President of Venezuela expels US ambassadors
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced live on TV his decision to expel the three employees of the US consulate.
Without naming the diplomats, the president accused them of penetrating the country’s universities under the guise of fulfilling their consular duties, and provoking the students to anti-government protests that ran in the country for the second week, reports Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
Maduro also said that the US maintain close ties with the opposition, assisting them in preparing coup d’état.
According to the President, Permanent Representative of Venezuela in Washington received a warning from the US State Department that the arrest of the Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez will have negative international consequences for Caracas. Maduro said that the country’s leadership will not tolerate any threats.
Student protests have all the signs of conspiracy, said Venezuela Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez speaking to reporters last week. He also accused the protest organizers of attending training abroad. They represent a group that aims for violent overthrow of the government, the minister said.
On Sunday several thousands of students again demonstrated in Caracas. Students accuse the government of using violence against members of the protests that quickly fumed into riots and clashes with security forces.
Earlier, at least three people were killed, dozens wounded, in anti-government demonstrations in the capital, Caracas. Venezuelan population is increasingly dissatisfied with growing economic problems. In 2013, inflation exceeded the 50% mark; the residents talk of rampant corruption. The demonstrators also want the authorities deal with crime and demand amnesty for protesters detained earlier. Venezuelan authorities accuse Leopoldo Lopez, leader of the opposition Popular Will party, of organising the riots.