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US expels three Venezuelan diplomats

People walk past the embassy of Venezuela on September 12, 2008 in Washington, DCThe United States is expelling three Venezuelan embassy officials in a tit-for-tat move after Caracas kicked out three American diplomats last week, a State Department official said Tuesday. The three Venezuelans have been given 48 hours to leave the United States, the official said, in a move that came just as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was planning to appoint a new ambassador to Washington. The “State Department has declared First Secretary Ignacio Luis Cajal Avalos, First Secretary Victor Manuel Pisani Azpurua, and Second Secretary Marcos Jose Garcia Figueredo of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC personae non gratae,” the official said in a statement sent to AFP. The United States and Venezuela have not had mutual ambassadors since ties deteriorated in 2010.

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