President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela expelled the top American diplomat and two other embassy officials from the country on Monday, accusing them of supporting plots to sabotage the country’s electrical grid and the economy. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/world/americas/venezuela-expels-top-us-embassy-official-and-two-others.html?ref=world
“We have detected a group of officials of the United States Embassy in Caracas, in Venezuela, and we have been tracking them for several months,” Mr. Maduro said during a live television broadcast. “These officials spend their time meeting with the Venezuelan extreme right wing, financing them and encouraging them to take actions to sabotage the electrical system, to sabotage the Venezuelan economy.”
Mr. Maduro intended to stick closely to Mr. Chávez’s example, painting the United States as an imperialist aggressor out to undermine his government. Early on, he accused the Obama administration of plotting against him, and hours before he announced the death of Mr. Chávez on March 5, he kicked out two American military attachés, saying they had tried to recruit Venezuelan military personnel to conspire against the government.
Mr. Chávez had already expelled the American ambassador, Patrick Duddy, in 2008, saying that his government had discovered an American-supported plot by military officers to topple him.
Foreign Minister Elías Jaua later said on television that the evidence against the American diplomats included meetings held in recent weeks with democracy advocates, union members and elected officials belonging to the political opposition, whom he accused of planning to destabilize the country.
“We completely reject the Venezuelan government’s allegations of U.S. government involvement in any type of conspiracy to destabilize the Venezuelan government,” the American Embassy said in a statement.