News Column

Two Venezuelan Diplomats Expelled From US

March 11, 2013

The United States has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats in response to Venezuela's expulsion of two military attaches last week from the US embassy in Caracas, the US State Department said Monday.

The two expelled Venezuelans are the Venezuelan embassy's second secretary, Orlando Jose Montanez Olivares, and a consular officer, Camacaro Mata, US State Department spokeswomen Victoria Nuland said. They have left the country, Nuland said.

US President Barack Obama called for a "constructive relationship" with Venezuela after the death of Chavez, who had tense relations with Washington since taking office in 1999.

Hours before Chavez's death on March 5, Venezuela announced the expulsion of the two US attaches. At the same time, Venezuelan officials accused the United States of being responsible for Chavez's cancer and said it would investigate.

Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in Friday as interim president, said last week that the United States and enemies of the government had waged a "psychological and dirty war" against Chavez and Venezuela.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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