HAVANA TIMES — The United States expelled three Venezuelan diplomats on Monday in reaction to a similar measure the previous week by Caracas against three officials of the US embassy, confirmed Jennifer Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman.
The United States, “declared persona non grata three officials of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington,” said Psaki.
Washington reacted to the decision of the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, who on February 17 expelled three officials of the U.S. embassy in Caracas for meddling in Venezuelan affairs.
Maduro said at the time he would not accept “threats” from Washington, which had demanded an end to the repression of the opposition. In response he ordered the expulsion of the consular officers, accusing them of conspiring against his government.
The Venezuelan president said the United States sent him a message telling him to enter into dialogue with the opposition, release all arrested in recent demonstrations and vacate the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, all of which he rejected. “We will not be intimidated,” he said.
The US officials told Venezuela of their decision to expel the diplomats on Monday night and gave them 48 hours to leave the country.