[News] Nicolas Maduro Expels Three US Diplomats from Venezuela for Alleged Conspiracy

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 1 12:17:46 EDT 2013


  Nicolas Maduro Expels Three US Diplomats from Venezuela for Alleged
  Conspiracy

By Ewan Robertson
http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10054

Mérida, 30^th September 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- Venezuelan 
President Nicolas Maduro today ordered the expulsion of a top US 
diplomat and two other embassy officials from Venezuela for alleged 
conspiracy with the opposition.

"Get out of Venezuela. Yankee go home. Enough of abuses against the 
dignity of a homeland that wants peace," said Maduro during a televised 
political event this afternoon.

The US officials named were chargé d'affaires Kelly Keiderling, and two 
other embassy employees, Elizabeth Hunderland and David Mutt. They have 
48 hours to leave the country.

President Maduro accused these officials of "meeting with the extreme 
Venezuela right to finance actions to sabotage the electricity system 
and the Venezuelan economy".

"We've been monitoring some officials of the American embassy in 
Caracas...I have the proof [of conspiracy] in my hands," he added.

Maduro has repeatedly referred to blackouts and relative shortages of 
some food products this year as an opposition attempt to "sabotage" the 
Venezuelan economy and destabilise the country.

The Venezuelan president added today that he "doesn't care" what the 
response from Barack Obama's administration would be, declaring, "We're 
not going to allow an imperial government to come and bring money to 
stop companies operating, [and] to take out the electricity to shut 
Venezuela down".

"Señores gringos, imperialists, you have before you men and women of 
dignity that...will never kneel before your interests and we're not 
afraid of you. We'll confront you on all levels, the political, the 
diplomatic," Maduro added.

The U.S. State Department responded to the declarations by stating 
that it has not yet received official notification of the decision to 
expel the diplomats. The statement added that the U.S. "completely 
rejects" the Venezuelan government's accusation of its officials 
participating in the alleged conspiracy plans.

Venezuela -- US relations have remained cold since the administration of 
late President Hugo Chavez, who accused the US of supporting a 
short-lived coup attempt against his government in 2002.

The two countries have not had an exchange of ambassadors since 2010. 
Attempts to improve relations this year were cut off by Maduro after the 
US's new ambassador to the United Nations made comments about Venezuela 
that were regarded by Venezuelan officials as "unacceptable and unfounded".

*Venezuela blasts US at UN General Assembly*

Last Friday, Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua addressed the United 
Nations General Assembly in New York, where he criticised the US and its 
allies as "hawks of war" who had "hijacked" the UN Security Council.

Jaua said that when UN member states stand against interventionist 
actions of the US and its followers, these states "simply bang on the 
table and do whatever they want, which is exactly what will happen when 
they later declare bombings on Syria".

"We're here to report a kidnapping" added the Venezuelan official, 
claiming that the US had "kidnapped" the UN. He went on to repeat 
arguments made by Bolivian president Evo Morales, that the UN 
headquarters should be moved to a location where "all nations would be 
respected".

Foreign Minister Jaua referred specifically to accusations that the US 
had tried to impede members of the Venezuelan delegation from attending 
the UN General Assembly meeting by not granting them US entry visas.

He added that President Maduro had been unable to attend the gathering 
due to "a whole range of delays, obstacles and lack of guarantees 
imposed by the government of the United States" in "flagrant violation" 
of diplomatic obligations.

Last Wednesday Maduro cancelled his planned visit to the UN General 
Assembly, ostensibly due to fears for his personal safety after 
receiving information of alleged "crazy" plots involving ex-US officials 
Otto Reich and Roger Noriega.

US government spokespersons have denied placing obstacles or refusing to 
grant entry visas to the Venezuelan delegation's UNGA attendance.

However, an unnamed Obama administration official told Bloomberg news 
that a possible concern of the Maduro delegation was that the Venezuelan 
president's plane, which was on loan from Cuba, may have been seized in 
New York due to the rules of the US government's decades-long embargo on 
Cuban government assets.

Maduro's own presidential plane had suffered a mechanical problem after 
undergoing maintenance for five months at Airbus SAS in France. The 
Venezuelan government is considering legal action against the aviation 
company on the issue.

Further, the US and Venezuela had already fallen out last Thursday 19 
September when Washington allegedly prohibited Maduro's presidential 
plane from passing over Puerto Rico en route to a state visit in China. 
The incident provoked hurried diplomatic talks to allow the presidential 
flight to continue its planned route.

Coupled with Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's anger over US spying 
of her government and the refusal of permission for Bolivian president 
Evo Morales' presidential flight to pass through European air space in 
July, recent US actions toward Venezuela have caused some concern in 
Latin American diplomatic circles over respect for the region's 
governments from Washington and its allies.

Published on Sep 30th 2013 at 8.47pm

-- 
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