Tuesday Mar 12, 201307:52 AM GMT
US expels 2 Venezuelan diplomats after ouster of its military attaches
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
The US has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats in reaction to expulsion of two American military attaches by Caracas last week on charges of attempting to destabilize the country.


The ouster of the two low-ranking Venezuelan diplomats from Washington and New York was announced Monday by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who described the move as a bid to “protect” US subjects in the Latin American country.

“Around the world, when our people are thrown out unjustly, we’re going to take reciprocal action, and we need to do that to protect our own people,” Nuland claimed in a news conference.

She added that the two Venezuelans, Second Secretary at its Washington Embassy, Jose Olivares, and a consular officer at its New York consulate, Victor Mata, had already departed from the US.

Venezuela announced last Tuesday that it had expelled two American military attaches from the country for their involvement in persisting US efforts to destabilize the oil-rich Latin American nation.

Since the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rose to power in 2000, he led a major movement in hid nation and throughout the region against the continuing American domination over most of Latin America in a bid to maintain the rule of brutal US-sponsored dictators in regional states with the aim of promoting Washington’s interests to the detriment of the local populations.

Venezuelan vice president at the time, Nicolas Maduro, charged in a television broadcast that the two American Air Force attaches were attempting to recruit Venezuelan military personnel to carryout destabilizing operations in the country.

Maduro further announced the passing away of the nationally-revered President Chavez later that day.

Maduro will serve as Venezuela’s interim president until a special election is held on April 14 to replace the late president.

Following the death of President Chavez, the American press reported that US officials, who have fervently expressed opposition to the Venezuelan leader, were sending a delegation to his funeral as part of renewed efforts to influence events in the country to Washington’s favor prior to the nation’s upcoming presidential elections.

“We do hope for better relations with Venezuela,” Nuland proclaimed in her Monday press briefing. “There is work that we would like to do together, particularly in the areas of counterterrorism, counternarcotics, economics and energy relations, but it’s going to take a change of tone from Caracas.”

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