[News] Nicolas Maduro Expels Three US Diplomats from Venezuela for Alleged Conspiracy
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 1 12:17:46 EDT 2013
Nicolas Maduro Expels Three US Diplomats from Venezuela for Alleged
By Ewan Robertson
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
"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
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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