18:28 GMT22 April 2021
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    The United States is disappointed, although not surprised with Venezuela's decision to expel US diplomats, and rejects accusations against them by the Venezuelan government, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

    "We reject the accusations behind [Venezuelan President] @NicolasMaduro’s decision to expel our diplomats, and we ordered two Venezuelan diplomats to leave the United States in kind. Disappointed, but not surprised, the regime is threatened by our efforts to help the people of #Venezuela," Pompeo said on his Twitter.

    On Tuesday, the Venezuelan government declared US Charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and Deputy Head of Mission Brian Naranjo to be personae non grata and ordered their expulsion from the country.

    The State Department on Thursday told charge d’affaires of the Venezuelan embassy and the deputy consul general of the Venezuelan consulate in Houston to leave the United States within 48 hours.

    The tension in the relations between the two countries escalated following the presidential election in Venezuela held last Sunday. Maduro was re-elected with over 65 percent of the vote. However, a number of countries have rejected the results of the election. US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order barring US citizens from buying debt from the Venezuelan government.


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    critics, expulsion, diplomats, Mike Pompeo, Venezuela, US
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