News / Americas

Venezuela Expels Top US Diplomat for Fomenting 'Sabotage'

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro speaks to soldiers inside a military base in Coro, Venezuela, Sept. 30, 2013.
In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro speaks to soldiers inside a military base in Coro, Venezuela, Sept. 30, 2013.
Reuters
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday he was expelling the top U.S. diplomat in the South American nation and two others, accusing them of meeting with opposition leaders and encouraging “acts of sabotage” against his country.
 
It was the latest of several public disputes between the socialist leader and the United States since Maduro won an April election following the death of his mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez.
 
Maduro said Venezuelan authorities had for months followed the three U.S. diplomats, and that he had now given them 48 hours to leave the OPEC member country.
 
“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.”
 
He said Venezuela was expelling Kelly Keiderling, who as U.S. charge d'affaires is the senior American diplomat in Venezuela because the United States has no ambassador to the country. According to a U.S. Embassy website, she has been assigned to Caracas since July 2011 as deputy chief of mission, and was temporarily serving as the charge d'affaires.
 
Venezuela identified the other two diplomats 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.
 
Responding to the expulsion of the three U.S. diplomats, opposition leader Henrique Capriles said no one believed the “joke alerts” being issued by Maduro's team.
 
“It's just smoke to cover up that they can't manage the country,” Capriles, who contested the election result after losing to Maduro in April, said on Twitter.
 
Six months ago, Maduro expelled two U.S. military attaches hours before announcing Chavez's death from cancer, later saying 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 United States. The United States and others called that allegation absurd.
 
Since then, the president has loudly denounced a U.S.-led “economic war” that has led to product shortages and blackouts.
 
His critics say those problems are the result of an inefficient currency control system that encourages corruption, as well as under-investment in the country's creaking power grid.
 
In the most recent diplomatic spat, 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 nevertheless approved the flight plan, which had not been properly submitted by Caracas.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama had said after Chavez's death that he hoped for a “constructive relationship” after years of bilateral tensions.
 
But the United States and others have found it difficult to engage with the government, or opposition, without opening themselves up to accusations of meddling in the OPEC nation.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Venezuela's 'Busman' President to Make UN Debut

Nicolas Maduro says he will travel to New York despite 'racist' editorials against him in major US newspapers
More

Police: Mexican Cartels Trafficking Cocaine Direct From Colombia

General Ricardo Restrepo, Colombia's anti-narcotics director, says cartels have arrived 'basically to negotiate and transport the drug themselves'
More

Former El Salvador President to Await Graft Trial in Jail, Not at Home

Francisco Flores, who had been on the run until early Sept. before turning himself in, accused of misappropriating $15M in 2001 earthquake relief donations
More

US Won't Impede Venezuela's UN Security Council Bid

Washington is clearly unhappy, however, with idea of country joining the Council, which has the task of overseeing international peace and security
More

Video Dehydration Is Top Killer of Southern Arizona's Migrants

US Border Patrol's search and rescue unit launches 'blue blinking light of life program' - a series of poles strategically placed throughout desert that emit high-intensity blue light
More

US Steps Up Pressure on Guatemala Over Labor Rights

Trade representative says Obama administration will push ahead with legal action under free trade agreement to make country meet international standards
More