BUENOS AIRES, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced on national television that he has ordered the expulsion of three US diplomats from the country for allegedly plotting acts of sabotage in conspiracy with “far-right” opposition.
Speaking in a public address Monday, Maduro gave Charge D'Affaires Kelly Keiderling, the top US diplomat in Caracas, and two other embassy officials 48 hours to leave the oil-rich Latin American country whose economy has been troubled by power outages and food shortages.
Maduro said he had evidence that the US diplomats had frequently met with the "Venezuelan far-right" to finance it and “encourage actions to sabotage the country’s electrical grid and economy.”
“I cannot allow them to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs and I ask for your full support in this struggle against the interference,” Maduro said addressing the nation.
"Yankees go home, get out of Venezuela!" he said.
Venezuela and the United States have been without mutual ambassadors since 2010, and Caracas has only toughened its anti-American rhetoric following the death of Venezuela’s outspoken leader Hugo Chavez in March.
Maduro, who was chosen by Chavez as his successor, expelled two US military attaches from Venezuela for alleged attempts to destabilize the country just a few hours prior to the official announcement of Chavez’s death from cancer on March 5.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition claims that the leftist authorities are using the foreign interference “smokescreen” to hide their own inability to handle the country’s ailing economy, widespread corruption and rampant crime.