- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Boot ours, and we’ll boot yours. The United States answered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s announced expulsion of three American diplomats with a back-at-you action late Tuesday: Three high-ranking diplomats from the South American nation were sent packing.

The State Department announced that it was sending home Second Secretary Monica Alejandra Sanchez Morales from the Washington embassy, Consul Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida from the Houston consulate and Venezuelan charge d’affaires Calixto Ortega Rios, CBS reported. They were given 48 hours to get out — the same amount of time Mr. Maduro gave the three Americans to leave.

“It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel U.S. diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action,” the State Department said in a statement. “It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries.”

Mr. Maduro said the three Americans he expelled were conspiring to sabotage the nation’s economy and its power supply.

On Monday he ordered U.S. Charge d’Affaires Kelly Keiderling and two other diplomats  to leave.



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