Tit-for-tat: US expels three Venezuelan diplomats

WASHINGTON: The United States has given three Venezuelan diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, in response to the decision by the government of Venezuela to expel three US diplomats, Dispatch News Desk reported.

According to a statement made by a State Department spokesperson, the US was expelling Venezuela’s head of business affairs, Calixto Ortega, along with Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida from its Houston consulate, and Mónica Alejandra Sánchez Morales, who is currently assigned to the country’s Washington embassy.

On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of three US diplomats including US chargé d’affaires Kelly Keiderling and the two other diplomats identified as Elizabeth Hunderland and David Mutt for allegedly meeting with the “Venezuelan far-right” to finance his opponents and “encourage actions to sabotage the power system and the economy.”

The US embassy in Caracas rejected Venezuela’s allegations of conspiracy, saying the diplomats’ trip to Bolivar state was a “normal diplomatic engagement…and should come as no surprise.”

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