'Yankees Go Home!': Venezuela Boots Top US Diplomat

Opposition leader says Maduro is just blowing smoke
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 1, 2013 2:07 AM CDT
Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, right, raises his arm as he stands with National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello at a military base yesterday.   (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office)
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(Newser) – President Nicolas Maduro has announced the expulsion of the top US diplomat in Venezuela and two other embassy officials, alleging they conspired with "the extreme right" to sabotage the economy and power grid. The US Embassy rejected as unfounded the Venezuelan government's accusations of "a great psychological operation" against it. Maduro made the announcement during a live TV appearance and said Charge d'Affairs Kelly Keiderling—the top US official in the absence of an ambassador—and the two others had 48 hours to leave the country.

"Out of Venezuela," the leftist leader shouted, then added in English: "Yankees go home!" Maduro said his government had followed a group of embassy officials that was "dedicated to meeting with the Venezuelan extreme right, to financing it, and feeding its actions to sabotage the electrical system and the Venezuela economy." Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who accuses Maduro of fraudulently winning a narrow election in April, called the expulsions "pure smoke" to mask the fact that Maduro "can't manage the country." It's not the first time Maduro has given US diplomats the boot. (Read more Nicolas Maduro stories.)

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