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Venezuela Recalls Top Diplomat From US

  • VOA News

FILE - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting at Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, in this handout picture provided by Miraflores Palace, Feb. 17, 2016. A recent decree classifies Venezuela as an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to U.S. national security.

FILE - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting at Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, in this handout picture provided by Miraflores Palace, Feb. 17, 2016. A recent decree classifies Venezuela as an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to U.S. national security.

Venezuela's president has recalled the country's top diplomat from the United States to protest a U.S. decree imposing sanctions on several top officials and calling Venezuela a security threat.

President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement Wednesday at a ceremony organized to condemn the decree, which was made initially last year and renewed last week.

"Enough of the arrogance," Maduro said, complaining also that the United States displayed condescension and double standards.

The decree classifies Venezuela as an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to U.S. national security.

The U.S. and Venezuela have not had ambassador-level diplomatic relations since 2010. Venezuela approved charge d'affaires Maximilien Arvelaiz as ambassador to Washington last year, but the U.S. Department of State has not approved him.

Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela have been tense for some time over Caracas' accusations that the United States meddles in Latin American affairs.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government is facing political turmoil at home, where the opposition alliance has launched a campaign to oust President Maduro. Government figures have painted the opposition’s plans as an effort to carry out a coup d'etat backed by the United States.

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