President Nicolas Maduro announced today, during a major rally for sovereignty and against U.S. interventionism, that he will revise and reduce the number of U.S. diplomats working in Venezuela.
Maduro told the cheering crowd, “I have ordered the foreign minister, Delcy Rodriguez, to immediately, in compliance with article 11 of the Vienna Convention, to reduce and minimize the number of U.S. embassy officials in Venezuela. They have over 100 officials, while in the U.S. we have no more than 17.”
Rodriguez confirmed the measures, which she said would help protect Venezuela from United States aggression.
She also pointed out that the history of United States interventionism goes back many years, since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999 and that in recent months the United States had increased not only verbal attacks but attempts to intervene in the Venezuelan political process.
Rodriguez further stated that current United States diplomats in Venezuela will have to re-apply for their visas.
Maduro earlier today also said that they had captured United States spies trying to get to people in villages on the Venezuelan coast.
The President said that the measure is needed because investigations into the averted coup plot of two weeks ago showed that U.S. embassy officials were involved in those plans.
The second measure will be that the U.S. embassy will be required to inform his government of meetings that it has with different sectors of Venezuelan society.
As a third measure, United States citizens will have to pay the same price – in dollars – for obtaining a visa to travel to Venezuela as the U.S. currently charges Venezuelans to travel to the U.S.
The fourth measure would be to develop a list of U.S. officials who will not be allowed to travel to Venezuela because of their involvement in human rights violations.
“We will prohibit visas for individuals who want to come to Venezuela who have violated human rights and have bombed Iraq, Syria, and Vietnam,” said Maduro.
“An anti-terrorist list that will be headed by George W. Bush, dick Cheney, the former director fo the CIA George Tenet, congressman Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, the wolf Ileana Ross-Lethinen, George Tenet and Mario Díaz Balart. they cannot come to Venezuela for being terrorists!” added Maduro.
Maduro held the speech on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the “caracazo,” the popular uprising against IMF measures and the subsequent state repression that led to up to 3,000 being killed by the police and military at the time.