US kicks out 2 Venezuelan diplomats


A woman walks past a mural of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas.


Leo Ramirez

The United States on Monday expelled two Venezuelan diplomats in a move mirroring Venezuela's own expulsion of two US embassy officials there a week prior, according to CNN

The State Department did not dance around the motive, describing it as essentially a tit-for-tat move.

"Around the world, when our people are thrown out unjustly, we're going to take reciprocal action," CNN cited State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland as telling journalists on Monday. "We need to do that to protect our own people."

Venezuela kicked out the two US Air Force officers last week, accusing the military attaches of trying to destabilize the nation, said Agence-France Press. The US denied the charges. 

The move from Washington branded diplomats Orlando Jose Montanez Olivares and Victor Camacaro Mata personae non gratae and they have already left America, according to CNN, citing Nuland.

The United States and Venezuela do not have full diplomatic relations, having pulled their respective ambassadors three years ago, said AFP

However, this latest exchange suggests relations may be deteriorating further.