facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

U.S. booting 3 Venezuelan diplomats in retaliation

Feb. 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The United States has ordered three Venezuelan diplomats out of the country in reaction to similar action taken by Caracas, the State Department said Tuesday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington Venezuelan First Secretary Ignacio Luis Cajal Avalos, First Secretary Victor Manuel Pisani Azpurua and Second Secretary Marcos Jose Garcia Figueredo were declared persona non gratae Monday night and given 48 hours to leave the United States.

The State Department's action was tit for tat following the Venezuelan government's decision to slap three U.S. diplomats with the same designation Feb. 17.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had accused the three U.S. consular officers of infiltrating Venezuelan universities to foment student protests that have turned violent. Psaki had called the accusations "baseless and false" at the time.

The two countries have not exchanged ambassadors since late 2010. When told by a reporter that Maduro has indicated he intends to appoint a new ambassador to the United States, Psaki replied the Obama administration is ready "to develop a more constructive relationship with Venezuela" and has said "many months ago that could include an exchange of ambassadors."

"But Venezuela also needs to show seriousness for us to be able to move forward. And recent actions, including expelling three of our diplomats, continue to make that difficult," she said.

Psaki added Washington has "serious concerns" about human rights and the state of democracy in Venezuela.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked School accused of using girl as rape bait; girl gets attacked
2
Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison
3
40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike 40 Islamic State fighters killed in U.S. air strike
4
Man beaten to death with barbell in San Francisco gym Man beaten to death with barbell in San Francisco gym
5
Bill Clinton hints he expects to be grandfather by first of October Bill Clinton hints he expects to be grandfather by first of October
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback