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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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 Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Chilean MPs Approve Measure Allowing Civil Unions

Bill will give many legal rights afforded to married couples to about two million more Chileans - mostly unmarried heterosexuals but also gay couples
More

Don't Meddle in Our Politics, Cuba's Leader Warns US

Fomenting opposition to Cuba's government will undermine efforts at normalizing bilateral relations, he says at summit in Costa Rica
More

Owner of Gun That Killed Argentine Prosecutor Emerges From Hiding

Diego Lagomarsino says he lent firearm for protection to Alberto Nisman, who was probing 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires Jewish community center
More

Rights Group: MPs in Dozens of Countries Face Abuse

Inter-Parliamentary Union rights committee reports more than 300 lawmakers in 40 countries subject to dangers, including death
More

Mexico Confirms Missing Students Murdered by Drug Gang

Until now, the government had said only that the students were almost certainly murdered after clashing that night with corrupt police officers
More

Twin Chicago Traffickers-Turned-Informants Sentenced

Pedro and Margarito Flores get 14-year terms in exchange for cooperating in a case against Mexican drug cartel leaders
More