suggestion to the contrary,” the U.S. said.
The Venezuelan president had announced the expulsion of the U.S. diplomats in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday, after being officially proclaimed the winner of Sunday’s election.
“The empire doesn’t dominate us here. We’ve had enough of your conspiring,” Mr Maduro said, referring to Mr Naranjo as the head of the CIA – U.S. Central Intelligence Agency – in Venezuela.
He accused the pair of trying to sabotage Venezuela’s presidential election by pressuring several anti-government presidential candidates not to compete in the race.
The White House branded the vote a “sham”, and President Donald Trump issued an executive order limiting Venezuela’s ability to sell state assets.
Washington and Caracas have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...