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Venezuela expels U.S. attache

March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela, March 5 (UPI) -- Venezuela expelled a U.S. Embassy attache Tuesday, with Vice President Nicolas Maduro saying the diplomat was trying to form an anti-government military plot.

The country's information ministry said David Del Monaco, an Air Force attache for the U.S. Embassy, was expelled "for being implicated in a conspiratorial plan." No other details were reported.

"He has been evicted; he has 24 hours to leave Venezuela; our armed forces should be respected; we have forwarded a legal notice to the U.S. government," Maduro said, El Universal reported. ""We are tracking other constituent elements of that venomous scheme, intended to disrupt and cause small disturbances."

Maduro accused homegrown and foreign enemies of poisoning President Hugo Chavez, who the government said was battling an infection after undergoing cancer surgery, CNN reported.

Chavez's supporters say he is running the country through his illness, while critics of Chavez are demanding more information on his health.

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