Venezuela Expels 3 US Diplomats For "Promoting Instability"

Tyler Durden's picture

Having been 'busted' for their manipulation of events in Ukraine (and exposing their views of the European Union), it seems US diplomats have been up to their old tricks once again... this time in Venezuela. "Go Conspire In Washington," was the clear message sent to the US as President Maduro expelled three US diplomats from his country, accusing them of plotting with anti-government protesters in an attempt to topple his socialist government. This is the second time Maduro has kicked out US diplomats (3 more were expelled in September for 'conspiring with government opponents') as he blasted comments by John Kerry as "yet another maneuver" by Washington to "legitimize attempts to destabilize the Venezuelan democracy unleashed by violent groups in recent days."

 

 

An anti-government student holds a sign reading "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. Venezuela wake up!" during a protest in Caracas.

 

Via Yahoo,

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Washington of plotting with anti-government protesters and expelled three US diplomats in retaliation.

 

...

 

The oil-rich country is mired in a deep economic crisis that critics blame on policies that Maduro largely inherited from Chavez.

 

Strict controls on currency and prices have created huge bottlenecks that have fueled inflation and emptied store shelves.

 

...

 

"I have ordered the foreign ministry to proceed with declaring those three consular officials persona non grata and expelling them from the country. Let them go conspire in Washington!" Maduro said in a nationally broadcast address.

 

Maduro said the US diplomats, who have not been named, had met with students involved in anti-government protests under the pretense of offering them "visas to the United States."

 

In late September Maduro kicked out three other US diplomats, including the charge d'affairs Kelly Keiderling, on accusations of conspiring with government opponents. The two countries have had no ambassadors since 2010.

 

A foreign ministry statement also said that Maduro's government "flatly rejects" remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday voicing alarm at the violence during the marches and criticizing the arrest of protesters.

 

Kerry's statement is "yet another maneuver" by Washington to "legitimize attempts to destabilize the Venezuelan democracy unleashed by violent groups in recent days," the ministry said.

Of course, it makes sense for Maduro to pitch blame on to the Americans (whether they are to blame or not) as he faces a growing tension among the working Venezuelans that the status quo is not working and a common enemy is required...

As we noted previously (via Stratfor):

The challenge that the student movement will face is in finding a way to include Venezuela's laboring class, which for the most part still supports the government, and relies on its redistributive policies. Their inability to rouse broad support across Venezuela's social and economic classes was in part why previous student uprisings, including significant protests in 2007, failed to generate enough momentum to trigger a significant political shift.

 

But the situation has changed in Venezuela, and as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quo. President Nicolas Maduro has been in office for less than a year, and in that time the inflation rate has surged to over 50 percent and food shortages are a daily problem. Though firmly in power, the Chavista government is still struggling to address massive social and economic challenges. Massive government spending, years of nationalization and an overreliance on imports for basic consumer goods have radically deteriorated inflation levels, and undermined industrial production.

 

How the government responds will play a key role in the development of these protests going forward. The government cannot afford to crack down too hard without risking even worse unrest in the future. For its part, the mainstream opposition must walk a careful line between supporting the sentiment behind open unrest and being seen as destabilizing the country. Maduro retains the power to punish opposition politicians, and reaffirmed that Feb. 11 when he stated on national television that he intends to renew the law allowing him to outlaw political candidates who threaten the peace of the country. The statement was a clear shot over the bow of opposition leaders, and may foreshadow a more aggressive government policy designed to limit political opposition.

In the meantime, protest leader Leopoldo Lopez said he'll surrender on Feb 18th - 

"If anyone has decided to illegally arrest and jail me, you know I will be there," he said. "I have nothing to fear; I have not done anything illegal."

as plain clothes policeman were in the back of a pick-up outside the home of the father of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Reports said the government wants to arrest him in connection with deadly street protests in recent days. “I have committed no crime,” said Lopez. “I have been a Venezuelan committed to our country, our people, and our future.” Earlier, Lopez called Maduro a coward on Twitter. “You won’t make either me or my family bow to you,” he added.

 

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f16hoser's picture

As a US Citizen and military Officer, allow me to say that expelling our diplomats is "BRILLIANT!"

smlbizman's picture

fuck all that...the sign chick is smokin....

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Nice - however Jamie wants the gold back, so priorities you know.

Wait What's picture

obviously you missed Tyler's post on why venezuela matters. by Venezuelan standards, the sign chick is pretty homely... not to mention that muffin top. libertad, dieta, o muerte!!

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-23/thursday-humor-real-reason-vene...

still, get me drunk enough and I might have sex with her.

 

Urban Redneck's picture

Only to discover that she has bigger balls than you (or Yellen)...

silvermail's picture

Daddy, tell me, a color revolution in America - is that possible?
- No my son, it's fantastic.
Dad, but why?
Because America,  - it is the only one country in the world, in the territory of which is no U.S. embassy!

Colonel Klink's picture

So in other words they kicked out 3 CIA agents posing as diplomats.

debtor of last resort's picture

Fuck. That drop of polonium210 really came off my Google glasses?

malek's picture

You mean there still exist US diplomats that are not CIA agents?

DeadFred's picture

Kerry's denials are a chancy gambit here now that we know the FSB can break the phone encryption. He's got to be asking "How much data have they shared?" Of course it's only Kerry, if he's caught lying it's no big deal. If Obama got caught he would have to claim he didn't know the facts until he saw them reported on the news.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The Assad government endorsed the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire plan and, perhaps forgetting that it was his idea, Kerry criticized them for doing so.

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/02/16/kerry-assad-supporters-need-to-endors...

This is considered normal and sensible inside the short-bus beltway of Vichy DC.

gallistic's picture

The last time Venezuela expelled US "diplomats", they had them dead to rights. The State Department issued an explicit denial and an explanation that sounds a lot like this one.

Venezuela then turned around and publicly released fotos proving the facts, incriminating audio and explicit video. They also released specific dollar amounts and routing, along with exact times and dates, solidly proving their acusations.

They did this after the State Department denials. It was hilarious. Of course, you did not see any of it or even mentioned in passing in the compliant US media. Not a peep.

I am certain you won't see any media coverage in this case either, but I suspect the same thing might happen again. If it does, I will post it up and toss some red meat to the ZH'ers.

Should be fun...

semperfidelis's picture

The Nuland tape was an inside job. FSB cant deny or confirm, sittin' duck.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

If you consider the Brits inside then yeah.

The BBC wouldn't have confirmed secret agreements between the Brits and Russians concerning the Ukraine when that tape was leaked at the same time if they weren't in on it somehow. The BBC is state media for the British intelligence community like CNN is for the the Americans. They don't expose that type of information unless they are using it for political cover to back Putin over the US in the Ukraine.

BeetleBailey's picture

The US government SUCKS!

 

Yeah..I said it you fuckers....if you're reading this

 

FUCK YOU!

Tim_'s picture

The US government is the largest terrorist organization in the world.

fuu's picture

"If anyone has decided to illegally arrest and jail me, you know I will be there," he said. "I have nothing to fear; I have not done anything illegal."

 

If you turn yourself in does it still count as an illegal arrest?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

If you turn yourself in does it still count as an illegal arrest?

Yes, indeed it does, unless you say, "Simon* says: arrest me."

 

*...of course, referring to Simon Bolivar...

CRBull's picture

fantastic, more countries should follow this example

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

fantastic, more countries should follow this example

Venezuela can get away with this because their government hasn't yet been bought off to some necessary threshold.

Ukraine is probably watching this, but I'd be surprised if they tossed out any US "diplomatic personnel". An adequate minimum number of officials would see the suspension of the monthly bribe deposits into their Cayman Islands accounts as to make this a difficult task.

Ignatius's picture

If socialism does such a fine of job of destoying itself, why does the CIA feel they need to help?

alangreedspank's picture

Socialism will indeed destroy itself, but that doesn't mean that whoever ends up on top after its implosion is the right party the CIA wants...

Ignatius's picture

And it really is about the CIA after all.

eatthebanksters's picture

Maduro is soon to go the way of the of the Ceausescu's...the Colombian's might do it if no one else will...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ6q1a6aDbA

logicalman's picture

I think Mossadegh is a better example, he was, at least, elected.

Wait What's picture

Al Jazeera is reporting the 'protest' consisted of about 3000 people. by myself i could muster 3000 people in any city in America by just offering free weed. wake me when these protests reach a critical mass.

akak's picture

They hate us for our lack of mustaches.

 

PS: Their men hate us for the same reason, too.

logicalman's picture

They don't hate ME then!

 

akak's picture

Hey, I haven't shaved my upper lip once in almost 30 years!

logicalman's picture

Haven't shaved in 30 years.

My kids would walk past me in the street if I shaved my beard off!

 

akak's picture

I am instinctively suspicious of any clean-shaven man.

And any man who would shave his arms or chest or back is simply totally pussy-whipped.

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

We're from the (US) Government, and we're here to help.

logicalman's picture

If you believe that, you will believe ANYTHING!

Bam_Man's picture

How many Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups does Venezuela have?

DarthVaderMentor's picture

They don't need any, except as targets. The rumor is that they have at least 9 to 14 Chinese DF-21D (NATO CSS-5D "Dong Feng") ASMs deployed and operational in Maracaibo, Punto Fijo and Puerto Caballo. Their operating range extends to well north of Cuba.

Berspankme's picture

If they aimed them for parts of miami it might be considered a domestic attack

401K of Dooom's picture

Let them expell our foreign service officers.  Most of the FSO are disloyal to the USA!  If we want to screw with Venezuela, then cut off all of the tourist and business visas, the B1 and B2 visas.  Then cut off all EITC, SSA, EBT and tax refunds of any kind.  Then watch them scream bloody murder and demand that we put their money back to them.  This illustrates the hypocrisy of these third-world hellholes and their relationship with us.  It's time to screw them and watch them suffer!  And they deserve it.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

This illustrates the hypocrisy of these third-world hellholes and their relationship with us.  It's time to screw them and watch them suffer!  And they deserve it.

Thanks for the concise summary of post-WW2 US foreign policy. Very insightful of you to present it here as a potential explanation for the actions of the Venezuelan government.

gallistic's picture

And then they retaliate by cutting off the oil.

And the US loses whatever leverage they have over Venezuela.

Great plan Colonel Custer...

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Who run barter town?

http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/imports/companylevel/

Venezuela certainly has a good grip on the nuts if they want to squeeze. If they do though you can bet some of these groups like the FARC in Colombia will be paid off like Sinola in Mexico to cross the border and raise hell.

gallistic's picture

You are exactly right- Colombia is a US proxy. Have you heard the things Alvaro Uribe says? His rhetoric is explosive and incendiary. He has been aboard that plan for awhile now, and has been very active in Venezuela destabilization efforts.

That guy may be pure evil and a monster, but he is our monster. And now, with a little "encouragement" from an interested party (can you guess who?) he is trying to become President of Colombia again.

Oh boy!

logicalman's picture

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Venezuela stopped exporting oil.

Not that they could afford to do so in this fucked up world, but it would, for sure, be interesting.

SlipStitchPass's picture

Out with Venezuelan Socialism and in with US Corporate Fascism. Your oil and natural resources is belong to us now. In return you can have these fabulous GMO's, a croney led federal reserve bank, and be looted by the TBTF fail banks, IMF and World bank. It will be a liberating experience.

john39's picture

one more case of problem, reaction, solution playing out in real time.

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

If you like your Chavismo - you can keep your Chavismo.

But for the CIA 'controls the weather' bedwetter crowd it'll be all on us because 'we lust for their (low grade, heavy tar content shit) oil".

Long Alcoa for tin foil hats. Viva la' Revolution bitchez.....

akak's picture

Es "Chavismo" como el Ciudadanismo 'americano' estadounidense?

Hagame reir.