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Venezuelan president declares 'Yankees go home! Get out of Venezuela! Get out of here!' and expels U.S. Diplomats

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

South American economic giant and OPEC member Venezuela has always had a somewhat contentious relationship with the United States. Now, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared this week that he is expelling his nation's top U.S. Diplomat, along with two others for conspiring against his government.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The socialist leader has had several outbursts with the U.S. since his election in April after the death of his mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez. Maduro says the expulsion of U.S. officials in his nation is on account of the three of them meeting with opposition leaders and encouraging "acts of sabotage" against his country.

Venezuelan authorities reportedly followed the three U.S. Diplomats for months. Marduro has now given them 48 hours to leave.

"We detected a group of U.S. embassy officials dedicated to meeting the far-right and to financing and encouraging acts of sabotage against the electrical system and Venezuela's economy," the president said in a televised speech.

"I have the proof here in my hands," Maduro added. "... Yankees go home! Get out of Venezuela! Get out of here! I don't care what actions the government of Barack Obama takes."

Venezuela is expelling Kelly Keiderling, who as U.S. chargé d'affaires is the senior American diplomat in Venezuela as the U.S. has no ambassador to the country. According to a U.S. Embassy Web site, she has been assigned to Caracas since July 2011 as deputy chief of mission, and was temporarily serving as the charge d'affaires.

The other two diplomats have been identified as Elizabeth Hunderland and David Mutt. The U.S. Embassy had no immediate comment or confirmation regarding the expulsions.

"I'm not going to allow any action that stirs violence in this country," Maduro added.

Some people are not taking the action seriously. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said no one believed the "joke alerts" being issued by Maduro's. In regards to the expulsion of the three U.S. Diplomats, "It's just smoke to cover up that they can't manage the country!" Capriles says. Capriles contested the election result after losing to Maduro in April.

It's happened before with this new administration. Maduro expelled two U.S. military attaches hours before announcing Chavez's death from cancer six months ago. He said that one of them was trying to stir up a coup against Chavez.

Maduro has also suggested Chavez's illness could have been caused by his enemies, including the U.S., which has been denounced by the U.S. As "absurd."

Maduro has loudly denounced a U.S.-led "economic war" that has led to product shortages and blackouts. Many have pointed out that this is the result of an inefficient currency control system that encourages corruption, as well as under-investment in the country's creaking power grid.

In yet another spat this month, Venezuela accused Washington of "aggression" this month after Maduro's plane was briefly blocked from flying over Puerto Rico en route to China. The U.S. government said it approved the flight plan, which had not been properly submitted by Caracas.

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