Venezuela to shut down consulate in U.S. amid diplomat expulsion

Posted Jan 17, 2012 by Andrew Moran
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced last week that it is shutting down the country's consulate in the United States. This move comes as the U.S. government expelled Venezuelan Consul General Livia Acosta Noguera.
Late Venezuelan president Chavez remembered worldwide
Late Venezuelan president Chavez remembered worldwide
Miraflores Palace / Handout
Last week, Venezuelan Consul General Livia Acosta Noguera was ordered out of the United States following an FBI investigation that alleges she had talks over a possible cyber-attack on the country’s government.
The report was presented in a 2008 documentary aired by Univision, a Spanish-language media outlet. It was based on a series of conversation recordings that Noguera had with other officials. The allegations include Cuban and Iranian diplomatic missions.
During his annual speech to the National Assembly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared that his government will close its consulate in Miami, Florida after the U.S. State Department expulsion of Noguera.
“We're going to close it. It's OK. There won't be a consulate in Miami,” said Chavez on Friday.
Chavez called the expulsion “unjust” and “unfair” and added that the authorities have not provided any proof that Noguera was involved in espionage. The Venezuelan leader assured everyone that there would not be any retaliation or the removal of the U.S. consulate in his country.
“What we are going to do is administratively close the consulate, while we study the situation, because it is unjust, it is abusive, it is immoral, the expulsion of the madame consult,” explained Chavez, reports Press TV. “Someone recommended that we needed to expel somebody. No, I said, we are not going to respond like they do. I have no reason to expel any U.S. consul.”
CBS News reported over the weekend that Venezuelan exiles, who have alleged links to terrorism, have threatened officials at the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami. Although the accuser did not provide any evidence, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro noted that the group called Venezuelan Persecution Victims in Exile held demonstrations against the consul.