CARACAS, Monday February 17, 2014 | Update
STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS | He described the situation as "complex"

Nicolás Maduro expels three US diplomats from Venezuela

"We are living complex times," said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. "The detention of Leopoldo López could have many negative consequences," the White House allegedly told Venezuelan diplomats, according to Maduro. "I do not accept threats from anyone in this world," he added

He rejected the violent events taking place in Chacao municipality, northeast Caracas, and put the blame on Mayor Ramón Muchacho and Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles (VTV)
Monday February 17, 2014  10:44 AM
Late on Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said "we are living complex times." In his view, the recent events in the country are intended to seek an intervention by the United States. He added that his government continues to "advocate the ideals of our country and people."

He insisted that "a script has been written by those who order and pay" from the United States. He said that Washington advocates only "the rights of the right wing."

"We were holding a meeting (...) and we got a call from Roy Chaderton (Venezuela's Ambassador to the Organization of American States), who informed us that he received a message demanding the release of detainees and talks with the opposition." The message also said that "the detention of Leopoldo López would have negative consequences," and requested the legal actions against López to be dropped.

He added that the Deputy Secretary of State said that taking legal actions against López would have negative international implications. "These demands are unacceptable, insolent," said Maduro.

Consequently, he announced the expulsion of three US consular officials. He said such officials conducted activities in private universities. "I have instructed the foreign affairs minister to declare persona non grata and expel these three consular officials of the US Embassy in Venezuela."

The activities conducted in Venezuelan universities by the three officials, whom Maduro would not identify, were monitored during some two months.

"I do not accept threats from anyone in this world," Maduro said, adding that a reply to the White House has been sent already. "No force will stop us Bolivarians from making justice. In Venezuela, we are ready to go to the bitter end to defend our independence and peace," said the Venezuelan president.

"The United States is accusing us of violating human rights. What would happen in the United States if I attempted on the life of Barack Obama?" Maduro wondered, and he showed alleged death threats against him posted on social networks.

"We are facing the activation of a political crisis intended to break the society and move the masses that follow the right wing," he said.